Most of us believe that “No Man is an Island” and we long to find that special someone that we can share our lives with. A lot of broken hearts pave the way to this dream. It may be difficult to find THE ONE, if we are looking for the perfect person of our dreams. In reality, they don’t exist. Even the nicest man or woman will do something that annoys you or turns you off.
In some cultures, arranged marriage is normal and accepted. I know of arranged marriages where couples are happy and satisfied with how their marriages turned out. If it is true that compatibility and finding THE ONE is important for couples to have a happily married life, then how do you account for successful arranged marriages? Two people who don’t even know each other managed to make it work. How did they do that?
They close their eyes to small faults.
We have to accept that no one is perfect and that focusing on the smallest imperfection is not going to make it any better. If your husband has a habit of not putting down the toilet seat or maybe he spends too much time in front of the TV, ask yourself, does it really affect the big picture? Can’t you just let it go?
Constantly criticizing your partner and calling attention to all their faults will not endear you to them. Focus on the qualities that made you love them in the first place and reinforce that by praising the good things and closing your eyes to the little irritations.
Our own experiences and standards might make it difficult for us to forgive our partners when they make crucial mistakes, such as having an affair. In the past, it is not acceptable for married couples to separate and marry again or live with other people – so couples had no other choice then but to work it out. Nowadays, it’s easy to get a divorce when a partner no longer meets the standards. So, we make less effort to try and forgive. We are not as forgiving as we used to be. We carry grudges which eventually turn to resentment.
They know when to give in
Is it more important for you to be right, even if it means hurting your loved one? Is it necessary to constantly prove who’s right and who’s wrong and who’s better? Successful couples know when it’s time to give in and let their partners win. In the end, harmony in the relationship is more important than proving someone wrong.
Knowing how to talk to each other is a powerful weapon in a successful couple’s arsenal. When people know how to talk to each other, there is no problem that cannot be discussed and resolved. This is not easy and it takes a genuine love and understanding of a person to be able to converse with them about anything under the sun. It’s about acceptance and trusting that even when the words don’t sound right, there was no malice intended. It’s about knowing when your words are triggering a negative response in your partner.
Most couples have a hard time conversing about sensitive matters because they haven’t passed the point of doubt and insecurity. When you’re totally secure in the love of another person, you know that they are always thinking about what’s good for both of you and you can safely discuss anything with them.
They genuinely admire their partner
If you notice couples who’ve been together for a long time, you’ll notice that there’s admiration and love in their eyes when they look at each other. There’s tenderness and none of the contempt that you see in couples who are in miserable relationships. One of the factors in successful relationships is the fact that the couple likes each other genuinely. Is it compatibility or is it that they focus on the qualities that attracted them to their partner? They don’t have unrealistic expectation that their partner can’t meet – that’s why they’re satisfied with their partner as they are.
Even the happiest couple argue every once in a while. If there are no arguments, issues don’t get resolved. The secret of happy couples is that when they do argue, they argue fairly. There’s no name-calling, insults or ultimatums. They argue about the issue at hand and state their respective opinions, they listen to the other side and not insist on their own way. They compromise where it is needed – and they resolve the problem without hurt feelings and bloodshed. This is an art that takes practice and even as time goes on, you should be conscious of how you and your partner argue.
They nurture each other’s trust
If you keep on doing things that you know your partner won’t like, trust will never develop. You see, trust needs to be earned – it cannot be given. If you want to be trusted then you have to show that you can be trusted. Happy couples always think of their partners before they do anything. They accept that it’s part of their relationship that they’re answerable to their partner for their actions. Those who can’t accept this fact continuously rebel against it. The result is that their partner cannot trust them fully.
They take care of each other’s feelings
How many of us can boast that we take care of our partner’s feelings? Sometimes, we’re even the cause of their insecurities and heartbreak. We don’t watch what we say and do and seem to expect that love will take care of itself. Happy couples guard each other’s emotions with their life. They protect it like their own and their partner knows this. This enables them to go through life secure in the knowledge that they’re never alone.
They don’t make negative remarks about their partner in public
I remember hearing a husband loudly tell his wife how stupid she was… and I felt so embarrassed for her. I thought, if he speaks to her this way in public, what more in private? Why would you want anyone to hear you say your partner is stupid? That reflects negatively on you too and it doesn’t resolve anything. Instead, you end up with a partner who resents you. Successful couples keep their disagreements private. When they’re with other people, they put up a solid front.
Divorce is not an option
When you decide that you will stick to this person no matter what challenges come your way and that divorce is not an option, you will try harder to work things out. If we entertain the notion that there’s a way out when we’re no longer satisfied, we become too demanding and aggressive and we don’t make compromises. For a marriage to be successful, you will need to make some compromises. You need to give in a little, relax a little and adjust when needed.
The trouble with some people is that they think that marriage is like a reward or trophy. Once they have it, they can just display it on the shelf for people to admire and gawk at. In reality, marriage is the beginning of another phase in your life. Just like anything that’s newly born, you have to spend time nurturing, guiding, building, developing and encouraging it to grow to its full potential. This means doing the same to your partner because it takes two to make a marriage work.
When I meet couples who’ve been together for decades, I can’t help but admire them. If given the chance, I ask them to share the wisdom they’ve acquired because I know, it was a hard but fulfilling journey and they’ve succeeded. I want to know how they did it so that I too, can apply it to my own marriage.
Love is not everything that a marriage is made out of. It is very important to love your partner but there’s more to it than that. Love is your foundation, the next move is to develop the skills you need to make it work.
If you want to add more marriage secrets, please feel free to post a comment. We all need to know how we can improve our relationships and make our marriages last.
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