When a couple recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, they were asked what was their secret to such a long, happy union. Given our current era when divorce seems to be the norm, people are more eager to know how to be successful in marriage than ever before.
No one, with the right mind and heart, will say “I do” to marriage with plans to divorce later on. And yet, we´re aware of the painful statistics that nearly 1 in 2 marriages end in divorce. And with the fifty percent who decided to stay married, only few are truly happy.
My parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary last September. In spite of all the challenges that they´ve faced, their parents´ opposition in the beginning of their union, their many personal differences, raising six kids, financing their children´s education up to university, health issues among others, they stuck through thick and thin and they´re happy. Their marriage is definitely not perfect but they´re growing together in their relationship and they couldn´t live without each other.
Lucky for us who are still young in marriage, many successful married couple have shared their secret. There are also several marriage and relationship experts who succeeded in helping couples stay married and enjoy a happy relationship.
Lee H. Baucom in his best-selling eBook, The Secret of Marriage, helped quite a number of couples who were struggling to stay married, facing the looming prospect of divorce, and resigning to the idea that marriage is hopeless. If you have serious troubles in your marriage or if you want to avoid separation and divorce, this material is a must-have.
Here´s a list of tips on how to be successful in Marriage.
1. Respect your personal differences, don´t try to change each other.
This marriage tip is shared by the couple who recently celebrated 50 years of marriage. They said that respecting and accepting each other´s personality is the main element of their marriage success. For many of us, especially those who are in intercultural marriage and interfaith marriage, dealing with a huge amount of differences is just too much, so we try to shape our partner into someone whom we want him/her to be in the hopes of a better marriage. But instead of making our marriage smoother like we wished to, urging our partner to change only results to clashes, arguments, disapproval, and misunderstandings.
2. Maintain your individuality and allow each other to grow.
A famous Filipina actress broke up with her equally famous boyfriend many years ago because of infidelity issues. She married a politician who has a very strong sense of family tie. They´ve been married for over fifteen years now. When asked what´s their secret, they shared that respecting your individuality while supporting each other is key in successful marriage. So while this actress took some years out of the spotlight and focussed on her young family as she learnt the essence of close family tie, given that she came from a broken home, her husband was full support when she decided it was time to go back to work. They support and complement each other.
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In cases when a husband demands that his career-oriented wife should stop to work and simply be a full-time wife (and the feelings toward this decision aren´t mutual), or in marriages when the husbands do not allow the wives to work, it´s a violation of the individuality principle because one partner is stripped of her chance to grow as an individual.
3. Keep the communication open
We know it and it´s been said how many times, a happy marriage keeps an open communication. Both husband and wife should feel free and comfortable in communicating with each other whether it´s about the children, challenges at work, household matters, sex, or feelings. The communication channel breaks down once a partner starts to feel that he/she is not being heard, is not taken care of, does not share an equal voice in the decision-making, or is simply not loved. Once the communication is spoiled, it´s the start of doom.
4. Stay committed and honest in your relationship
They said that no man or woman will look for a bitter lemon in the streets if he/she is well-fed at home. But in some cases, one partner can just have a wandering eye. No matter what issues you have in your marriage, always keep committed. A troubled marriage cannot be saved with infidelity. It´s only the short-cut to divorce. Take care of your spouse´s trust by staying honest to him/her. And whatever problems you have, resolve to tackle it as soon as possible. A little resentment, once kept, will grow like a small piece of fire.
Take advantage of your good communication to iron out whatever differences you have. Commitment is also about showing your love to your spouse both in action and words no matter is the situation.
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5. Prayer. Make God the center of your marriage
No matter how hard you try, marriage is a very difficult journey. Somewhere along the way you will be tried so heavily that succeeding would almost look impossible unless you receive help from God. So make it a habit to pray together for your marriage. As old as this passage go, a family that prays together stays together. But if you have an interfaith marriage, make it your goal to pray for your marriage each on your own way.
What are your thoughts? How can we be successful in marriage?