We have all heard how it’s not easy to maintain a good marriage, how it takes a large level of effort and how both individuals have to work at it. It’s sad that what you most often hear about marriage are the difficulties that seem to plague many of these sacred bonds. Admittedly, there are some intricacies associated with maintaining a marriage, but it is really all about remembering the relationship qualities that lead us to marriage in the first place. It seems that we merely need to ask ourselves “why and how did we fall in love?”
It is certainly true that our relationships change as the years pass by, as we experience a variety career pressures, take-on a mortgage, raise children and cope with other life stressors. However, these things do not have to negatively affect the fundamental bases of our relationship; those characteristics that made our relationship strong in the first place. If we are not cognizant of these, we can become one of those couples working too hard to maintain a marriage because we forgot about its history. Among these married people, it seems that there are some simple principles that are commonly lost on couples who have been in a relationship for any extended period.
Most notably, married individuals seem to become more of individuals over time. We forget that marriage is about two people sharing a common bond. A marriage is about unity; about two becoming one. It is integral that we, as partners, eliminate selfishness from our existence and make every decision with the consideration of our partner. Here, we can recall those date nights that we compromised when choosing a restaurant or finding entertainment that we would both enjoy.
Similarly, there are too many couples whose selfishness and individuality have completely severed our communication. A number of us can reminisce about the days when we and our partner stayed up all night just talking; talking about nothing in particular. But, as the years pass on, it seems that we have forgotten not only the intimacy that such conversation can bring, but we also neglect the practicality of communication. As a couple, we must remember that we always have something to say.
Finally, we forget about those little nuances that we found so unique and attractive in our partner and start pointing-out every oddity and mistake. The tendency to “err is human”. We all know this. Yet, we start holding our partner to some unreachable standard and eliminate the opportunity to give and receive happiness. We take our partner’s mistakes personally, rather than recognizing that no human being is perfect. We need to love our partner for all of those little character flaws that attracted us to them in the first place and to forgive them when they make a mistake. Even if they make a thousand mistakes!
To maintain a positive and enjoyable marital relationship, we must not forget where the marriage originated. It came out of an atmosphere of love and acceptance and of a genuine interest in one another. Considering our partner distinctive and one-of-a-kind, rather than looking upon them as faulted, is of great importance to our relationship stability. Most importantly, we must not forget the vows we took on our wedding day, which are irrevocable and everlasting promises made before God.
You are sitting at a lovely Italian restaurant with your boyfriend, enjoying the most delectable lasagna you have ever tasted. Between bites and sips of red wine, your conversation flows smoothly as you share the details of your work day and the tasks you undertook. The bus boy clears your dinner plates, and as you wait for dessert to arrive, a twinkle appears in the eye of your beau. He places his hand inside his handsome suit jacket and positions himself on one knee alongside your seat. The words “Will you marry me?” pass between his rosy lips as he snaps open a velvet box with the ring of your dreams waiting inside.
This perfect moment, or some variation of it, has occurred in the lives of an immense number of women. And, more often than not, the answer is “yes”. But, how many of those women are prepared for the proposal and are truly committed to a lifelong journey with the man on bended knee? Statistics paint a grim answer: less than half. So, how do you know if you are ready to get married?
Obviously, there is no magical formula we can use to determine whether we should allow that ring to be placed on our finger, but there is a common sense approach to deciding whether we should take a relationship to the next level. It is certainly not a decision to be made at the moment a sparkling diamond is displayed in front of us. It is a process we should use to assess whether a relationship is worth staying in at all and it should be on-going. In doing this, we can say “Yes!” with our whole heart and fulfill our promise of an everlasting commitment.
Regardless of whether we have been in a relationship for one week or five years, if our goal is to eventually marry, it is important to really consider how satisfied we are regularly. Of course, every couple will have their arguments, disagreements and differences of opinion, which are often resolved quickly and easily. Yes, following the old adage “never go to bed angry” is a good bit of relationship advice! However, when relationship problems begin affecting other aspects of our lives and diminishing our overall happiness, then we should really consider whether this is a healthy relationship worth continuing.
