Wedding Advice

What really makes a marriage work?

You are not alone if you fear for the long-term health of your relationship or significant other. It's undeniable that modern dating is more dangerous than ever before. It's estimated that 60% of second marriages also fail. The data is troubling enough, but the fact that nobody can explain why marriages are so weak today makes the situation considerably worse.

According to studies, your options for dealing with conflict range from "being upset as hell" to completely avoiding it. However, there should be five times as many positives as negatives.

Much of the popular knowledge, especially among marital therapists, is either misinformed or dead incorrect in my search of the truth as to what breaks a marriage apart or bonds it together. For instance, I've found that some patterns in marital behaviour that even experts may interpret as a sign of a problem, such as frequent and heated arguments or a complete avoidance of confrontation, can also be indicators of highly successful adaptations that will keep a couple together. One of the best things a couple can do for their relationship is to fight with each other and voice their concerns and complaints.

After interviewing and studying over 200 couples in marriage over the course of 20 years, I've realised that the key to a happy and healthy marriage is learning how to work through the inevitable disagreements that arise. Many married people mistakenly feel that saying they "never quarrel" is a sign of a healthy marriage. To the contrary, I think that by putting aside our differences and working to improve our relationships, we strengthen them. By doing so, we grow in our capacity for love and enjoy marriage to its fullest.

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Secret To A Good Marriage 

Marriage isn't just a random series of circumstances; there are universal truths that determine which couples are happy together and which aren't. So, what exactly are the tenets of a happy marriage? For me, a long-lasting relationship requires the following:

Friendship

Man was not meant to live in isolation. Still, I frequently hear accounts of people feeling isolated and alone in their interpersonal relationships. A couple with two successful occupations, two young children, a beautiful home with all the modern amenities, a close and loving extended family, generous friends and neighbours, and yet a deep and abiding sense of unhappiness served as an example.

What had gone wrong with the happily-ever-after they had both been striving for? There was little time for each other in their hectic schedules, and the little time that they did spend together was filled with conflict. Friends no longer did the things that friends usually did for one another.

Then, how do buddies spend their time together?

  • Ensure there is adequate communication between them.
  • Schedule in regular time for dates.
  • Be courteous to one another.
  • Appreciate the influence and advice of their companion or buddy.
  • Put money into each other's emotional savings accounts on a regular basis.
  • Join forces to pursue shared interests, whether they are objectives, activities, or morals.
  • Confide in one another (and for couples – romance)

Friendship's many positive qualities are what hold relationships together through thick and thin. It's not enough to simply love the person we share a home with; we also need to like that person, and the person we've become (most of the time).

Conflict

The second crucial component makes me think of the story of a couple who believed they had to end their relationship due to their regular arguments. I didn't find anything particularly unusual about the conflicts when I investigated, but the husband's remark made it clear what I should have expected. A huge, loving Christian family had raised him. He claimed he never witnessed a disagreement between his parents and that he believed healthy Christian marriages were conflict-free. He assumed something was terribly wrong with him and his wife, and that they were probably headed for the divorce courts due to their constant bickering. At least in his family, no one ever shown him how to handle a disagreement. Maybe his parents had their fights 'behind closed doors,' he thought, but that didn't teach him anything about resolving arguments with his wife.

Most couples who seek counselling are having trouble resolving conflict of some kind, and this is a major factor in why couples need to accept the reality that conflict is inherent in all relationships if they are to live and thrive. Conflict is unavoidable, and without it, our relationships would suffer from a lack of stimulation and become precarious and dull.

Knowing your own (i.e., your family's) conflict style and your partner's (and how they differ) early in your relationship can be quite significant because most of us lack effective conflict resolution abilities.

Making and receiving repair attempts once a problem is resolved is another crucial understanding. Successful marriages have both partners actively working to mend any rifts or hurt feelings, with the other partner accepting and acknowledging those efforts. In a good relationship, "making up" is an element of developing mutual understanding and connection.

Enhance your love maps

Attention to detail is a sign of love. Meaningful relationships thrive when both partners understand and appreciate their partner's unique perspective. "a fully developed love map — my name for that portion of your brain where you store all the important information about your partner's life," Gottman writes of such pairings. Your partner knows everything about you, from your favourite movies to what's bothering them right now to some of your hopes and goals for the future.

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Nurture your fondness and admiration 

Couples that are happy with one other treat each other with respect and think highly of one another. According to Gottman, love and admiration are the cornerstones of a healthy and long-lasting partnership. If either of these is lacking in its whole, the marriage is doomed.

