An average of 40% of marriages in the United States will end in divorce. This depends of course on the age of the individuals during marriage, whether or not they have children and how many times they have been married. But for a rough estimate, 40% is scary. The fact that I got married at 19 and we have now hit the 10-year mark I feel like I have a good understanding of what makes a marriage work.
We aren’t perfect and neither is our marriage. What we have is love, compromise and the understanding that we won’t always agree but that doesn’t mean we aren’t meant to be together. This is what I have learned after 10 years of marriage.
Your spouse is always right. No matter how many times you try to prove otherwise, you are not going to win. Be the bigger man (or woman) and tell them they’re right. It doesn’t matter who is actually right, but somebody has to be wrong. Sometimes, that person has to be you.
Communication is Key. I’m not a big talker, my husband is. But when there are important things to discuss, I try my best to communicate my thoughts and feelings. If you don’t communicate with your spouse you will never get anything settled. You need to bring up the issues and talk them out. Which brings us to number three.
Compromise! Every day you have to compromise. Not just with your spouse, but with your friends and family, co-workers and neighbors. You have been there. You know sometimes you just need to find some equal ground where both parties walk away moderately happy. There is always a compromise.
Walk a day in their shoes. It is really easy to judge other people, and assume how life is for them. It’s incredibly easy to blame them for everything, and think you have the harder job. But take a moment and really think about what they go through every day. How hard they work, all the extra things they do around the house. The duties they take on so you don’t have to. Whether your spouse works all day or stays home with the kids, both jobs are hard work! Try your best to see the world through their eyes and appreciate everything they do for you.
Offer to help even if they don’t need it. It has been my experience that most adults won’t ask for help even if they need it. Maybe they don’t need it, but would appreciate the gesture anyway. Making that extra effort can go a long way in a marriage and really show your spouse how much you care.
Don’t let money end your marriage. 5% of divorces state money issues as the sole problem, but 70% of divorced couples report some form of money troubles. There is more to life than money (or the lack of it). Financial difficulties cause so much stress in our lives, but don’t let it put a strain on your marriage too. You are in a partnership, so deal with your problems together.
I Love You can go a long way. Say it, show it, express it every single day. Multiple times a day. We need reminders! We want to know we are still loved and wanted and cherished.
Marriage is like a roller coaster. Yes it’s a pretty cliched analogy, but it couldn’t be more true. Every relationship has its ups and downs. Your spouse is going to drive you crazy. Sometimes you will feel like you hate their guts, at other times your heart will feel so full it might explode with joy. It’s the normal pattern of life. Every day won’t be perfect, but you can make every day the best it can be by showing you are willing to do anything you can to keep the romance alive.
Every day I find a new reason why I love my husband so much. I can’t imagine the world without him in it, let alone my life without him. I’m not a perfect wife, and we don’t have a perfect marriage… but we have each other. And in the end, that’s all that really matters.