People often ask us, how can I tell if my marriage will have staying power? In some cases, it may not be easy to know for sure. Fortunately, there are things we can do to make our marriage strong.
Here are 5 ways to know your marriage will last.
Always choose love, even when the warm fuzzy feeling isn’t there.
What is love? For many of us when we define the concept of love we refer to it mostly as a feeling. The problem with that, is feelings come and go, and can change rapidly. In our culture, love is something that comes and goes. In movies and songs we often hear “Oh, it just didn’t work out”, and “I fell out of love with so and so”. Love is actually a choice. It’s a decision you make to stay committed to one person, not because they’re perfect, but because you made a conscious decision to. I’m not saying it’s 100% mechanical- obviously we love our spouse, and we feel attached, and have a warm fuzzy feeling. For example, when my husband says something that pisses me off, that warm fuzzy feeling isn’t strong at enough at that moment to keep up us together. I need something more solid behind all of that. So when those things happen, and believe me, they will always happen – for everybody- I have to remind myself that I have a responsibility to keep the promise I made to stay with him, and plus it’s my obligation to continue providing a stable environment for our children. And you might say, well I thought love also means my spouse will take care of me when I’m sick, or tell me I’m pretty when I feel ugly. Yes, it can be all of those things too, but when your spouse doesn’t measure up and say or do the perfect things, you need a strong foundation to hold everything together.That foundation is knowing that regardless of how you feel, you’re there to stay. Love is the decision you make to keep a promise to one special person.
Deciding to stay. One of the biggest ways to know for sure that your marriage will last, is making the decision to stay. When you know that there’s no other option, it’s easier to stay committed to your spouse. But if something tells you there’s a back door if your spouse starts doing a bunch of stuff you don’t like, then just leave – your commitment isn’t 100% . Those annoying little things will always happen, and they would happen with anybody. When I had postpartum depression in 2014, all I could talk about was divorce. Understanding that ending one relationship and then going and starting a new one with someone else, is just trading one set of problems for another.
There was no perfect guy out there, the best match for me was the one I already had. My stubbornness and unwillingness to stop bringing up things from the past was enough to ruin it all, because I wanted things my way. That doesn’t mean that my husband didn’t have to make some changes, because he did. But my attitude was the biggest change that needed to take place.
So, until I finally made the decision to stay, that’s when I took my focus off of getting divorced, and put my attention back on my marriage.
We’ve all heard that prevention is the best medicine, and there are ways to prevent problems in your marriage? Being aware of how harmful certain outside influences can be. When you and your spouse are having trouble, do you tell friends and family?
As much as we feel the urge to share what’s going on, the answers and opinions we receive, mostly depend on what their philosophy is. Knowing what you stand for, is vital for keeping your marriage strong.
Who influences you?
Do they advocate staying together?
Are they married? Divorced? Where do you get your advice?
Have sex, and a lot of it.
The only thing you’ll ever hear me say about sex, is do it as often as possible. WITH YOUR SPOUSE. It shouldn’t be withheld as a punishment, and it shouldn’t be viewed as a dreaded chore when you’re tired. It’s something that the two of you can look forward to.
Making sure it’s at least once a week will help build a stronger bond between the two of you, and it could also relieve stress.
Stay emotionally close.
It’s just too easy for everyday life to come between a married couple. If we don’t do things intentionally to stay close, we will gradually drift apart. It’s the little things Which add up over time. Try doing some of those little things. For example, as you watch t.v. In the evening, make sure the two of you sit on the same couch. Even if you’re each looking at a different device, being physically next to one another helps maintain your bond.
Driving to and from work is something that each of you spend a significant amount of time doing – away from one another. Try to commute together in the same car. This may sound like more of an inconvenience for some, but if you can make this work, it’s worth it. Attend events together; games, seminars, workshops, conferences – even if only one of you is truly interested. Make it a Point to show up together. When you feel connected as a couple, it’s also easy for others to see clearly that it’s a strong, happy marriage – which is also a great way to safeguard. Staying emotionally close helps with affair prevention. Many people assume that divorces are caused by affairs. The affair may be one reason why the divorce occurred, but it’s only a symptom.
The marriage was already dying before that.
Dr Gottman has been able to predict divorce with more than 90 percent.