Anyone who is married or fully understands marriage knows that it takes some dedication and perseverance to stay married and be happy, functional and passionate. Also, marriage is not always going to be easy but it can also have many pleasures and rewards.
In order for a marriage to work, the two people must be fully committed to doing what it takes to make it work and they must also understand that it is important to communicate effectively so that they are working towards similar goals and objectives for their future.
The following are the habits of couples who enjoy happy and functional marriages:
1. Don’t criticize your partner’s parents or friends. You know how it is-your family can tick you off but no one else had dare speak ill of them. That’s why you should tread carefully with your in-laws and your husband’s dearest friends. “Even when they’re venting to you, your contributions can put your spouse on the defensive,” explains LeslieBeth Wish, EdD, a Florida-based psychologist and licensed clinical social worker.
2. Tell your spouse about any ex encounters. Whether you get a Facebook friend request or run into an old flame at your kid’s soccer game, keeping the news to yourself could backfire, despite having zero feelings for the ex. “If there’s nothing to hide, why hide it?” says Deb Castaldo, PhD, a couples and family therapist and professor at Rutgers University School of Social Work in New Brunswick, NJ.
3. Keep unsolicited advice to yourself. Offer your support, lend your ear, but avoid speaking in an “I know what’s best” tone. “We give advice because we’re trying to be helpful, but it’s seen as criticism when we offer too many corrections,” says Harriet Lerner, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up. Give your spouse space to make decisions and gain confidence through trial and error-and ask that they do the same for you, says Dr. Lerner. “What matters in a relationship is not that things get done ‘right,’ but that two people are dedicated to contributing to each other’s happiness.”