History has shaped cultural attitudes towards marriage over time, resulting in very different priorities in contemporary times, than in the recent past. While most of these changes are clearly positive, the advent of divorce as an option can seem like a double-edged sword in the face of adversity. Those seeking marriage advice are bound to be bombarded with a variable multitude of cross-generational opinions, which can only serve to further complicate matters.
Either way, no one getting married, now, or in the past, ever anticipates divorce. That said, preventing marital catastrophe is possible with some dedication to the 6 following wise marriage tips:
1. Learn his love language
A theory popularized by best-selling author Gary Chapman, shows us that not every person expresses love in the same way. Start by identifying the way(s) through which your partner shows love. The five types are, receiving gifts, acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time, and physical touch. Next, appeal to the way(s) in which your partner give and receives love. By understanding the way in which your partner gives and receives love, you’re positioned at an advantage. As you go, pay attention and respect some of the other ways in which you and your partner may communicate differently. This will be a lifelong process, but bearing in mind your communication differences, you’ll automatically reduce the dissidence small misunderstandings can cause and your resolution will come easier, too.
2. Sweat the small stuff
When small problems have grown and multiplied, they can become too convoluted to resolve easily or peacefully. Many divorces, when asked to reflect on the problems they encountered in their marriages, will express regret on how they viewed or dealt with the small issues, as these small issues grew into complex ones. There are thousands of specific scenarios that would demonstrate how this plays out over time, but the main features generally include minor disagreements, lack of action, poor behavior, and eventually transforms into a significant, convoluted mess. Communicating about issues when they first arise, in a mature and respectful way, nips them in the bud before they can come back to haunt you. It stands to reason, too – it is much easier to resolve one conflict than multiple conflicts occurring simultaneously.
3. Rock your identity
Lots of couples quoted on this topic, state that maintaining their individual identities is a key factor in the success of their marriage. Individuals that maintained their own sense of self, kept up on their hobbies, aptitudes, motivations, and pursued their own goals- were healthier and happier on the whole, than those that lived vicariously through one another. Though this may seem self-evident, codependency is actually much more common than most think, and it is an easy trap to fall into. Too much leaning on another person is not only draining on both parties, but it tends to encumber intimacy if one spouse is turned off by his wife’s codependent tendencies.
4. Show romantic acts of intimacy
Romance and intimacy are related, but they are more like two sides of a coin. Romance is characterized by those small meaningful activities that keep things exciting. Surprising her with a flower on her pillow, sneaking love notes into his briefcase, and drying her off with a heated towel after a bath, are all very romantic ways of saying “I love you”.
Intimacy, on the other hand, can be emotional, which is about sharing a spiritual experience, exposing vulnerability, and featuring feelings of trust and safety. Physical intimacy is all about affection and sex. Both are necessary to a happy marriage.
Euphoric feelings of love and closeness are created by the fueling of endorphins and hormones released during intimate activities – and the butterflies brought about by romantic surprises are no exception. These chemicals may be slightly different and work in different ways, which is why all of these elements are important. Studies show that the chemicals brought about by intimacy invariably relieves stress, among other rewards, they also fuel reward pathways in the brain, yielding those feelings of love, arousal, satisfaction and joy.
5. Over-communicate with your spouse
The value of positive communication cannot be overstated. By over-communicating, couples make sure they are always on the same page and nothing is left out. On the contrary, couples that lack communication are not nourishing their relationship. As a result, arguments ensue and the spouses’ connection can quickly deteriorate.
6. Spice it up with therapy
CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is a popular type of psychotherapy which usually aims to change one’s behavior through forms of meditation and talk therapy. CBT has been helpful for those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anger issues, high anxiety, irrational fears and a number of other traits. No matter where you are along the timeline of your marriage, it’s the right time. For those newlyweds, premarital counseling comes highly recommended, as it prepares engaged couples for their futures together. This type of counseling does not usually use CBT – but a referral for CBT could be given if needed in individual therapy sessions. Regardless of what your specific goals may be, your job is to take the process seriously. The level of dedication applied by both parties will directly influence the level of its success.
Employ these tips to avoid a separation or divorce and save your 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.
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