We’re all keen to work out what makes a long and happy marriage, and with good reason: not everyone makes it to a double‑digit anniversary, and you can guarantee that plenty of unpredictable things will happen along the way. But with the right attitude and a readiness to grow and change, you can keep your marriage together for the long haul.
Most of Top Life Coach Carole Ann Rice’s work focuses on making people the best versions of themselves. Here, she shared with YCB 5 ways you can adjust yourself to the task of making your marriage work for both partners.
1. Compromise is everything
Marriage is about knowing when to give ground and bite your tongue. This is a lesson you’ll keep learning throughout your entire marriage, especially as new or unfamiliar situations arise over the years. Growing and being flexible as the years wear on is crucial to keeping a long marriage going, and it takes a lot of work.
2. Live separate lives
Shared interests and doing things together is great, but it’s equally important that you and your partner have separate hobbies and time out from each other. Apart from meaning you don’t get fed up with each other’s constant presence, it’ll give you new, exciting moments to talk about.
3. Don’t obsess over ‘chemistry’
Your relationship isn’t doomed just because you’ve lost that mythical ‘spark’. You can have a great relationship based on companionship, shared history and mutual likes and love rather than the early days of the chemical dopamine high. All relationships settle into comfort and ease eventually; you just need to embrace it.
4. Brace yourself for the impact of children
When children arrive, they inevitably become the focus of both partners’ attention. That can leave one or both partners feeling neglected. Children are a huge drain on both energy and finances, so they put even the strongest relationship to the test ‑ especially if they’re not well‑behaved or require extra attention. Constantly bickering about every pennies can drive a wedge between the two of you, and it pays to remember you’re both in the same boat.
5. Learn to accept change
Assuming you know your partner inside out and that you share all the same goals is a huge error, and it sets a relationship up to fail. Humans change all the time, and we’re always learning, growing and developing. So understand that as time goes by, you and your partner will change and won’t be exact the same people you were on your first date. Accepting that is crucial to a mature, long‑lasting relationship.