Two people coming together from two different worlds and upbringings makes for an interesting combination, don’t you think? When you first start dating these differences are exciting and new because “you’re dating.” The excitement and the newness of the relationship overshadows the seemingly little imperfections of the other person. But when you decide this is the person to spend the rest of your life with, you’re together so much that those little things are more noticeable and might even become irritating or a problem later on.
Marriage is a big commitment. The relationship needs to be able to withstand little imperfections and times of change. The little things that bother you while you’re dating may bother you even more after the honeymoon. It’s important to put those little things into perspective so that most of your marriage can be just as good as when you’re dating. As long as you realize that no one you choose can be perfect, and you can’t change them, you can get past these things.
There are also times when couples go through change. Each individual has a time in their life where they will feel differently than before they first started out on this journey through life together. It is completely natural for people to go through different seasons of life. During any of these times it’s important to go back to the principles of dating.
6 Tips for a Happy Marriage
1. Think through your feelings. This is the time to decide what a “big” deal is. If you could over look certain things while dating, can you find a way to not let it bother you now? I remember when it used to bother me that my husband squeezed the tube of toothpaste from the middle or the top. Before half of the tube was used up, the side would crack, leaving a hole for toothpaste to seep through. I used to come in to brush my teeth only to have to go through the regiment of redoing the tube of toothpaste first. One day my husband was away for more than a week and the tube was not crumpled. I started to wish he were home already.
2. During times of change start dating again. Go out on a “real date” and ask questions. Do not talk about the kids, family, or other people. Try to give the other person a chance to talk about what they need and why they might be feeling the way they do. What has changed in “their” life? Give them your undivided attention and understanding. Then take your turn.
3. Have fun. What did you do as a new couple that was fun? Will reliving some of those fun times give you pleasure? If so, do it.
4. Find new interests that both of you enjoy. As we get older, we won’t necessarily like all of the same things we did before. Find one new interest or hobby you can enjoy together.
5. Doing things without your spouse is not a crime. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Men need men and women need women. If the two of you do different things you enjoy separate of each other now and again it gives you new, “fun” things to share. Your together time won’t be stale.
6. You were a couple before you were parents. Kids tend to throw a monkey wrench into the equation. But if you put your marriage first, the rest falls into place. This also teaches the children about marriage relationships during a confusing time in the world.
So build off of these 6 tips for a happy marriage, and plan ahead for some exciting dates and fun things to do, separately and together.
Copyright © 1999, 2006 Susie Glennan
All Rights Reserved.
Susie has been happily married since 1982. She met her sweetheart in 1980. Together they have 3 children and 1 grandson.