Deciding to spend your life with another person, through thick and thin, is the first of many major steps you’ll likely take with your partner. A successful and stable marriage builds a foundation for the future you can expect to have with your partner and your family. Divorce rates are now lower than they’ve been for the past 45 years, and millenials in particular are showing a value for longevity and continuity in their relationships. No two marriages are the same, but there are a few steps you can take to ensure that your partnership with your spouse will remain strong, happy, and fulfilling for the years to come.
It’s no secret that open communication is one of the most important ingredients in a happy, successful marriage. Always striving to be on the same page with your spouse, even in times of disagreement, is one of the easiest ways to prevent misunderstandings and gross assumptions that will surely lead to some kind of major disruption in your relationship. However, communication isn’t always so black and white. Maybe you feel that it’s invasive when your partner inquires about your whereabouts, when they really just want the peace of mind of knowing that you’re safe. Or, maybe you are carrying the emotional weight of past experiences or relationships that your partner doesn’t fully understand. Maintaining an open channel of communication at all times will help both of your gain a deeper understanding of your individual emotions, triggers, wants, beliefs, and expectations.
We’ve all heard the age-old adage: never go to bed angry. This is one of the many regular scenarios where communication can really come into play. Lacking proper understanding and empathy is a common reason why many people hold anger or resentment towards their partners. By taking the time to understand why your spouse feels the way they do about a certain subject, and where their feelings come from, can be one of the quickest ways to see their side of the story. It might be that you thought their feelings came from a different place, or you thought that you disagreed about a subject that you really have similar opinions about. Swallowing your pride and discussing the topic at hand, regardless of your anger in the moment, can prevent a small problem from becoming a much larger one later on.
No two people are going to agree on everything all the time. That’s just a fact of life, no matter how much you have in common with your partner. There will come a time when you will need to make a joint decision about something you don’t completely agree on, and this is when many couples face problems. Understanding how much to give and take is one of the most crucial elements to the success of any marriage. Knowing where to draw the line takes a considerable amount of time, mutual understanding, and emotional stamina from everyone involved.
In a lot of the arguments that are most common among married couples, pride plays a huge role in the outcome of the discussion. It’s never easy to admit when you may be wrong, but you really need to consider whether your point means more to you than your partner’s feelings about the subject. In many cases, the disagreement might have stemmed from a misunderstanding or miscommunication. Regardless of how big or small your argument may be, taking a minute to step back and see both sides might save you a major fight as a result.
Just because you disagree with your partner doesn’t mean that either person should change the integrity of their own personal views or beliefs. However, it’s not likely that you’ll be able to come to an agreement if both people are too rigid, as well. Talk with each other to find out what is important to your partner, why they want to make the decision they’re choosing, and how they suggest to move forward. Also, think about your own choices and determine how much you’re willing to waver. This might be a difficult thing to do at times, especially if you are disagreeing about something that you are emotionally or morally invested in. But taking the time to really understand your own needs as well as the needs of your partner will speed things up, while also helping you to gain a deeper understanding of your spouse and your relationship as a whole.
Few things can ruin a relationship as quickly as having trust issues with your partner. Whether you have existing suspicions or a change in behavior in your spouse is causing tension in your relationship, harboring distrust and resentment isn’t a problem that you want to ignore. Diving into where your feelings are stemming from and what could be causing your lack of trust might be uncomfortable, but you can rest assured that your partner is aware of what’s bothering you and you will get to the bottom of your issues much quicker.
You don’t need to open a dialogue about trust only when you have a reason to express doubt. Communication is important for all aspects of a relationships, but regularly talking about topics that are specifically linked to trust – such as fidelity, honesty, and responsibility – will help both people to understand what might cause their partner to worry or feel uneasy at any point in the partnership.
Trust is a multifaceted issue that is a major concern throughout all stages of a relationship. It’s a crucial element to maintaining peace and understanding in your partnership, from start to finish. It can be easy to feel defensive or offended when your partner asks you certain questions or seems to be accusatory, but going in with an open mind will make you more receptive to their feelings and where they’re actually coming from.
Being stable and secure in your finances as a couple goes past what is reflected on your bank statements. Regardless of how much money you make or the problems you face on a regular basis, understanding where you stand fiscally as a couple is incredibly important. Money problems as a whole are the number one cause for divorce. There are a variety of reasons for this, including distrust and stress. But no matter how highly you value money in your marriage, make sure you and your spouse are both in agreement – no matter how insignificant a purchase or transaction seems.
It’s common for married couples to have joint bank accounts, but there are a variety of tools that can help you both keep track of everything to stay on the same page. Money management apps such as Honeydue, which helps couples to stay on top of bills, payments, and even grocery shopping. You can comment on line items, and you are also able to decide what to share with your partner through the app. Another helpful tool is Better Halves, which takes a modern spin on the standard envelope budget system. By seeing how much money is available for set categories or financial goals, couples can rest assured that both individuals know how much money to spend and what to spend it on.
Credit management is also an extremely important factor of most marriages today. Opening excessive lines of credit or managing credit cards poorly can easily create tension in your relationship. Many couples rely on credit and financing to meet both long and short-term goals, but understanding how any amount of borrowed money will affect your day-to-day budget is imperative to preventing any problems as a result of mismanaged funds or unexpected interest.
Planning and Preparation
One of the main reasons why divorce rates have decreased among millenials is the fact that more and more people are waiting longer before getting married. Of course this isn’t an end-all-be-all solution, and getting married quickly doesn’t mean that your marriage is set for failure. This is largely due to a shift in priorities, financial security, and overall impressions of future success for millenials. On average, men today get married when they are 30 and women get married when they are 28. This is a five-year increase over the past 30 years. Compared to baby boomers, millenials are gaining financial stability later in life, but they are also opting to get married after completing college or additional education rather than before.
Waiting a bit longer to get married has a variety of benefits. You’re able to get to know your partner better by slowing down your process, and you can gain a deeper understanding of aspects of their life such as their habits, interests, and behaviors. You can also spend more time planning for the future, allowing you to save money or create more detailed plans for your lives. Building a solid savings account, discussing future retirement plans, or gaining more experience in your respective careers can give you a more rigid sense of stability that will likely be beneficial for the health of your marriage later on.
There is no black and white way to guarantee a successful marriage, but taking certain steps before and during your union can help you build a strong foundation of trust, love, and respect for the rest of your lives together. Ultimately, maintaining a steady and open understanding with your spouse will prevent many of the most common issues that typically lead to divorce. By taking the time to really get to know your partner inside and out – including their wants, needs, fears, and core values – will help you to build a strong, happy, and powerful life together.