Getting married is a wonderful experience for couples. It’s a time of joy and happiness. I still remember the winter of 2008. That’s when my lovely wife and I said our wedding vows in front of 900 people!
Yes, 900 wedding guests!
Our guest list was really big because our families wanted to invite all our cousins, aunts, uncles and even their friends.
It was a wonderful South Asian wedding in every way. But the music, dance and great food don’t last forever.
Our wedding triggered beautiful emotions that we wanted to cherish for the rest of your lives. We knew it was up to us to do the right things to make our marriage last forever.
Today I want to share with you 5 tips that have helped us make our marriage long-lasting.
Break Bread Together Everyday
It’s not uncommon for both partners to have busy professional lives. This means skipping or eating breakfast in the car, eating lunch at the office and getting home close to dinner time.
If a day full of work wasn’t enough, we return home to be distracted by TV, our smartphones or work emails.
With such a busy lifestyle, couples rarely get time to talk to each unless they are sitting together on the dinner table with zero distractions.
Spend 30-60 minutes every day together on the dinner table and talk to each other about your day. Dinner time can be an excellent stress-free zone to discuss your thoughts, ideas, and challenges with your partner.
Show Respect For Each Other’s Opinions
Till this date, my mother tells me that all five fingers are not equal. Meaning, each finger has a different length and isn’t identical to others.
The same analogy applies to you and your partner. The two of you are different individuals with distinct personalities and unique worldviews. It’s important to recognize these differences and respect them.
Your opinion on an issue, topic or even food can be very different than your spouse. Being aware that it’s normal to encounter such differences is an important step towards a long-lasting relationship.
Do Something Regularly Together That You Both Enjoy
A great way to build trust and spend quality time with your significant other is doing something that you both enjoy.
For example, my wife and I workout at the gym together at least three times a week. Working out is an excellent stress reliever in and by itself. But when you experience the positive emotions of a great workout together, those emotions stick with you long after the workout is over.
Doing something regularly together creates one more opportunity for you and your partner to spend more time with each other on a regular basis.
If working out together isn’t your thing, you can consider other activities. You can volunteer at your local nonprofit, go for a hike in the woods or even read a book together. The choices are endless, so be creative.
Communicate Without Hesitation
Upset about something your partner did but didn’t feel the need or have the courage to talk about it openly?
This is a fairly common problem faced by many couples.
We’re worried about hurting each other’s feelings by saying something that we know the other person will not like to hear.
However, the problem with not communicating with an open heart leaves some pain in your own heart. Over time, your pain can start to build up if the thing that’s bothering you is recurring.
This is not only unhealthy for you but also bad for your relationship with your partner. In some unfortunate situations, the negative build up can be so extreme that couples are filled with anger and frustration, forcing them to file for a divorce.
Communication without hesitation doesn’t mean you immediately pounce on your partner when they say or do something you don’t like. Instead, you should take the time to reflect on what happened. When the time is right, bring up the issue with your partner so the two of you can talk openly and reach a resolution.
Never Forget Why You Are Together In The First Place
When you hit a rough patch with your marriage, think about why you got married in the first place.
My favorite section of the wedding vow is, “Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy, and will you live for him, before all others as long as you both shall live?”
As a married couple, you will experience joy and sorrow. You cannot just “skip” sorrow. Knowing that sorrow is part of the journey and accepting it, will make your marriage much stronger and long-lasting.
Today we hear about couples separating within a few years of their wedding as if this is the new norm. There are valid reasons to get a divorce. But it certainly doesn’t have to be the case for you.
Being married for a long time is a magical experience and journey for both partners. Knowing that you have someone to talk to or care for you when you get older is truly a blessing.