5 Principles for Building a Strong Marriage
Sadly,the institution of marriage in the United States is not what it once was. Divorce rates have skyrocketed when compared to previous generations, and many people feel lost. Many good-hearted Americans genuinely want their marriage to succeed, but good intentions alone aren't the recipe for a strong, lasting marriage.
Too many people fail to understand some of the principles that build a strong marriage. In addition, some people simply don't understand how much hard work it can take to build a loving and long term relationship with your spouse.
1. Focus on Your Needs as a Couple
Many newlyweds and young couples have difficulty retraining their thought patterns and thinking of themselves of a team. Instead of selfishly worrying about your own needs, you need to think about what's best overall for you and your spouse. You need to balance the satisfaction of your individual needs so that one spouse isn't always left feeling like they have been neglected.
2. Attitude is Everything
We have all heard the old adage that it's not always what you say, but how you say it. In a long term relationship, your attitude not only affects how well or poorly you communicate, but it also affects the moods and happiness levels of you and your spouse. More often than not, we can choose our attitudes. Choosing to stay in a depressing or angry frame of mind can really weigh down and overburden your spouse as well as place undue stress on your relationship. Remember to keep a positive frame of mind for long term success.
3. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!
Let's face it, our lives are pretty hectic and we always seem to have something important to do. Between our work life, familial obligations, and other challenges, it can be hard staying in touch with your spouse, even they're sleeping right next to you!
You can't let the stresses and challenges of daily life drive a wedge between you and your spouse. Instead, you need to constantly communicate with them. Whether it's talking about your day or your feelings over dinner at home, or through the myriad technologies now available if you're away, talk! Nothing can get resolved—and often, simple issues can get worse—if one party is in the dark on the issues!
4. Develop a Strong Foundation of Trust
Trust is the foundation that all relationships are built upon. If you and your spouse don't fully trust each other, the foundation of your marriage could start to crumble little by little, leading to big problems in the future. Trust is the centerpiece of every marriage, and if you feel that you could improve trust between you and your spouse, it's high time you took action. If you aren't sure how to go about improving trust, you should consider working with a counselor to improve your marriage.
5. Don't be too Proud to Ask for Advice
If you have friends that have a successful marriage, never be too proud to reach out them and ask them for help. They may be able to help you by providing advice that will point you in the right direction. Sometimes it can feel humbling to ask others for help or advice, but why wouldn't you do everything in your power to ensure the success of your marriage?
How long have you been married? Are there other pointers you'd pass along to younger couples, or lessons you'd give to a younger you, given the chance? Let us know in the comments!