Divorce rates in the US are puzzling to say the least. For starters, January to March historically records the highest divorce filings. What’s even more puzzling is that most divorce filings emanate from couples aged 50+. Ideally, this age group ushers retirement, and a time to spend more time with grandkids. Welcome to America. Happy marriages take real work and commitment to function.
Here are some tips to help keep marriages strong:
1.Schedule regular date nights
It’s easy for marriages to get stale when work, bills, and kids monopolize most of your time. That’s why it’s important to schedule regular date nights. Whether you go out for dinner and a movie or just take a walk in the park, spending quality time together is crucial for keeping marriages happy.
2. Communicate openly and honestly
One of the biggest problems in marriages is communication, or rather the lack thereof. When something is bothering you, it’s important to talk about it with your spouse. bottling up your feelings will only lead to resentment. Likewise, be sure to listen to your spouse when they’re talking to you. Really listen, and try to see things from their perspective.
3. Make time for yourself
It’s important to remember that you’re an individual, not just half of a couple. Make sure to schedule some time for yourself, whether it’s going for a run or taking a yoga class. This will help you stay sane and happy, both of which are crucial for a strong and happy marriage.
4. Show your spouse love and appreciation
Everyone wants to feel loved and appreciated. In marriages, it’s easy to take your spouse for granted. Remember to tell them how much you love and appreciate them. A little bit of effort goes a long way in keeping marriages happy.
5. Forgive often
Marriages involve two imperfect people, which means there will be arguments and hurt feelings. What’s important is that you forgive each other and move on. Holding onto grudges will only make things worse.
6. Talk about your dreams and goals
It’s important to have common goals and dreams in marriages. This gives you something to work towards together. If you’re not sure what your dreams are, start by talking about them with your spouse. The act of talking about your dreams will help bring them into focus. Sure, it’s romantic to hear words such as “you complete me” but hanging all your dreams on one person is unhealthy and totally uncalled for. Take charge of your goals and aspirations and be mature enough to communicate the vision to your partner.
7. Laugh together
Laughter is crucial for happy marriages. It helps lighten the mood during tough times and brings couples closer together. So try to laugh together as often as you can, even if it’s just at silly jokes or funny memories. A common memory between my parents is how my father didn’t meet grandpa’s threshold. You should see them argue!
8. Offer unconditional love and support
Marriages are built on love and trust. If you truly love and respect your spouse, offer them your unconditional support, even when they screw up. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything they do, but it does mean that you’re there for them, no matter what.
9. Be honest with each other
Honesty is crucial for happy marriages. You need to be able to trust your spouse, and that starts with being honest with each other. Whether it’s something small, like where you really bought those shoes, or something bigger, like how you’re really feeling about something, honesty is the best policy in marriages.
10. Respect each other
Mutual respect is key in marriages. Remember that you’re equal partners in this relationship. That doesn’t mean you have to agree on everything, but it does mean that you should respect each other’s opinions and decisions.
11. Work as a team
Marriages are all about teamwork. You’re in this together, so it’s important to work as a team. This means supporting each other, listening to each other, and being there for each other. marriages are a partnership, so it’s important to act like one.
12. Make time for each other
In marriages, quality time is just as important as quantity time. Yes, it’s important to spend time together, but it’s also important to make sure that the time you do spend together is quality time. This means putting away your phones, turning off the TV, and really focusing on each other. It might not seem like a big deal, but making time for each other is crucial for happy marriages.
No Perfect Marriage
I remember with nostalgia how former US President Barack Obama adored his wife. Such a perfect couple, right? Appearances are deceiving. Despite having it all, no perfect marriage exists. People fight, argue, cry and face all the roller coasters of life. I’ve seen my parents go through days with palpable tension in the house. Yes, dad, I’m all grown up now. I acknowledge some marriages become too toxic to keep together but divorce shouldn’t be an option for a willing couple.
The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
By following these tips, marriages can stay strong despite the challenges that inevitably arise. After all, marriages are worth the effort when they result in lasting love and happiness.