This is in honor of my parents’ upcoming 45th wedding anniversary. They have three married children and seven grandchildren. They were the first interfaith marriage in their small town in Bolivia. Their successful marriage is a wonderful example of how love can win even in difficult circumstances; my mother is Jewish and my father is Catholic which, in their city, was unheard of 45 years ago. In the face of resistance they married and raised their three children in the Jewish faith, with the understanding and celebration of Catholicism, as well. They faced many challenges, but through their love, respect and good communication, they raised three healthy children in an interfaith home.
Marriage is not easy. All marriages have ups and downs. There are always bumps in the road as you navigate through life together. Some strains will be bigger than others, and at times you may feel like you won’t get through it, but you can. There are many ways to make your marriage last a lifetime, as my parents have. Here are the three top ways to make a marriage last and flourish:
Communicate: It’s important to communicate your feelings and needs to your spouse often. Communication is the key to any relationship, and when you don’t communicate things can fall apart. Just talking about practical matters, or about how your day went, is not enough. You have wants and desires that need to be shared. By talking about these needs, you build trust and a safe haven so you can feel free to discuss things with your spouse. If you don’t, tension can build in your marriage.
Couple Time: Many families spend a lot of time together with kids and friends, leaving little left for couple time. It’s crucial to set aside separate time for just you and your spouse to have fun, enjoy each other and get some time to talk. The quality of your relationship is important, and it needs to be a priority. If it’s not, you risk drifting apart from each other and one day waking up realizing you don’t really know the person you married. So, this weekend, put your marriage at the top of your to-do list and have a date night.
Appreciate Each Other: I often hear husbands and wives complain they feel under-loved or unappreciated. They feel that they do a lot for their spouse and their family, yet never get any recognition. It’s not so much that they are looking for a thank you, which would be nice once in awhile, rather, they are looking for signs you love them. For example, being happy to see them when they come home, leaving love notes and texting to say you are thinking of them. It’s important for both of you to do this for each other.
I have been married for 16 years, and I know marriage isn’t easy. We have our ups and downs, but when my husband and I practice these three tips, our marriage improves. We feel happy and loved. It’s easy to forget to follow these tips because of life’s demands and stress. I often hear spouses say they feel like they are at the bottom of the totem pole. Their spouses’ jobs, kids, friends, or the gym, seem higher up on the list then they are.
Making your marriage your first priority is the key to making your marriage last. Before you know it, you will be celebrating your 45th anniversary, like my parents will be this December!
Do you have any other tips for making a marriage last? Please comment below and share with us.[xyz-ihs snippet=”Blog-Post-CTA”]