Express your love every day
To build a strong, love-charged marriage, you have to make it a priority to show and express that love every single day. This is a lot easier for some people (and some couples) who find saying “I love you” or showing physical affection to be very natural. But this is not all couples, and it is certainly not all individuals. In fact, we each have our own love language
Love languages refer to the method by which you best experience feeling loved. Learning your partner’s love language as well as your own can be instrumental in helping you learn how to express love each day.
Expressing your love, in whatever form, sometimes can be an act of will. Sometimes, being loving takes effort. It’s healthy to admit that, and know that our emotions go through ebbs and flows. We might not always be feeling loving to our spouse. We might not be into it today.
That’s ok. Making the effort despite your own feelings is the key. Sometimes, that’s what marriage is.
Be in charge of your own emotions
Having a partner around to support you and help you with your problems is wonderful (especially when getting through hard times together), but it can be easy to fall into a trap of wanting them to fix things for you. I know I fell into this trap when I was first with my husband and experiencing a lot of reassurance-seeking issues. I thought “if only he would say or do such-and-such, I’d feel better.”
The truth is, we’re all responsible for our selves: our actions, our self-worth, our emotions.
One rule for a happy marriage is to remember this and practice it. It’s the mature, adult thing to do to recognize that we’re in charge of our own emotions. This helps us avoid looking to our partner to “fix” us, and it helps us avoid playing the blame game; thinking our partner is at fault for the way we may be feeling.
In a marriage, being responsible for your own emotions shows up in several different ways.
It’s about taking ownership of your emotions in a conflict situation.
It’s about controlling negative emotions and not taking them out on your partner in an unhealthy or unking way.
And it’s about realizing that we all come with emotional baggage and we’re the ones in charge of figuring that shiz out.
Marriage is a breeding ground for these issues to come to light.
Keep divorce off the table
In marriage, the “D” word can be a scary threat. It could be worth setting a rule together that you’ll keep that word off the table.
For most couples, there is an awareness that divorce is an option. This knowledge might not be at the forefront of our minds, but we are aware of its existence in the background. Keeping far in the background, in my opinion, is an important rule for a good marriage!
When divorce becomes something that we threaten (whether directly or indirectly) this weakens the foundation of our marriage. It says, “I have a way out.”
Instead of allowing this to become the mindset, we should think of divorce as an absolute last resort. It should not be “on the table” except in the most extreme of cases. Otherwise, what are we fighting for?
Putting the possibility of divorce on the way back burner helps us to recognize the sacredness of marriage and the depth of the commitment we made. It forces us to focus all our efforts towards saving and building that which we promised to protect.
Always maintain a team mindset
Many relationship experts would argue that a team mindset is absolutely one of the keys to a successful marriage. This one makes plenty of obvious sense. When you know you are a team, it makes it easier to remember that you’re not working against each other, even when you’re in conflict. If you’re thinking and working like a team, you’ll stay a team—and a winning team at that.
So, in a marriage, what does it mean to be a team?
This might vary among couples, just as your priorities and your preferences vary, so it’s wise to sit down and actually talk about it together. Ask your wife what would make her feel like the two of you are a team. Ask your husband how you can be a better teammate. And so on. Together, you will likely discover some clear ways to improve.
Forgiveness is one of the main ingredients of a successful marriage.
Everyone makes mistakes. Your partner is bound to do things that upset you from time to time, but if you can forgive them, it will strengthen the bond between you.
One of the most important rules for a happy marriage is to apologize to each other. That sometimes means apologizing, even if you don’t feel like you have anything to be sorry for.
Often, apologizing is more about the happiness of your relationship than your ego.
Don’t be afraid to argue
One of the many myths of Healthy relationship is that you don’t argue.
That’s just not true.
All couples have arguments from time to time, and it’s expected that tensions will run high every now and then.
Arguments are part of a relationship. In fact, they can make them much stronger, as long as you deal with them the right way.
If you can deal with arguments correctly and come out of them better off, your partner will be much more open to you and will feel more comfortable to let you know when they’re unhappy. Then, you can avoid having more of them in the future.