Does it grate on you to hear all the negativity about the state of marriage? Too many people have some terrible ideas about marriage and the viability of relationships. I read such statements on the Internet daily. The worst one is:
Marriage is the leading cause of divorce.
How crazy is that? Well, I suppose it makes sense if you have grown up in a broken home and you are surrounded by divorced people. We take on the climate we surround ourselves with. We even get to the point where we believe what we hear day in and day out.
Maybe 50% of all marriages end in divorce. But people don’t stop to consider that if that statistic is true, then the converse is also true:
50% of marriages end up intact!
I wonder if the expectation that half of all marriages end in divorce creates a self-fulfilling prophesy. Don’t let this happen to you! You may be wondering what you can do to prevent your marriage from becoming yet another statistic. Good for you! Going along blindly hoping things will work out is a great formula for failure. Asking questions and seeking answers put you in a position to protect your relationship.
Great relationships begin with you. You have to decide that you are willing to dedicate yourself to the task of creating a happy relationship with the one you love. Once you make the decision, you are on your way, but a decision is only a first step.
You may have no idea what to do, but you have the ability to learn. Don’t wait until the honeymoon is over; remember, maintenance is easier (and less costly) than an overhaul. Ask yourself what you can do on a regular and consistent basis that will keep your relationship thriving. Keep it small and simple.
- Start with appreciation. Notice the small stuff and say it out loud!
- Apologize when you have caused pain, even if you didn’t do it purposefully.
- Remind yourself and your spouse why you got married.
- Remember what is important to your spouse, even if it’s not important to you.
- Brag about the things your spouse does to other people.
- Pick your battles wisely, letting go of the small stuff that may be irritating to you.
- Give your spouse a precious gift: listen with your whole heart
The more you practice doing the things you think will help your relationship, the easier it will become. Soon, you will be able to do these things as easy as breathing. But these are only my thoughts. What about you? What makes your relationship work for you? I want to know your story.