Marriage! It brings to mind a plethora of emotions. For some, it is seventh heaven. But for a few, it is not as great a feeling.
What marriage means to you depends on how yours is faring. Some marriages are successful while the rest fall in a wide range, anywhere between complete success and total failure.
Marriage is defined as “the legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship”. From the times of Adam and Eve, relationships have been around. But the legalization of the relationship came much later.
All these make you wonder whether marriage is a necessary institution. In the last few decades, the popularity of marriage has been waning with more and more divorces putting a damper on the show.
However, couples are still opting for married life. This means the institution of marriage is still cherished by some. Marriage offers companionship, acceptance, and stability for the married couple.
On the other hand, marriage can restrict your freedom, individuality, and may lead to infidelity and conflicts.
This article takes a look at marriage as an institution and offers marriage advice and tips for a successful marriage.
What makes a successful marriage?
To answer this question, it is best to look at marriage from two diametrically opposite angles. From the viewpoint of a happy marriage and the perspective of a failed one.
For a healthy marriage, the vital ingredients are romance, compatibility, friendship, and intimacy. Common agendas and goals are important as well. Agreement on expectations regarding each other’s roles and responsibilities and sexual experiences is also critical for success. There needs to be a match of temperament, personality, and background of the partners entering into a marriage.
When none of the above factors are favorable, it can lead to a breakdown in the relationship. Lack of trust, respect, loyalty and communication acts as spoilers in a marriage. Secrets in marriage, betrayal, and infidelity can drive nails into the coffin.
What makes a marriage successful depends on the partners and their traits. Healthy relationships lead to a healthy marriage.
Top 15 keys to a successful marriage
Would you like to know the secrets of successful marriage from happily married couples? Here are the best successful marriage tips for you to embrace. These can help save your marriage and prevent divorce.
Before we get started on this, let us share some universal truths about success in marriage.
- Marriage takes work.
- As long as you consider the work fun and therapeutic, marriage will be successful.
- All marriages have their share of ups and downs.
- Dull and boring days and periods of stress are all part of marriages.
- Communication holds the main key to a successful marriage.
1. Freedom and individuality
For a successful marriage, the happiness of the partners is important. And, a partner is an individual first. This means they can be happy when they enjoy the freedom to do what they desire and what they want.
In a happy marriage, the couples should be able to take time out for themselves to pursue their interests and hobbies. Spending time apart can only make the heart grow fonder. Often, this is considered selfish and self-indulgent and hence looked down upon.
When a spouse is not allowed this freedom, they feel trapped and unhappy about giving up their desires and goals.
2. Listening skill is important
Communication and conversations are important for the success of a marriage. However, for them to work well for you, you need to be good at the art of listening.
Most often, during our casual conversations, we hear each other but rarely listen. There is a world of difference between hearing and listening. Listening involves turning off all other distractions, giving your full attention, and absorbing the meaning of the words completely.
Facing your spouse and looking at them is helpful. You can pitch in with paraphrasing and reassurance.
3. Agree to disagree
Even perfect couples can’t agree on every single topic under the sun. After all, they were raised in different families and different backgrounds. Their attitudes, beliefs, values, and opinions vary naturally.
All they need to do to make their marriage successful is to agree on one point – to agree to disagree. Just because their viewpoints differ doesn’t mean they need to argue and fight. It also need not imply that when one person’s opinion is right, the other’s has to be wrong. Both can co-exist without clashing with each other.
Having a big heart and some sense of humor can help in managing the situation.
4. Learn the language of love
Each couple can develop their own language of love. Through seen and unseen gestures, they can communicate more without a word being said. In fact, this kind of communication is what cements a relationship.
When two individuals come together to form a relationship, they bring with them their own languages. Partners need to invest time and effort in understanding this love language and create one for themselves by combining both.
Having your own love language can help couples read each other’s minds and get along without skirmishes.
5. Accept each other for who they are
Marriages often fail when partners try to change each other to suit their preconceived notions of their partners. This will lead to fighting in a relationship.
When you try to effect changes in your partner, you are focussing on the negative aspects and weaknesses of your partner. This can never lead to anything good.
Instead, turn your focus to the positive attributes of your partner. Not only will you stop in your endeavor to change your partner and prevent a fight, but you will also have a happy time together.
6. Don’t shirk responsibility
When two individuals come together to form a relationship, both need to contribute towards its success. Duties and responsibilities need to be shared equitably.
