A successful marriage requires significantly more than simply love, physical attraction, and common hobbies. The perfect marriage or generally attaining perfection as many of us know is not realistic. Long lasting marriages require efforts that go much deeper than simply sharing common interests.
Marriage is gratifying, testing, challenging and enchanting; sometimes all at once. The answers to a long-lasting marriage aren’t always so direct, as the definition of a perfect marriage can be different for everyone. Yet when it comes to couples who have fulfilling and enduring marriages, there are traits that everyone can utilize in their own relationships.
Do you ever wonder how those who’ve been married for 20+ years remain happy, loved and content? What does this type of marriage look like? Here are 8 traits of a long-lasting marriage that you can put into practice today.
1. Understand compromise
Every couple in existence will have a conflict or some form of obstacle throughout their relationship. Some more severe than others. The number one thing to be resilient in the face of adversity is understanding how to compromise. Being able to solve problems together is crucial to a resilient marriage. This means knowing the needs and priorities of your partner and vice versa to clearly communicate and find common ground. Don’t throw in the towel to just “get it over.” True compromise is sitting and listening with an open mind to each other until each person feels heard and understood, and then making a mutual decision TOGETHER.
2. Show emotion and be vulnerable
Gone are the days when men used to hide their emotions. Understanding and being in tune with your feelings and emotions can help you show compassion towards your partner in times of conflict. By showing your partner compassion, you are showing that you care and respect your partner. The vulnerability is what connects people and helps form the foundational bond of a long-lasting relationship. If we aren’t vulnerable, we aren’t connected. And if we’re not connected, we’re not in a real relationship.
3. Trust fully in your spouse
Trust is a major indicator of a resilient marriage and one of the most important things to keep strong in a marriage. If trust is broken or taken away, long-term work will have to be put in to redeem the relationship, and the trust may never come back. Trust isn’t just about infidelity, it’s about knowing that you are secure, your deepest thoughts are protected, and that no matter what your spouse will be there to love and support you in the long run.
4. Show physical affection- be intimate!
The last thing you want to happen in your marriage is to feel like you are platonic roommates. Physical intimacy is a strong foundation for a happy marriage and is what keeps your bond evolving and growing as time goes on. Intimacy helps you feel truly loved and accepted by your spouse and improves loyalty, honesty, and appreciation towards one another. Physical intimacy helps connect you together and makes you feel wanted and loved by your partner.
5. Respect one another
If you feel respected by your spouse and vice versa, you will grow security and confidence in your marriage. Respecting your partner in difficult times and in difficult situations (both within and outside of your relationship) helps your spouse feel truly appreciated and loved. When we care about others, we show them respect. So if you aren’t respecting your partner you’re sending the message that you don’t care about them.
6. Appreciate each and every moment of your time spent together
This means practicing mindfulness and being present. This could be putting your phone away during meals, eating together without the TV on and talking about your day, giving your spouse your full attention when together and showing them that you are there for them instead of just physically being by their side. Try an experiment: take a minimum of 15 minutes each day of 1 week to truly be present with your partner – see what happens.
7. Be best friends
Having a solid friendship with your spouse is the foundation of a happy marriage. You know each other better than you may know your close friends, you can laugh with each other and enjoy spur of the moment adventures, and can share many exciting memories as best friends would. By being your spouse’s friend, you will strengthen your relationship long-term and will know that you will be by each other’s side no matter what. Share secrets, tell stories, laugh together, cry together and explore together.
8. Make your marriage a priority in life
If you want your marriage to be resilient, you need to put your marriage first. Your spouse is not only your lover but your life partner and will be by your side throughout your entire life. Someone who has dedicated their life to you should be your number one priority. By making each other a priority, you are practicing the art of mutual respect, being in the moment, and every other trait explained above. Even when kids and “life” come into the picture, continuing to make your marriage a priority is a crucial factor in a long-lasting marriage.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.