In order to be prepared for that fantastic moment of the surprise marriage proposal, it is necessary to look at the “pros” and the “cons” of the relationship anytime we feel unsure of where we are going as a couple. A truly strong relationship is built upon an unconditional love for one another, along with a type of uncensored honesty that creates an atmosphere of complete trust. In keeping the lines of communication open with our partner, all of these keys to romantic and relationship utopia will be fostered. If we recognize that any of these important characteristics are missing in our relationship, it is certainly a good time to analyze the relationship and discuss the value of maintaining it with our partner. If we know that our relationship encompasses these important principles, as well as the many others that strengthen it, then we are probably prepared for that romantic and magical moment of the marriage proposal.
There is little more that can strike fear into the heart of someone getting married than having to deal with difficult in-laws. When it comes to the relationships surrounding our in-laws, jokes and eye rolls abound! However, it makes little sense to not only foster the stereotypical relationship difficulties but to also ignore the friction that the relationship difficulties can cause within a family. Friction within a family can rapidly turn into a rift; a rift is something that no one wants in their family.
It may seem clichéd, but try to think of your family as a garden that requires tending in order to be successful. Without weeding, feeding, watering, and other care your garden will be rapidly overrun with weeds, and harmful bugs. Your gardening efforts will ultimately fail without the correct care and concern.
The same holds true for your family and your extended family: without the correct levels of care, concern, and effort, your family will fall apart.
Find Common Ground
One of the key methods of building a solid relationship with your in-laws is to take the time to find that common ground between you before you walk down the aisle with their son or daughter. Talk to your partner to find out what things that you may have in common with his mother or his father. Find out from your partner if her mother or her father enjoys a hobby that you have always been interested in branching out into.
By seeking out common ground with your in-laws you are, in effect, building the foundation upon which your relationship with them will be built.
Make The Effort
While it does certainly happen to some, you simply cannot expect your relationship with your in-laws to be a complete love-at-first-sight love fest. Chances are that you are going to need to take the time and make the effort to build a solid relationship with them before you and your partner take the steps to tie the knot.
If you find that your in-laws seem particularly resistant to getting to know you and also seem resistant to making the effort to build a relationship with you, then it is very important that you take the time to find out why they have concern with you and your involvement with their family member. By addressing their concerns now, before you get married, you will be able to move forward with your wedding with the confidence and knowledge that both of your families are completely supportive.
Should you find that, despite your best efforts, conflicts still arise between you and your in-laws it is vital that you address the conflicts as soon as is possible and that you work towards finding a resolution for all involved parties.
If need be schedule a dinner with your in-laws, one that your partner will attend as a show of support for you, and work together in a respectful adult manner to find the best resolution for the conflicts that have arisen.
In order to ensure that your marriage starts out on the best possible footing, taking the time to cultivate a solid, loving, and respectful relationship with your in-laws is a key part of the process of ensuring a happy and successful marriage.
Most individuals imagine marriage as a blissful, sacred union, which is not to be taken lightly. Thus, the decision to get married is not, and should not, be an easy one. We can take many factors into consideration before deciding to get married, but some are more important than others. Of course, our love and the quality of relationship we have with our partner should be the most important considerations. However, studies have shown that other factors regularly determine whether a marriage will last the test of time.
It seems that age at the time of marriage is an important factor. Marriages that begin prior to the couple entering their twenties often end in divorce. This seems to be, in part, due to another important factor: length of the relationship prior to marriage. It is often important to establish a strong relationship foundation by dating our partner for a notable period prior to committing to marriage. Those individuals who enter marriage after only a short period and/or are at a young age, often end-up as divorcees.
Marriage is also more likely to endure if the partners are close in age, as they are in similar places in their lives and can understand each other’s behaviors more easily. It seems to be just as important for couples to share the same religious or spiritual beliefs. Religion and spirituality are controversial topics that have the potential to create unbearable turmoil within a relationship if the beliefs are not similar. Those who have a higher level of religious or spiritual devoutness are also more likely to have successful marriages.
A number of other commonalities are also important for a marriage. Individuals with comparable education and employment levels often share similar thoughts on the importance of learning, as well as work ethic. Also of note is a similar upbringing. Those couples who come from a stable, two-parent family have a greater chance of staying married themselves. It seems that couples from these homes share positive beliefs about the value of marriage and take the commitment seriously.