The "I appreciate" exercise in Gottman is meant to assist partners remember the qualities in their spouse that initially drew them to them. He recommends that you and your spouse write down three or more qualities about each other, along with an example of how those traits have manifested in real life. Share your compiled lists with one another.

Let your partner influence you

Successful partnerships take into account each partner's needs and goals. They collaborate to create decisions and look for areas of agreement. Letting your partner have some say in your life isn't about letting them control you; rather, it's a sign of respect for both partners.

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Solve your solvable problems

There are two distinct categories of marital difficulties, according to Gottman: those that can be remedied and those that will persist indefinitely. It's up to the couples to figure out who's who.

However, distinguishing between the two isn't always easy. Gottman argues that "one way to recognize solvable difficulties is that they seem less unpleasant, gut-wrenching, or acute than perpetual, gridlocked ones." Problems that can be solved are temporary, and there is no fundamental tension.

Gottman devised a five-step model for resolving these conflicts:

First, you should soften your startup, which means to begin the dialogue without being critical or disrespectful.

Second involves sending and receiving "repair attempts." In Gottman's terms, a repair attempt is any speech or action taken with the intention of reducing tension.

Third, calm down both you and your companion. Feeling overwhelmed during a conversation? Take a 20-minute pause and let your partner know how you feel. (This is the time it takes for your body to relax.) Then, you might try envisioning a peaceful setting in your mind while closing your eyes and breathing deeply and slowly. Now that you're feeling more composed, perhaps you can help calm down your partner. Find out what each other finds most reassuring and do it.

The fourth phase is giving in. According to Gottman, couples are more likely to compromise after taking the aforementioned measures. When resolving a disagreement, it's crucial to understand your partner's perspective. In this section, Gottman provides a helpful exercise for partners to do in their search for common ground. He recommends that they create two circles, one inside the other, with the smaller circle inside the larger one. Write down your absolute deal breakers in the smaller circle. The larger one should be used to compile a list of concessions. Discuss them and see if you can find any common ground. Think about the things you share, the emotions and aspirations you share, and the shared ambitions you share.

Fifth is to have compassion for one another's flaws. According to Gottman, compromise is impossible unless one spouse learns to accept the other's shortcomings and moves past "if onlies." A common kind of wishful thinking is "If only he were this" or "If only she were that."

Overcome gridlock

According to Gottman, couples with ongoing issues should strive to "move from impasse to discussion." In many cases, unfulfilled aspirations are at the root of a stalemate. Gridlock indicates that partners "have ambitions for their lives that aren't being addressed or appreciated by one other," Gottman writes. Couples who are truly happy with one another know the value of working together to achieve their goals.

First, you need to figure out which dream (or dreams) are at odds with one another. The next stage is to have a heart-to-heart about your aspirations, take a break (since these conversations can get intense), and come to terms with the issue at hand.

"The idea is to 'declaw' the issue, to try to remove the hurt, so that the situation ceases to be a source of severe anguish," Gottman explains.

Create shared meaning

Marriage entails more than just having children, dividing up household duties, and getting intimate. It can also have a spiritual component, Gottman says, and that's the process of building a shared sense of identity as a family through shared rituals and a deeper understanding of the duties and purposes that bind each member of the unit.

Which is exactly what I mean when I say that we have developed shared meaning. Successful partnerships build a family culture that incorporates each partner's aspirations. Couples who are willing to listen to and learn from one another are more likely to find lasting happiness together.

Spirituality/Faith

You may not think of yourself as spiritual, but if you're interested in living for something beyond your own pleasure, you're acting spiritually. Many people express this yearning through a devoted practice of a particular faith. Gathering together at this place, people can worship God and serve their community.

Being religiously committed is not necessary for a successful marriage, but it certainly helps. Good people have always found ways to have happy marriages, and it's not like they all had to be religious to do it. Having a faith group and a set of guiding religious ideas can be helpful in this regard.

Growth

Finally, strong bonds dedicate themselves to and invest in their members' continued development and expansion of their horizons. Are we there yet? is a question we would have to respond with a resounding "No." None of our lives, nor the bonds between us, are ever-present. Because we are creative beings, healthy marriages evolve through time through mutually shared aspirations, responses to changing circumstances, insights gained from other connections, the pursuit of solutions to problems, and the cultivation of a deeper sense of intimacy. It's tempting to think of emotional, physical, and sexual closeness as the ultimate objective of development.

Instead of viewing marriage as the beginning of a fresh and exciting albeit uncertain relationship, we tend to view the wedding day as the end all, be all. We think everyone goes into marriage hoping for happiness and with high hopes, but marriage is no different than any other endeavour that demands time, energy, and resources to be successful. However, it is precisely this dedication and effort that leads to personal growth and happy partnerships.

