Secrets of a Lasting Marriage
As the National divorce rate continues to dangerously hover at 48%, it makes you wonder just how far the couples are willing to put their trust and risk their value-ridden lives for a long lasting relationship? . Most of the people today seem to believe that if marriage becomes too much work or is too difficult or if you don’t seem to find the happiness you were looking for, file for a divorce.
So let me ask you something at that point: Isn’t it taking the easy way out?
Marriage is a lifelong struggle, you say. Marriage is too much work. But then again, look around you! Any close relationship is. And for that matter, so is anything of value in life.
You have to invest in a relationship, a marriage, in knowing your partner inside out and putting an effort to not pre-judge them with what you come with as emotional, financial or physical baggage.
“What makes a marriage last?” – seems to be a popular question with many young couples.
“What’s the secret to a lasting marriage?” – Even those of greying sideburns and faint crow’s feet beneath their eyes don’t seem to find that entirely convincing argument to outline the secret. The truth is, there is no one-dimensional secret.
The answer is fairly simple, just not to be confused with easy. There are plenty of marriage myths to be busted and reasons to be found. So let’s tackle a few marriage myths.
Thanks to popular media, glamorous lifestyle magazines and rom-comes, the work involved in marriage is very poorly represented. Contrary to what your favorite screen actors may want you to believe, a lifelong romantic escapade it isn’t and you do NOT spend your entire life living out of a beach-house and downing beer while watching the sun set over the skyline. And you certainly don’t return home for the nightly passionate adventure complete with candles, exaggerated stylish satin sheets and a splendid physical specimen by your side. It is the sort of utopia conveniently sold to the general populace, not least because of their own unrealistic relationship expectations.
For a daily couple, right after the honeymoon you will find the morning breath has set in. Your partner sees you for who you are, and so do you. You start judging his habits, and then realize with horror that you are mirroring the same thoughts in him or her. You realize that marriage requires more of you.
That doesn’t mean the dream of marriage must be replaced with the reality of marriage. It is normal that you and your spouse don’t see eye to eye on everything, life a happy, arguments-free life happily ever after. In fact, you have certainly carried your pillows and comforter to sleep on the couch at least once in your married life. It is the roller coaster which defines the best of marriages and relationships. Love, lust, disappointment, passion, sadness, frustration, joy, surprise and perhaps ultimately settling in for a sort of comfortable warmth in a shared space which you covet.
Marriage isn’t merely about happiness. Marriage is about two people growing up in the same space, imbibing some common habits, enjoying and learning from the process and becoming better humans. And truth be told, nowhere else are we faced with the task of growth more than marriage.
“So what’s the secret to making marriage last?” You may be wondering by now. Well, two people who choose to stay married. That’s it. Simple and succinct
From choice of self to choice of your relationship status, to choice of an ideal partner, choice of what you seek and educate yourself with, choice of how and why you must grow, what adventures and passions must you explore – the entire gamut of marital expressions is often just choices we make.
It does appear a bit too simple to be true, but it just should be! Marriage isn’t about the complicacies of emotions or bringing up babies. They are merely actions, subsets of an experience, a format of life you chose for yourself and your partner. That isn’t to say these are to be taken lightly… far from it. It is merely the next step, a complement of an experience, a process for growth and experiencing more in life. It just makes it simple.
Most of the time, we tend to shift our focus, even the blame for a status-quo in a plateauing relationship on our partner. We burden them with our desire to be something different, do something different or their demands of changing us. But instead of focusing on factors beyond our control, if we are confident and agreeable that we can work on things which we can control – the entire process becomes one to cherish, one to constantly grow with.
There is much to admire in life and love, and your perception will determine the outcome. When you have times of disagreement, is it possible to use that as an impetus to know your partner better, grow closer? Is it the time to throw caution to wind, or become sensitive to things which you’d normally overlook? When you feel that the distance between your spouse and you is growing, maybe it’s an opportunity to woo them afresh, fall in love again, and remind yourself why you made this choice.