In recent years the idea of a long-lasting marriage may seem like an impossible concept. But it doesn’t have to be. Marriage can be long-lasting and also be a relationship that can thrive. Don’t click away, because in this post I’ll be sharing my best tips for developing a long-lasting marriage.
When there are memes all over social media saying that marriages only last for 8 years it feels like the idea of happily ever after is just a fairy tale. And, if your focus is on always being happy then that statement might just be true. Marriage isn’t ever going to be an always happy exchange. But, it can be a compatible and loving life-long match.
Think back to your wedding. Think of how you looked at each other and how you imagined that your relationship would weather times of, for better or worse, sickness and health… until death. Your goal, was to be that couple who made it to the long-lasting decades old anniversaries.
But, after the excitement of the wedding day, and the rush of the honeymoon wear off, that’s when the realities of day to day life sets in. That’s when the real work begins for each of you to learn how to live together, how to work together, and how to be, one, together.
Unfortunately, within a year or two, and sometimes quicker than that discontentment sets in. That’s often because what you imagined marriage to be like isn’t at all what it really is.
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One of the biggest things I’ve witnessed is that one, or both, become disillusioned by the marriage. They’ve built up this ideal in their mind and when the other person doesn’t live up to that ideal, they simply want to walk away. When we live in a disposable society it seems so easy to just walk away and start over.
But… to get to the long-lasting marriage part, you have to work through the growing pains part of marriage. People don’t realize that relationships take work, and marriage relationships take a lot of work. And, it can’t be one-sided. But, sometimes it takes one willing to have the discussions needed to get to the place where both understand and are willing to work together toward that long-lasting marriage.
4 Ways to Build a Long-Lasting Marriage
1) How is Trust Built in a Marriage?
It’s in the early years that a couple has to build trust with one another. Without trust there will not be a foundation on which to build a lifetime.
Building trust in marriage starts with honesty. There is no reason to lie to one another. A lie, even what people consider to be small ones, begins a foundation of mistrust. If we can’t be honest about the little things, how can we be honest about the big things.
It’s said that when two marry they become one. This concept of oneness actually comes from scripture.
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”— Genesis 2:24
When God created man, and woman, His intention was that they would come together, a husband and a wife. Of course there is a direct correlation to the physical act of mating bring the two flesh together as one.
But, there is a deeper meaning, that she complements the man, they work together with the same mindset, goals, and love.
If then, the two are to be as one, how can a lie, any lie lead toward that one-ness? It cannot. That’s where it become imparative to not keep things from each other. Being honest and upfront about all the things in our lives leaves little room for doubt between the couple.
As yourself, how will you have a long-lasting marriage when you have a foundation of mistrust?
There is no need to doubt, or worry when your lives are an open book with each other. Trust is built when you live an honest, open life together.
That doesn’t mean you each have to share every, single, thought, with the other. Or course, there are thoughts that are contemplative, not fully formed, pondering that really doesn’t play any important role in your relationship.
But, it does mean that you share thoughts that affect the relationship. It means not keeping secrets with the intent of hiding information. It’s about transparency in the marriage.
Building trust starts with being honest, transparent, and open to not keeping things hidden from each other.
Be willing to have open communication. If you’ve been married for a while and feel like things are starting to fall apart and you’re searching for what to do… make a change, start today to build that trust that may be missing.
2) Put the Other First
This, admittedly, may be hard fro some people. The idea of putting someone else first may seem foreign. On the other hand, many people think they’re putting others first when in fact they’re being selfish.
Maybe you spend your day ensuring that he has everything he needs, breakfast, lunch for work, clean laundry, a clean household, etc. And, perhaps, you also work outside the home brining in income. And, you juggle the kids and other things all with the intention of making sure your loved one has everything they need… putting their needs first.
But, how long before you begin resenting the other person. How long before you start to wonder if they’ll ever do anything for YOU. How long before you become discontent?
I’m guessing it’s not long. Why?
We have this innate need to be taken care of. While at the same time many of us have the need to be in control. It’s hard to have both at the same time.
So… how do we find that ever elusive balance between being taken care of and being in control?
