Building A Good Marriage With Your Spouse
Updated June 05, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Traci Ball, LLC
The media often portrays a good marriage as an effortless daydream. They say that when true love is present, hardships and trying times cease to exist. Pop culture suggests that there is little to be done for weatherproofing the relationship to make it through difficult times. Of course, all of this is false.
A relationship takes serious time, commitment, and effort to work. It isn't just a natural byproduct of love. The good news is that everyone has the skills to build a marriage into something genuinely sturdy. The benefits of a healthy relationship are wonderful, but the key is to maximize the perks while minimizing hardship. This article examines what it takes to build a successful marriage with a partner.
What Makes a Good Marriage?
Marriage is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as the state of being united as spouses in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law. This leads to the question of, "What defines a good marriage?"
There are many misconceptions about a good marriage. It is not faultless, free from disagreements, arguments, and fights. Doubts or worries will occasionally be present. The relationship won't always be amazing and effortlessly blissful.
A good marriage is defined not by lack of difficulties, but rather, how the parties manage to handle problems. A great partnership brings many benefits, not the least of which is being able to take on life with someone that you deeply care about, trust, and love. To reap the rewards of a good marriage, it must be nurtured and cared for.
The Battles Inside the Mind
Where do anxieties, doubts, and fears come from? The answer is more complicated than it might seem. Many of the issues which arise in marriages are not relationship-ending calamities, but rather somewhat small disagreements that spiral out of control.
Winning the battle inside the mind is essential to knocking out little things before they transform into real problems.
That is not to say that doubts should never be addressed in anything but a skeptical light. Consider if doubts have any real base. If so, they should be handled in conversation between partners.
Communication is one of the most vital aspects of any relationship.
Larger conflicts typically form from a failure to face smaller issues together. The ignorance of grievances or perceived slights will only cause them to fester. If repressed, what was once thought to be a minor problem can grow out of control. If left undealt with, they can feel too large to face. A terrible cycle of ignoring small problems begins to take over the relationship.
Shine a light on unaddressed problems! Things kept hidden away in our heads and from partners are beneficial to no one. Once these issues are discussed positively and constructively, they can be worked through. However, the process is not easy. It can be painful discussing resentments, but the discomfort is much less excruciating than that of years of silence. Settling issues is an integral part of a good marriage.
Don't Forget Self-Improvement
Much of the dissatisfaction which arises in marriage can come from a feeling of stagnation or even a feeling of regress. Take appearance, for example. Some people have the mentality that once they are married, they don't have to tend to their health and self-care as much.
For some couples, it can work to let the appearances go, to a certain extent. For most, it can take away from what makes the relationship feel special and romantic. Beyond appearances, marriage is not an excuse to wallow in stagnation. Picking up a new hobby, continuing to try new things, and working on self-improvement will all enhance one's place in a relationship. Create an environment where growth is praised, and appreciation for a partner's improvements is cherished.
Furthermore, personal growth brings meaning to life outside of the relationship. It provides something to work on and feel proud of. The value of growth cannot be overstated, especially in a long-term marriage where routines are in place and monotony can start to set in.
Focus on the Little Things
Focusing on the little things doesn't mean getting upset when a partner does something that is annoying, like leaving the dishes out or forgetting to take care of the groceries. Instead, target the little things a partner does that you appreciate.
Monotony presents itself when there is a lack of excitement. Break that cycle! Do something unexpected and kind for a partner, even if it's just a small act. Going the extra mile for a loved one may not be hard or require that much effort.
Passion - Inside and Outside of the Bedroom
A good sex life is important to a healthy marriage. Passion outside the bedroom is just as essential. There are five ways companions display love:
- Words of affirmation
- Acts of service
- Receiving gifts
- Quality time
- Physical touch.
These are known as The Five Love Languages.
Everyone values different combinations of these love languages. It is crucial to know or to have at least an idea of what a partner appreciates. By keeping notes of what a lover likes to do for their spouse and what they love most about what they receive, their personal love language can be revealed.
Keep an Eye on Money
One of the top reasons for divorce is often some sort of money problem. Whether it be overwhelming debt, unpaid bills, or upcoming expenses, poor money management skills can test a marriage. The problem itself is not money. It's how money is thought of. Obtaining money is often seen as the ultimate goal of life.
Money doesn't exist for its accumulation. It exists for what it can be exchanged for. Bills and debt can be scary, but maybe the solution is to get a grip on spending habits and stop accumulating debt. Overattachment to material things can clutter relationships and take away from what truly matters.
Put a Damper on Expectations
What should a healthy marriage look like? This question is often answered with notions that are spread through the media of what a marriage ought to look like. Having a goal for a solid marriage is not a bad thing, but trying to form a relationship using misguided information is a recipe for disaster.
Lose the detailed and specific expectations of what a marriage should be. Instead, try to build the best version of a relationship with your spouse. That is the key to a great marriage.
Professional help is available for help for all relationships. Many couples are opposed to this and feel they should be able to work things out amongst themselves. Most of the time, this only leads to further confusion.
The mental health professionals at BetterHelp are experienced and want to assist in rebuilding relationships. Contact us if you need a hand.