Let's be honest, it's easy to get married - but making a marriage work is a whole other story. Here are seven principles for making marriage work for the modern couple:
1. Communicate like there's no tomorrow. The happiest couples are the ones that are in-tune with each other and know how to express themselves. Healthy communication will resolve conflict, boost sexuality, and enhance emotional intimacy.
2. Nurture admiration and fondness. The devil's in the details! I once remember reading a study that said gracious couples were happier, more committed, and had better support in their marriages!
3. Learn how to resolve arguments respectfully. Arguing with your partner isn't about seeing who can shout the loudest, it's about coming together to solve a problem. Active listening, patience, and empathy will work wonders during a disagreement.
4. Be friends. It's great to have a lover and a partner in your spouse, but what about a friend? Laugh, share hobbies, and do fun things together to build a romantic friendship.
5. Create shared meaning between partners. Building traditions and routines together goes a long way in establishing a happy marriage.
6. Allow partner influence. Happy couples are the ones that work as a team and make decisions together.
7. Make time for each other. One of the biggest principles for making marriage work is to have a regular date night. This is an evening once a month (or once a week!) where you and your spouse can relax and make time for fun and romance. Statistics suggest this can actually help "divorce-proof" a marriage by bringing couples closer together!
In the end, many more principles can make your marriage successful, so explore them all! There's a great article (found here) about the principles that lead to a successful marriage that I think you might like.