Much research has been done on what makes a marriage work, and while there are many differing opinions on what factors a couple may or may not have that will give them that extra edge, this list provides ten mental undertakings that many people in successful marriages have achieved, in some form or another. So if you and your spouse are headed for divorce court and you are hoping to give it one last effort, try a few of these…
1.Creating an individual identity apart from the family you grew up in
This does not mean estrangement or seeking to terminate relationships with family, but simply acknowledging that you are an individual who is different from your family and that you are allowed to live differently and be your own person.
2. Adjusting expectations away from the “normal” that you grew up with
Because normality is different for every family and that what constituted “normal” during your upbringing doesn’t even have to feature in your own new family.
3. Creating a relationship that is founded on shared intimacy and deep emotional ties, but that still allows for personal autonomy
All healthy relationships have at their core a strong bond that promotes togetherness, but still gives each individual time and space to pursue friendships, hobbies and goals that are personal and can exist outside of the relationship.
4. Not all partnerships produce children.
But for those couples that have children, embracing parenting and children while still seeking to keep some aspects of your adult relationship separate and private is very important. Couples in healthy relationships with children love their kids and enjoy being with them, but still set aside alone time together, like date nights and times to talk, and even romantic getaways when possible.
5. Pursuing intimacy
Doing this in a way that is pleasurable and engaging, and seeks to please both partners is very important. It is also critical that marital intimacy be protected from the intrusions of work, familial obligations and even conflict between the couple.
6. Striving to overcome life’s setbacks together
Working to overcome the inevitable calamities and emergencies that come up along the way, but in a way that strengthens both the individuals and the relationship.
7. What many married couples refer to as the “united front”
Standing up for each other in the face of adversity. Supporting each other during difficult times creates a relationship in which each partner feels safe enough to express themselves without fear of recrimination.
8. Keeping your sense of humor
Laughter, healthy humor, and shared jokes are hallmarks of a healthy relationship. Learning to laugh at situations and find the humor even during difficult times helps to forge bonds and keep perspectives aligned.
9. Being supportive and kind to your partner
Allowing each other freedom to pursue dreams and being a “cheerleader” for your spouse’s goals and ambitions in life. Also, being a comfort when things don’t work out as expected. Be a safe place for each other’s emotions.
10. Working to keep romance alive in your relationship, in whatever capacity you can.
Focus on things that make your spouse feel desirable and special. While a healthy relationship doesn’t deny the passage of time and changes in people, it celebrates this growth and development rather than pines for lost youth.