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We have to work together to make decisions about who will be responsible for which things.
And, going back to building trust… we have to communicate what we need from the other person.
I need my husband to reassure me. I need him to tell me I’m doing a good job, and I need help from time to time on certain things around the house, but not other things. It’s up to me, to communicate those things to him. And, it’s also up to me to learn what he needs. Yes, he has to tell me, or show me over time. But, even if he doesn’t I have to learn what it is that helps him and work toward those things.
Overtime, when you show love, and also communicate with each other your needs, it becomes second nature for each of you to meet the other’s needs. You put him first, and he puts you first.
When you find that balance… you’ll work together toward building that long-lasting marriage you hope for.
3) Don’t Let Finances Stand in the Way
Finances have a way of interfering with relationships. In fact, it can destroy a marriage. It’s important, early on in a marriage to set parameters for how finances will be managed.
Decide who will manage bill paying. Decide, together, how to save money. Make the important decision about how much money you’ll each be allotted for personal spending. And, choose what is considered personal versus family spending.
For example, if one or both of you work outside the home will lunch out be considered personal spending, or family spending. Obviously meals are a necessity. So how will that financial obligation be sorted in your family finances. There is no right or wrong on that decision, but once you’ve both made it together then you should both honor the decision.
When financial emergencies come up it is important to know how you will handle those situations. He may think we’ll just go get a loan, while you think it’s best to dip into savings. If you pre-plan for those emergencies it will be easier to know what to do when those situations arise.
Pre-planning and working together on this financial issues will make each other feel that each of you are part of the decision making process and you’ll be better able to weather the crisis instead of the crisis damaging your relationship.
4) Open Communication
Did you notice that the previous tips included communication? That’s because communication is central to a healthy relationship.
Communication in marriage is more than just telling each other when the tires need changed on the car. Although, that’s definitely something that needs communicated. It includes sharing hopes, desires, and needs. It means telling each other how you feel about things that happen.
Understand that men and women approach emotions from different perspectives. Women’s emotions are often tied to her hormones, while men’s emotions are often associated with his analytical brain. Thus, how he feels might sound more like… how to we solve, or resolve, this issue. While hers are tied up in how emotional response feels. Knowing how you each approach emotions is important.
Find ways to manage your communications. Maybe you have a set time to talk about the things going on in your life. Maybe each Saturday at dinner you talk over the things that happend during the week and things that need focus in the coming week.
Remember, his needs versus your needs. For me, I would love to lay in bed, cuddling and just chatting for a while before falling asleep. He on the other hand wants to climb in bed and fall asleep, and gets annoyed that I want to talk. Communicating when he’s asleep isn’t going to be very productive. At the same time communicatind when he’s annoyed is likewise going to be unproductive.
So, a chat during bedtime isn’t the most optimal scenario in our relationship for open communication.
On the otherhand, once he’s up in the mornings and through the shower he’s raring to go for the day. That would be a great time for him to talk with me about things. But, I’m slow to wake up. My brain is foggy for half the morning. So that time is not ideal for me.
We’ve found, though, that if we talk around dinner time we’re both able to engage in the conversation.
You, have to find the time that works for both of you. What works for one may not work for both. Don’t let the wrong time, or the wrong setting lead to foolish arguments in your marriage.
Let your partner know that his input is necessary, that you want his opinions but that you may not always take his advice. At the same time, be understanding that when he shares experiences with you he may only be sharing and not need you to try to fix it.
When it comes to the relationship, household and family things, there are times when little things become big problems. This occurs because each of you bring different perspectives to the relationship. The way your family resolved issues/conflicts might be entirely different from how his family did. Thus, your approach to issues will be unique.
You must learn to meet each other partway in order to satisfy the needs of your relationship when it comes to resolving issues.
Your marriage can and will be affected by many things. Remember to focus on building trust, put the other first, don’t let finances stand in your way, and always be willing to have open communication. It is through these ways that you can grow your love and build an amazing long-lasting marriage.
What tips for a long-lasting marriage can you share with me? Tell me in the comments below.This post was proofread by Grammarly