The betrayal of trust via adultery is one of marriage's most difficult tests. But even an extramarital affair might spark development. I know a couple who, after the birth of their first child, found a way to get over the hurt and pain caused by the partner's extramarital affair. It wasn't simple, and it required some time apart, but in the end, they were able to recommit to their marriage vows and put new energy into their relationship because they'd been forced to examine their own core values and beliefs. After three years together, both individuals and the relationship have developed and matured to the point where they are better equipped to take on new difficulties.

Consider your own life; are there any places where you have been less dedicated or invested? Do you think it's necessary to take time to evaluate your marriage (and other significant relationships)? Relationships in any condition might gain from "getting back to fundamentals." So, what was it that made them effective to begin with?

Consistency and dedication are signs of character and are almost always rewarded.

If you feel compelled to take action or have concerns after reading this article, consulting a relationship counsellor or close friend may be beneficial.

So, don't ignore your inner voice and continue in a relationship that makes you feel lifeless because you think it's what society and other people demand of you. Your mental and physical health, as well as your level of happiness and contentment, are of paramount importance. Keep on smiling!

Conclusion

It's estimated that 60% of second marriages also fail. There are universal truths that determine which couples are happy together and which aren't. One of the best things a couple can do for their relationship is to fight with each other. By putting aside our differences and working to improve our relationships, we strengthen them. How do buddies spend their time together?

Ensure there is adequate communication between them. Appreciate the influence and advice of their companion or buddy. Put money into each other's emotional savings accounts on a regular basis. Join forces to pursue shared interests, whether they are objectives, activities, or morals. Confide in one another (and for couples – romance).

Knowing your own (i.e. your family's) conflict style and your partner's (and how they differ) early in your relationship can be quite significant because most of us lack effective conflict resolution abilities. Meaningful relationships thrive when both partners understand and appreciate their partner's unique perspective. Love and admiration are the cornerstones of a healthy and long-lasting partnership. Couples with ongoing conflicts should strive to "move from impasse to discussion" in order to overcome gridlock, according to psychologist Richard Gottman. According to Gottman, couples are more likely to compromise when they understand their partner's perspective and have compassion for one another's flaws.

Marriage is more than just having children and household duties; it can also have a spiritual component, Gottman says. Couples who are willing to listen to and learn from one another are more likely to find lasting happiness together. Good people have always found ways to have happy marriages, and it's not like they all had to be religious to do so. An affair is one of marriage's most difficult tests, but even an affair can spark development in a relationship. we know a couple who found a way to get over the hurt and pain caused by the partner's extramarital affair after the birth of their first child. After three years together, both individuals and the relationship have developed and matured to the point where they are better equipped to take on new difficulties.

Content Summary: 

