No matter how long a couple has been together, getting married will present a wide new array of experiences, struggles, and triumphs. Some newlyweds enjoy smooth sailing, while others are greeted by choppy waters. Cake & Lace has been in existence for over 5 years, and we are really grateful for the stories that our readers, clients and guest writers have shared over the years about how they’ve managed to keep their marriages successful, satisfying, and equally important – sweet.
Be an Active Listener, Both Verbally and Non-verbally
Sometimes, words are left unsaid in order to avoid raising difficult issues with a partner. It is not an easy task, but couples must learn to listen without the need for words. By this time, newly married couples should already be familiar with each other’s distinctive body language, and endeavor to always listen for what’s not being said. And when one begins to open up, make it a habit to listen intently without jumping to conclusions.
Listening is a vital tool in every marriage, and the constant use of it paves the way for everlasting harmony.
Married or unmarried, conflict is a permanent part of our lives. We all have different backgrounds, dissimilar opinions and contrasting values – what is proper for one can be absolutely wrong for another. Wait for tempers to cool down before having discussions; speaking freely in the heat of the moment will only add fuel for the fire. Be willing to make compromises for the purpose of resolving a conflict peacefully. Finally, reflect on what particular circumstances and actions trigger your partner’s anger.
When handled right, many good things can come out of conflict. It can, and must be constructive; treat it as an important medium that brings positive improvements and an opportunity to polish a new union towards its greatest form.
Keep Boundaries Intact
Although marriage is usually labeled as two people becoming one, this shouldn’t be interpreted in an extreme way – in fact, boundaries make up one of the cornerstones of every flourishing interconnection. When someone is constantly observing us as we work or study, we find it hard to concentrate and end up doing a subpar job or taking longer to finish the task at hand. In the context of marriage, that feeling of always being under one’s scrutiny (or being spied on), causes an awkward sensation that leads to no good thing whatsoever. At all times, privacy matters – and spouses have no obligation to share every plan, thought, and personal worries with their significant others.
Privacy not only helps keep personal identities and egos intact, but it also plays a significant factor in keeping things interesting between the two of you, and for each new day to become a moment to look forward to.
Recognize Gender Differences When Offering Help
Many studies, including this article from American Psychological Association published in 2005, state that women are more inclined to talk or seek help about their problems than men. One established attribute of masculinity is independence, making men prefer solving personal problems without relying on external intervention. Naturally, this doesn’t mean that men can really work out everything on their own all the time. Fortunately, there is a sensible way on how wives ought to respond when it is quite clear that their husbands are going through a tough time.
If you’re wondering how to do this, relationship coach, Laura Doyle, recommends you stop offering suggestions or helpful tips every time your partner is venting, and especially when they’re not asking for your help. “Respecting your partner means that even if you don’t agree with him, you still honor his decisions for his life. He’s not a child, nor did you marry someone incapable of doing basic things to survive,” Laura states boldly. She further expands to include, “this means you don’t dismiss, criticize, contradict or try to teach him how to do something better. You trust him and expect the best outcome.” While this may sound like wishful thinking, there is a lot of truth that what you focus on expands. Focusing on respect and trust can only deepen your connection.
By believing in your partner to do the right thing when they are not actively requesting your help, you build up their confidence, self-esteem and pride in themselves. These are immensely valuable traits to possess, and what’s good for one is great for the two of you.
Aim and Achieve Goals Together
In addition to individual targets, newly married couples should strive to reach goals together as a team. This will not only save time and money, but lead to better results too. To give you a better picture, let us use house redecoration as an example. If one gets assigned to redecorate the living room, and the other gets assigned to work on the bedroom, there won’t be an unnecessary overlapping of tasks. However, if both individuals in a couple decide on their own that a house redecoration is urgent and goes shopping for enhancements without coordinating their plans to each other, it is probable that duplicate ornaments will be bought. This has caused an avoidable expense already and has the potential to lead to a dispute about whose adornments must be used instead. But by simply choosing to combine efforts on both minor and major projects, mix-ups can be prevented and aspirations will come to fruition in the most cost-effective and soonest possible time.
Take into heart Aristotle’s popular quote of “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. If seeing your better half realize their dreams is your desire, then you may have to set aside some of your dreams in the present time to help your partner achieve theirs. Nevertheless, making certain that you have your partner’s back as you follow your shared ambitions in unison is a priceless key to make your marriage stronger than ever.
Although no two couples have identical situations, by discerning what works and what doesn’t on successful and healthy partners, we get to see a better picture of the proper direction that newly married couples must take to ensure that their love and marriage will not just survive, but fully blossom.