You might think that being deeply in love with someone is all that it takes to make a happy marriage but that is not the case. It takes real work, shared values, and a collaborative effort on building a life together. It’s not unusual for some wrinkles to appear in that journey, but here, we’re going to look at how you can iron them out, or when you need to recognize that those wrinkles are actually giant chasms.
Know what kind of future life you want
Talk to one another about the plans that you have for your shared family life. If you’re looking at parenthood, think about what it will take for you to be a happy mum. Talk about where you’re going to live and why. If you’re both career-minded, then have a serious discussion about whose career might need to take priority if they both start pulling in different directions. Whatever you do, don’t let yourself get blindsided by these big life decisions.
Be mindful of how you treat one another
Being in a relationship with someone, and sharing a life and a home with someone are two different equations. When you’re living together and sharing a lifestyle, you and your partner will share not just happiness, but upsets, anger, and emotional turmoil. Stay mindful of how you treat your partner, focusing on things like how to be kind even when you’re upset with them, and be willing to voice your concerns on behaviours of theirs that might concern you, too.
Work on your conflict resolution
One of the most important skills in any marriage is the ability to resolve conflict without it leaving lasting scars in the relationship. Don’t be surprised if you don’t have that ability with your partner, or if the outcomes aren’t as positive as you would hope. Many people haven’t worked to develop that skill with each other, and the help of marriage counseling isn’t just to try to repair broken marriages, it’s to teach skills that can help you mend it yourself.
Be aware of your options
You might want to be able to find the wiggle room to ensure the best shared future between you and your spouse. However, when it comes to matters of betrayal, of real danger to you and your kids, or where you simply cannot come to an agreement on something that’s vital to your life plans, you should ensure that you have access to a family lawyer. Hopefully, you can work out most of your disagreements, but you should also know when things aren’t working.
Find where you can compromise
Just as there are many instances when you need to be resolute and stand your ground, you should absolutely think about where you’re able to make compromises. Avoid turning marriage into a game of scoring against one another by collaborating on shared compromises where possible.
Hard conversations need to be had, whether it’s to keep the marriage strong or to recognize when it’s not working. Hopefully, the points above help you address it either way with your partner.