  • You are not alone if you fear for the long-term health of your relationship or significant other.
  • Much of the popular knowledge, especially among marital therapists, is either misinformed or dead incorrect in my search of the truth as to what breaks a marriage apart or bonds it together.
  • One of the best things a couple can do for their relationship is to fight with each other and voice their concerns and complaints.
  • After interviewing and studying over 200 couples in marriage over the course of 20 years, we've realised that the key to a happy and healthy marriage is learning how to work through the inevitable disagreements that arise.
  • Many married people mistakenly feel that saying they "never quarrel" is a sign of a healthy marriage.
  • To the contrary, we think that by putting aside our differences and working to improve our relationships, we strengthen them.
  • By doing so, we grow in our capacity for love and enjoy marriage to its fullest.
  • Marriage isn't just a random series of circumstances; there are universal truths that determine which couples are happy together and which aren't.
  • So, what exactly are the tenets of a happy marriage?
  • There was little time for each other in their hectic schedules, and the little time that they did spend together was filled with conflict.
  • Friends no longer did the things that friends usually did for one another.
  • Then, how do buddies spend their time together?
  • Schedule in regular time for dates.
  • Be courteous to one another.
  • Confide in one another (and for couples – romance) Friendship's many positive qualities are what hold relationships together through thick and thin.
  • It's not enough to simply love the person we share a home with; we also need to like that person, and the person we've become (most of the time).
  • The second crucial component makes me think of the story of a couple who believed they had to end their relationship due to their regular arguments.
  • He claimed he never witnessed a disagreement between his parents and that he believed healthy Christian marriages were conflict-free.
  • Most couples who seek counselling are having trouble resolving conflict of some kind, and this is a major factor in why couples need to accept the reality that conflict is inherent in all relationships if they are to live and thrive.
  • Knowing your own conflict style and your partner's early in your relationship can be quite significant because most of us lack effective conflict resolution abilities.
  • In a good relationship, "making up" is an element of developing mutual understanding and connection.
  • Couples that are happy with one other treat each other with respect and think highly of one another.
  • According to Gottman, love and admiration are the cornerstones of a healthy and long-lasting partnership.
  • Share your compiled lists with one another.
  • Let your partner influence you. Successful partnerships take into account each partner's needs and goals.
  • Letting your partner have some say in your life isn't about letting them control you; rather, it's a sign of respect for both partners.
  • There are two distinct categories of marital difficulties, according to Gottman: those that can be remedied and those that will persist indefinitely.
  • Problems that can be solved are temporary, and there is no fundamental tension.
  • Gottman devised a five-step model for resolving these conflicts: First, you should soften your startup, which means to begin the dialogue without being critical or disrespectful.
  • Third, calm down both you and your companion.
  • Now that you're feeling more composed, perhaps you can help calm down your partner.
  • The fourth phase is giving in.
  • According to Gottman, couples are more likely to compromise after taking the aforementioned measures.
  • When resolving a disagreement, it's crucial to understand your partner's perspective.
  • In this section, Gottman provides a helpful exercise for partners to do in their search for common ground.
  • Discuss them and see if you can find any common ground.
  • Fifth is to have compassion for one another's flaws.
  • According to Gottman, compromise is impossible unless one spouse learns to accept the other's shortcomings and moves past "if onlies."
  • A common kind of wishful thinking is "If only he were this" or "If only she were that."
  • First, you need to figure out which dream (or dreams) are at odds with one another.
  • The next stage is to have a heart-to-heart about your aspirations, take a break (since these conversations can get intense), and come to terms with the issue at hand. "
  • Marriage entails more than just having children, dividing up household duties, and getting intimate.
  • It can also have a spiritual component, Gottman says, and that's the process of building a shared sense of identity as a family through shared rituals and a deeper understanding of the duties and purposes that bind each member of the unit.
  • Which is exactly what I mean when I say that we have developed shared meaning.
  • Successful partnerships build a family culture that incorporates each partner's aspirations.
  • Couples who are willing to listen to and learn from one another are more likely to find lasting happiness together.
  • Being religiously committed is not necessary for a successful marriage, but it certainly helps.
  • Having a faith group and a set of guiding religious ideas can be helpful in this regard.
  • None of our lives, nor the bonds between us, are ever-present.
  • Because we are creative beings, healthy marriages evolve through time through mutually shared aspirations, responses to changing circumstances, insights gained from other connections, the pursuit of solutions to problems, and the cultivation of a deeper sense of intimacy.
  • We think everyone goes into marriage hoping for happiness and with high hopes, but marriage is no different than any other endeavor that demands time, energy, and resources to be successful.
  • However, it is precisely this dedication and effort that leads to personal growth and happy partnerships.
  • The betrayal of trust via adultery is one of marriage's most difficult tests.
  • But even an extramarital affair might spark development.
  • It wasn't simple, and it required some time apart, but in the end, they were able to recommit to their marriage vows and put new energy into their relationship because they'd been forced to examine their own core values and beliefs.
  • After three years together, both individuals and the relationship have developed and matured to the point where they are better equipped to take on new difficulties.
  • Consider your own life; are there any places where you have been less dedicated or invested?
  • Do you think it's necessary to take time to evaluate your marriage ?
  • Relationships in any condition might gain from "getting back to fundamentals."
  • Consistency and dedication are signs of character and are almost always rewarded.
  • So, don't ignore your inner voice and continue in a relationship that makes you feel lifeless because you think it's what society and other people demand of you.
  • Your mental and physical health, as well as your level of happiness and contentment, are of paramount importance.
  • Keep on smiling!

Wedding Advice

FAQs About Marriage

Married people are both responsible for and responsible to another human being, and both halves of that dynamic lead the married to live more responsible, fruitful, and satisfying lives. Marriage is a transformative act, changing the way two people look at each other, at the future, and at their roles in society.

Trust. One of the most important parts of a relationship is to trust one another completely. You have to be able to trust that they won't stray and you trust them with your feelings. You have to trust each other enough to be vulnerable on an emotional and physical level, too.

Honesty and trust become the foundation for everything in a successful marriage. But unlike most of the other essentials on this list, trust takes time. You can become selfless, committed, or patient in a moment, but trust always takes time.

Marriages thrive on mutual trust, respect, and security, and if a partner doesn't feel as though his or her feelings are being treated with respect, then the relationship will eventually corrode.

And those who have not, there certainly is a little amount of peer pressure bothering them. However, what many fail to realise is that there is more to life than just changing your relationship status. It is possible to have it all without exchanging vows and there is a 'happily ever after' for unmarried people too.

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