And, it is human to make mistakes and take missteps. Own up. Taking responsibility for your actions and saying sorry is not going to bring you down in the eyes of your partner. In fact, it works the other way round.
This simple gesture can prevent misunderstandings and arguing in a relationship.
7. Never take each other for granted
At the beginning of the marriage, you are so attentive and focused on each other. As time goes by and you settle down into the humdrum existence, you may take each other for granted without being aware of it.
This is the death-knell for a relationship. Relaxing too much can allow complacency to set in a marriage. If you want your marriage to be successful, you should stay alert to this and avert the disaster.
8. Recreate date nights
Date nights are not just when you were dating. You can continue with them even after marriage. Visiting the same old places, doing the same old things, and eating the same old food can bring back love and romance into the marriage.
Or else, you can do something new that is agreeable to both partners. You need not even step out for a date night. You can stay at home and binge-watch a show with homemade popcorn and food ordered from outside.
Or else you can go trekking or plan fun activities together.
9. Don’t forget to be romantic
Some may think that romance is an old concept. Old maybe but works every time to make a marriage successful. Bringing flowers, leaving notes, greeting each other with a romantic kiss, or spending quality time with each other – the idea of romance is individualistic and personal.
As long as your partner is enjoying and relishing your romantic gestures, that is all that matters. Going for a stroll holding hands, watching the sun go down sitting side by side, or cooking a special meal for your spouse – you can express romance in myriad ways.
10. Don’t lose intimacy
Intimacy and sex are vital components of a healthy relationship. Keeping it alive and well is the secret to a successful marriage. As long as both partners are agreeable you can try numerous choices available to spice up your sex life. Such as varying positions, fantasy role-playing, and props to add fun and make it exciting.
The marriage will be worthless if one or both the partners are unable to fulfill their dreams and desires.
11. Give each other compliments
When you see something positive in your partner, don’t let it slide. Use the opportunity to offer compliments. As far as your partner is concerned your compliments are proof that you are aware of what is happening in their life. This simple gesture can reap rich dividends for you.
Make it a part of your habit. Paying compliments multiple times a day can help maintain the marriage in excellent shape.
12. Learn to read the hidden emotions
We, humans, are strange creatures. Even when we want our partners to understand us, we hide our feelings and thoughts from them. Your partner should develop a sixth sense to detect them.
Often, we mask our vulnerable feelings under anger. The hidden emotions underneath may be depression, jealousy, or disappointment.
It is not hard to detect them if you know how to look for them and where to look. This skill can help you stay happy as well as make your partner happy.
13. Let go of false images
Before you met your partner and married them, you may have had a preconceived notion of how your partner should be. You need to wake up to the fact that marriages rarely end on a “happily ever after” note.
It is just the beginning of a long and beautiful journey together. You can kill the marriage instantly by holding on to your old images. You may have gotten this image from some fairy tale you read or a movie you saw. This has got nothing to do with reality.
It is in your best interests that you let go of those false pretenses.
14. Resist controlling your partner
Until you got married, you were free and independent. You could control every aspect of your life. After you get married, you need to be aware that you cannot control some aspects of your life. And, trying to control your partner can annihilate your relationship instantly.
Often this controlling behavior is not done consciously. This means you have to put in extra effort to be aware of what you are doing and resist the temptation. Only through freedom and free will you can maintain a successful marriage.
15. Desist from referring to “divorce”
At times, you may get upset and you feel like lashing out at your partner. At this juncture, you may find it convenient to use “divorce” as a means to scare your partner. Your intentions may be good but it is better to avoid such references.
When you use “divorce” as a weapon to threaten your spouse, it reminds us of the story of the boy who cried “Wolf! Wolf!”. Ultimately, your threat may come true. And, you would be the first one to regret saying it.
Making threats doesn’t solve any problems.
Marriages, they say, are made in heaven. Once you come down to earth, troubles may crop up in your marriage. When trying to solve it, what worked for some may not work for others. You may also want to take a look at some questions to ask your spouse to improve your marriage.
Each individual is unique and this makes each marriage unique. You learn how to make it successful on the way. Nothing can prepare you completely to deal with the ups and downs of a marriage. All you need is a positive attitude, a kind and compassionate mindset, and a willingness to work hard.
Equipped with these, you are destined to succeed in your marriage.