Wednesday, April 29, 2009
The Secret to a Happy Marriage
I've been unhappily married and happily married. Like most people I much prefer the latter. Who wouldn't?
I think those that base their marriage simply on the love factor might be making a mistake. Love is grand, but it's like constantly eating the same meat without adding any spice, garnish, potatoes, or vegetables. Eventually it's going to be boring and you're going to want to go out for a side dish and dessert.
Make sure you have someone you can share things with - a key here is communication. You shouldn't be with someone that is constantly misunderstanding you and doesn't respect you.
Another mistake many people make is when they believe that a baby can save their marriage. You might want to keep in mind that sexual relations change with pregnancy and years after a child is born. A study at Texas A & M University show that about 90% of couples lose some degree of satisfaction in sexual relations after the birth of a child. A spouse that was very sexually romantic before the birth of a child is more than likely going to have a very difficult time adjusting to parenthood. The study also showed that those couples that took the time to become friends and shared their ideas and thoughts had less difficulty with adjusting to parenthood.
So, what does this mean? It means don't rush into a relationship. Take the time to get to know and actually like one another. People that rush into a marriage due to passion and sexual satisfaction tend to not stay married and become bored with their relationship.
According to an article in CNN that uses this study and others:
1. Birth of children puts a strain on a marriage
2. Boredom in a marriage have long term affects on a relationship
3. Happier people are less like to be divorced
So, you might want to keep in mind that a happy person keeps a happier family. Yet, in the US alone 1 in 6 people in the US believe they suffer from depression.
Here are some Pasty hints for a happy marriage:
1. Talk to one another. Not just about the easy stuff. Talk about everything and really get to know each other. Brace yourself for the things that are tough and don't take everything that is said personally. Internalizing what is said is not really listening.
2. Do things together. Don't make excuses that you don't have time or anything else like "we don't have the money" or "what do we do with the kids." Find solutions and make it happen. Taking a walk in a park doesn't cost anything and friends, even parents of friends, will more than likely not mind watching the kids for an hour or so, especially if the deed is reciprocated.
3. Learn to play together and laugh together. Have fun. Forget the problems and things that keep you down. Worrying about things does not make them go away. Share your problems and find a productive and workable solution. Work toward your goals together as a couple. There should never be a martyr in a marriage.
Sometimes love just isn't enough. Having a good relationship is work, but it's very much worthwhile. When you are close to your partner every minute you are with each other is a memory in the making.