8 Tips For a Happier, Healthier and Long Lasting Marriage

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Are you happily married or is your marriage on the rocks?
Has your marriage lost the spark and passion it once had when you first met?

A good, solid marriage doesn't happen overnight. It is the  combination of thousands of little acts of random kindness and love carried out on a regular basis throughout a lifetime. Over the years, I have had the privilege of knowing many loving couples who believe marriage is all about caring, completely accepting and loving each other unconditionally.

Many have a tendency to think that marriage is all fun and rosy. Yes! It can be fun. But to do so requires lots of effort both individually and as a couple.

Surely, you must have met couples who are still very much in love after years of being married. Wondering, what's their secret? There's no secret! They simply have a strong will to make their marriage work no matter what! You can do that too if you want your marriage to last a lifetime.

1. Divorce is not an option!
When we get married, we make a promise... "Till death do us apart".
It fascinates me how we still manage to think about getting a divorce unless we weren't true to ourselves nor our partner when we made that promise? Marriage is not a commodity. It's sacred and requires lifelong commitment.

If divorce is an option from the get go, please do not get married!
Nowadays, younger generations seem to be getting married on the spur of the moment thinking marriage is all play and laughter. Unaware that marriage requires ample amounts of hard work on various levels if we want it to last a lifetime.

Rushing into wedlock without getting to know the person will obviously put you in a difficult position, probably giving lots of heartaches down the track. Cause for wise and careful selection. Avoid being picky though! You'll never find the perfect partner. Look for someone whose imperfections are compatible with yours. Once you know the person you want to marry is right for you, never ever contemplate divorce as an option. 

2. Sort it out together
My husband and I have been married for 6 years now. We've known each other longer than that. We've had our fair share of tough times in our marriage. No marriage is exempt of problems. But, things seem to smooth out when we sit down and sort it out together.

Many couples complain they need 'time out alone', 'some space' to figure out solutions to their problems. Although being on your own can be good at times. In a marriage it's often one of the worst mistakes.  It instantly creates distance and aggravates the existing problem. Everything could go downhill from there.

Hence, avoid escaping responsibility. You'll have more understanding of each other if you resolved your conflicts as a couple instead of going separate ways.

3. Don't take your spouse for granted
 'You take me for granted'. Ever heard this from your spouse?
If  you haven't well and good, but if you have chances are you must have done or said something that made your spouse feel so. Just because you're married to someone doesn't mean you stop appreciating what they do for you. Marrying someone means valuing, caring, appreciating, showing respect for everything your spouse does for you.
Appreciating each other for their contribution is the key to a happy marriage. Make it a must to validate what your spouse does for you on a regular basis. That could go a long way towards creating a strong bond. 

4. Maintain a positive attitude
Being positive in your relationship can be challenging. Many would say easier said than done. Imagine your spouse comes back home late from work and tells you he/she has had a tough day.
What should your reaction be at this moment?
Do you get upset over the fact that he/she is late or do you offer support that he/she is tired and needs your understanding?

Your reaction could make or break. If your spouse is back home looking tired and withdrawn, avoid overreacting negatively thinking he/she doesn't care about you or is not interested in you anymore. Be optimistic and considerate that your spouse has had a tough day and probably needs some rest. There are many similar situations in marriages. The best way to go around it is to be positive.

5.Your spouse is your best friend 
Friendship is an essential ingredient for any marriage to be successful.
Your spouse is the person you will be spending most time with. Unfortunately though, this friendship is often disregarded. Added reason why relationships become boring.

If you can act funny, stupid, weird with your spouse, you know you both share a great friendship. But if your relationship is conservative and a lot of hiding from each other your marriage could be in for some trouble.

I've had wonderful friends over the years, but my husband happens to be the BEST friend who was there all along and I only realized it after we got married. Better late than never. As best friends we have tons of secret little things we do together.

We have our very own secret 'sad dance' and a 'happy dance'.:D/ We laugh at ourselves. Our date nights involves casual clothing, thongs and eating by the side of the road. In short, we do it all like we would with a BEST friend. 
"Marriage does not guarantee you will be together forever, it's only paper. It takes love, respect, trust, understanding, friendship and faith in your relationship to make it last"
6. Share common dreams
Do you have common dreams? Many couples lose interest in each other when they realize they share nothing in common. As a married couple, I truly believe sharing common dreams can help strengthen your marriage.

You have more to talk about. You spend time together and grow closer. You are more likely to enjoy being married. It's an opportunity to take interest in each other's personal dreams as much as you do in your common dreams. If you would love to have a happy relationship create common dreams together. These dreams will provide the glue to keep you working together. Dreaming is the starting point and living your dreams together will enhance your relationship.

7. Take care of your appearance
"I'm  married now! Why should I bother taking care of myself? I don't have time for this anymore!"

Is this how you end up neglecting yourself? Marriages seem to lose a bit of spice as the years goes by. One way to put the spice back in is to take care of your health inside and out. Couples end up looking unhealthy, worn out and sometimes even untidy after getting married.

I get it...We have many more responsibilites and with kids around it can be tough to take care of yourseld. But it requires just a little bit of effort to make yourself look neat and attractive.

Wear clothes that fit you nicely and comfortably. Avoid staying in your pyjamas/night dress the whole day. Your physical appearance counts too. Find time to do some light exercise or work that helps you remain fairly fit. Give yourself a new look from time to time. If you want to retain your spouse's attention you have to find time to pamper yourself.



8. Let go of past baggage
Marriages are often crippled as couples hold on to their past for far too long. It's good to share everything about your past with your spouse. But holding on to those unpleasant moments can potentially sabotage your relationship.

Trust me. I've been there.

No relationship can move on happily, if either one of you is holding on to past negativities. Holding on to your past means avoiding present responsibilities. It's an invalid excuse for all the things that goes wrong in your marriage. It's cowardly and significant of lack of maturity.

Learn to deal with your past. Talk about it to your spouse but don't let it hurt your relationship. Get closure over it so it doesn't affect the future of your marriage. 

In the end, it all comes down to the importance you give to your marriage. If your spouse means the world to you, you will leave no stone unturned to make your marriage work.

When things get difficult vow to support, love and understand  each other. Be positive. Be exemplary and let your marriage be the source of your good health and happiness.
"No relationship is all sunshine, but two people can share one umbrella and survive the storm together"
How long have you been married for? What's your tip to a happy, healthy and long lasting marriage? 
I would love to hear from you. :) 

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