What are the secrets of marital success? Here are five tips to successful marriage. Couples can make their marriage work; they can maximize marital success by practicing the following.
1. "Accentuate the positive." Couples in trouble focus their attention on the negative. Long term successful marriages are "mutual admiration societies." Learn to give praise or compliments to each other on a daily basis. Say thank you for little things as well as big things. “Thank you for taking out the trash.” “Thank you for supporting me when your mother questioned me.” Be specific about this. Let your partner know what you appreciate about him/her.
2. Learn how to "fight" with each other. Find a way to settle differences without destructive anger and without anyone giving in. Learn to negotiate with each other. Most of us think in black/white terms. We see only two solutions - my way or your way. In reality, there are many solutions to every situation. Be creative, think outside the box, and develop solutions that meet the needs of both of you. Don't expect every "fight" to end with a solution. Some times differences just need to be aired. The solution may evolve at a later time when you are both calmer. End every "fight" with a confirmation of your love.
3. Spend time together. Ten or fifteen minutes every day spent talking with the TV turned off can do wonders for the sense of connection in a marriage. Touch each other often, both affectionately and sexually. Touch is a powerful connection. Touch erases the hurts and cares of the day. Guard your couple-ness from the intrusions of children. Go out alone together several times a month. Keep children’s bed times regular and early so the marriage has room of its own.
4. Notice repetitive patterns. Over time couples may develop disturbing, repetitive patterns. Conflict about the same issues, in the same sequence, erupts over and over. Repetitive patterns may have roots in childhood issues which both of you are trying to work out in the marriage. If you’re stuck in repetitive patterns and can't resolve the issues, it’s time to go for counseling. This is especially true if you are unable to forgive and forget.
5. Pray together. Worship together. Be united in your faith in God.
“Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything.” 1 Peter 4:8 The Message