In order to have that everlasting marriage we all dream of, we must consider these and a multitude of other factors prior to making that commitment. We should take a look at these areas and discuss issues of concern with our partner. Certainly, there are some couples who make their marriages work even if none of the aforementioned are present. However, it is important to recognize and address them before saying “I do”.
You have decided to take the next step in your relationship: marriage. This is an exciting time in your life, but it can also be an extremely stressful period. There is an immense amount of effort that goes into wedding planning, making it more of a puzzle than a plan. As such, it is not a task to undertake by oneself. It is, then, a wonderful time to employ the assistance of those around you, thus making it an opportunity to strengthen relationships with your family, as well as your in-laws to be.
For most brides, the first wedding purchase they want to make is their dress. This is a great time to call together all of the women in both families for a day out together. Start the day by meeting for breakfast, where you can initiate conversation about the wedding dresses worn by others in the family. Effortlessly, this will lead into an intriguing discussion of the history of both families. In addition, this is a great place to talk about what you want in a dress and show everyone examples of the gowns you like. Then, when you move on to the dress shop, everyone is aware of your preferences and you of theirs. Together, you can make a decision about the perfect dress. The dress is then not only significant for the obvious reasons, but is also a memento of this time you spent bonding with your existing and new family members.
Selecting the menu and cake for the wedding is a wonderful opportunity to call all the available family members into action. In doing this, you will make a major task into a small chore. Again, you can discuss the preferences of all those present and make a decision that will satisfy all of the wedding attendees. Additionally, this is a time when seemingly menial conversation can lend itself to major relationship building.
As for the other, smaller wedding planning needs, you can discuss these at a family dinner. Through discussion of the tasks to be completed, from booking a venue to purchasing flowers, the knowledge and opinions of others can be invaluable. Also, many times, you will find that a member or members of your existing or new family have relationships with individuals that can provide your wedding goods and services at a discounted rate. As such, this dinner serves multiple purposes; it alleviates the stress of planning everything yourself, shows your passion for a family-oriented wedding, builds family relationships and saves you time and money.
In taking this approach to wedding planning, you can create a beautiful wedding that will be enjoyed by all. The time you spend with your old and new family members during this time will create memories that will last a lifetime. The benefits of planning a wedding as a family are innumerable. You should certainly consider these options for turning your wedding planning from puzzle to possible.
In our culture and modern society, we are permitted to choose our life partner. Gone are the times of marriages planned by parents and escalating our dowry. It is ironic, then, that individuals appear to find it so difficult to remain with the spouse they have chosen. Truly, in some countries a full half of marriages end in divorce. It seems that these people have forgotten that they vowed to love one another “’til death”. To avoid this fifty-percent pitfall, we need to make it our mission to avoid the marital misnomers, know how to maintain marital bliss and put those skills to use.
We must first recognize that, even though we may be very in love with one another, we will not always feel that way. It may take weeks, months or years for us to first experience this, but it occurs in every relationship. It is during these times that we must realize that the feeling is only temporary and is not a sign of marital damnation. We cannot be madly in love with our partner all day, every day, so we should not have that expectation. When we recognize this emotion, it is our job to reengage with our partner and explore those things that made us fall in love in the first place.
We must also be aware that we, as a couple, are not of one mind. We will have disagreements, sometimes even arguments. However, we must discuss these issues as a couple and create a resolution. It is our ability to remain rational and adult when we have a difference of opinion that keeps our relationship strong. We cannot expect to agree all the time and we must feel at peace with this fact.
We cannot get lazy in our marriage. A marriage is truly a partnership that takes the effort and passion of both individuals. If we allow ourselves to get into a rut, it is all the more difficult to get out of. However, if we put effort into our marriage, we will not have to face that obstacle. So, we should always be aware of our partner and their needs, staying committed to maintaining the happiness of the marriage.
Whether we have been married for ten months or ten years, we must not misconceive what a marriage is or what it means. We must remain cognizant that things will not always be perfect and respond by resolving these issues. We cannot try to hold onto fallacies about marriage. Marriage takes effort and we must remain willing to fulfill our duties as a spouse to maintain the bliss.