Marriage can be considered the highlight or peak of a relationship as it is a testament to you and your partner’s lifelong commitment to one another. However, it can also mark the beginning of a new chapter in your life as a couple. Even if your relationship may be healthy and flourishing, new challenges and experiences come with the married life that may put you and your relationship to the test. How do you ensure that your marriage will endure? Here are five ways in which you can maintain a healthy marriage for a lifetime.
Express Your Love and Care
While there are many reasons people get into relationships, one of the main reasons is to satisfy their need for love and care. People are more likely to stay in relationships when they know they are cherished by their partner, they know they can trust them, or they feel happy whenever they are with them (Abreau-Alfonso et al., 2015). Remember to always express your love and care to your partner in your own way so they may feel satisfied with your relationship. These can be through simple acts like giving compliments or showing gratitude, doing nice things for them, or going on dates with them.
Practice Healthy Communication
It has often been said that communication is the key to a healthy relationship. It is through healthy communication that people can express themselves and understand each other which can then strengthen the relationship. Practice positive and constructive communication behaviors like active listening, openness and honesty, and validation (Abreau-Alfonso et al., 2022) and avoid negative behaviors like belittlement, disrespect, and disregard. Be willing to listen, understand, and respect one another even if you may differ at times, and be intimate and trusting with each other’s personal thoughts and feelings.
Resolve Conflicts Constructively
A happy, healthy relationship does not mean you are immune to conflicts. When dealing with problems or arguments, be willing to have a healthy conversation with your partner and to compromise with them. Have faith and trust that you can be open with one another, and support or cooperate with each other to resolve the problem (Karimi et al., 2019). Being able to resolve conflicts healthily can both help you persevere through adversity and strengthen your relationship.
Adapt and Find Balance Through Change
You and your partner will change with time both as individuals and as a couple. These changes can be in your careers, your families, or your life circumstances. As such, there may also be changes in how much you are together or apart, your roles in the relationships, your rules, your boundaries, and more (Abreau-Alfonso et al., 2022). Try to adapt to these changes and find a balance between your personal life and couple life so you may still satisfy each other’s needs and endure through these many changes.
Have Commitment Toward Your Partner
Even if your marriage may be happy and healthy at present, it still takes commitment and effort to continue it. Having a strong desire to stay with your partner makes it more likely for you to do positive things for your partner and to work through conflicts and difficulties. When both partners have a strong commitment towards one another, they also have a sense of togetherness in which they both believe their relationship will endure through change and adversity (Karimi et al., 2019). As such, no matter how good or bad circumstances are, maintain a strong commitment towards your partner and your relationship so you feel more motivated to make it work.
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Abreau-Alfonso, J., Leal, I., & Procença, V. (2015). Motivation for conjugality in couples life cycle and its relation to happiness and satisfaction. Psychology, 6(11), 1394-1412. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/psych.2015.611136
Abreu-Afonso, J., Ramos, M. M., Queiroz-Garcia, I., & Leal, I. (2022). How couple’s relationship lasts over time? A model for marital satisfaction. Psychological Reports, 125(3), 1601-1627. https://doi.org/10.1177/00332941211000651
Karimi, R., Bakhtiyari, M., & Masjedi Arani, A. (2019). Protective factors of marital stability in long-term marriage globally: A systematic review. Epidemiology and health, 41, e2019023. https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2019023