Marriage is hard.
Growing up, many of us have this idea that finding someone to marry is the hard part. We watch movies and read books that seem to indicate that once you get through the difficulties of finding your life partner, the rest is easy.
This just isn’t the case. Marriage is hard, and it requires hard work. And there are days that you probably just stand there and wonder: “Why did I do this?”
Building a marriage that lasts requires effort, and often it requires sacrifice. While it’s true that some marriages aren’t worth preserving, yours might be worth keeping together. If you want a marriage that lasts, here are 4 tips that can help you along:
1. Have Realistic Expectations
Neither of you is perfect. Expecting your spouse to be perfect is as ridiculous as thinking that you are the perfect mate. You need to set realistic expectations. Don’t expect your partner to change overnight. Also, don’t expect that you are always going to see eye-to-eye, or that you will always want to do the same things.
My husband and I have some very different interests. Sometimes, that means that we do things separately. Expect that you are going to be different in some ways, and expect that sometimes you will argue. And, expect that you won’t be able to force your partner to change. My husband is never going to enjoy camping, and trying to force him to go will only result in a miserable time for both of us. So my son and I just head out without my husband.
Realistic expectations can really help you set a solid foundation. While the hope is that you will both change and grow together, you can’t expect instant improvement.
2. Commit to Making Your Marriage Work
You have to be committed if you want your marriage to last. When you have arguments, remember why you love each other, and remember that you are committed to the marriage. As long as both of you are equally committed to the marriage, you should be able to work through almost anything. It takes time and patience to work through some things, but it is still possible.
3. Create Time for Each Other
You do want to spend time together. That’s why you married your spouse, right? You need to find time to enjoy time together, just the two of you. You also need to make time for intimacy. Healthy marriages involve some level of intimacy, as well as just spending time together.
Try to make the time enjoyable. You want your time to be positive more than negative. If you are always fighting or unhappy when you are together, your marriage isn’t likely to last. Do things you both like. Even though it’s ok to do things on your own sometimes, you want to make sure that you and your spouse spend a good amount of time together.
4. Constructively Handle Disagreements
It is important to know how to handle conflicts constructively so that you don’t end up always unhappy and fighting. It can help to talk about important items before marriage so you have a better idea of whether or not you are on the same page.
When there are disagreements, look for ways to handle them constructively. No matter what the disagreement is, you can work to see the other person’s side of the situation, as well as avoid name-calling, accusations, sarcasm.
What are your tips for building a marriage that lasts?