9 Truths about Marriages that Work

If you are married, you know how difficult the process can be. A successful marriage really is a process and a journey. It’s not something that just happens. If you are looking to enjoy a successful marriage, it is important to realize some truths. Here are 9 truths about marriages that work:

1. Trust is Essential

You have to trust your partner. If your partner hasn’t done anything to lose your trust, or call it into question, acting as though he or she is not trustworthy can poison your relationship. You should also feel like you can trust your partner. The flip side to that, of course, is that you also have to be trustworthy. Make sure you are being honest with your spouse — and your spouse is likely to be honest with you.

2. You Need Shared Goals

Being able to work together toward the same end can be rewarding and can draw you together. Shared goals help strengthen your bond, since you are both working toward the same things. Create priorities and set goals together. Then make plans to achieve your goals.

3. Listening is Important

You need to listen to your partner. Take the time to really listen. Put down the book, turn off the television. Make an effort to listen to what your partner is saying. At the same time you need to make sure that your partner is listening to you. Gently remind him or her when you need a listening ear.

4. Compliments Enhance Your Relationship

Try not to focus on the negative all the time. It is important to compliment your spouse, and to receive compliments in return. When you only focus on the negative, your relationship can sour fairly quickly. Search for the positive qualities of your partner and compliment him or her on them. You will feel better at your spouse since you are cultivating positive feelings, and your spouse will feel more positive about you — and return the favor.

5. Sometimes You Need to Sacrifice for Your Spouse

While giving up what you want — and what is important to you — all the time can lead to feelings of resentment and frustration, the truth is that sometimes marriage requires sacrifice. Serving your spouse, and sacrificing what you want for something your spouse finds important can actually strengthen your relationship. A successful marriage involves compromises, and sometimes you have to give something up.

6. Alone Time Can Be a Good Thing

Sometimes we all need some alone time. This is true in marriage. If you want a marriage that works, you should respect your spouse’s need to do things on his or her own. And you need to take some time for yourself as well. Sometimes this means that your spouse goes out with his or her friends. Being able to recharge and take care of your needs can help you feel energized and refreshed — and ready to give more to the relationship.

7. You Should Spend Time Together

Of course, you shouldn’t always be doing activities without your spouse. You should want to do things together. A weekend getaway can be fun, and doing activities together can be a good way to develop a shared bond. But it is also important to just spend quiet time together. Enjoy each other’s company for an evening in, watching TV or pursuing quiet interests in the same room. You could do a puzzle, play a game, or just cuddle. You need to take time to enjoy being with your spouse if you want your marriage to work.

8. Get Professional Help if You Need It

In some cases, you might have trouble working through issues, or understanding each other. Successful marriage partners know that sometimes they need to get professional help. Seeking outside help can provide a way for you to strengthen your marriage, improving your relationship.

9. Say “I Love You”

Don’t assume your spouse knows. Say “I love you” to each other regularly. It will help your spouse feel better about your relationship, and it can serve as a simple reminder to you.

What other things are true about successful marriages?

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