While no one gets married with the idea that it will one day go wrong, staying married forever can be challenging. With average lifespans significantly longer than they were a century ago, a marriage that lasts a full lifetime can take a lot of work. At the same time, because the odds of a successful lifelong marriage are so low, those who manage to pull it off have some of the most satisfying and happy love stories out there. If you’ve just donned your wedding ring for the first time and want to know the secrets to a lifelong marriage, read on.
Starting off Strong
Marriage is supposed to be for a lifetime. Like anything important, you’ll want to start out strong, which means talking about the important things while you’re still engaged. Set yourself up for a successful union from the very beginning. While only symbolic in nature, wedding bands and what they represent matter. Take time in doing your research for trio wedding ring sets, wedding ring sets in rose gold, or whatever your preferences might be. Decide together if you want a new wedding band or a ring set that includes a ring you inherited from your mom or another family member. Does your partner prefer white gold, rose gold, or platinum? What does the wedding band and engagement ring symbolize to you both? A lifetime is a long time to wear the same piece of jewelry, so you’ll want to agree on a wedding band set you’re both happy with.
Building a Family
If you’re like most, you’ll want to have children eventually. Whether in the near future or down the road, having open and honest conversations with your partner about adding to your family is important to long before pregnancy. Lasting marriages mean compromise and supporting each other’s dreams. Work together to research things to know before starting a family and make plans from there.
It’s a good idea to talk openly about whether you’ll need fertility treatments, and if you expect your partner to attend prenatal appointments, parenting classes, and more together so that you’re on the same page when it comes to welcome your new family member. The strongest families generally come down to two parents who share in the responsibilities of parenthood and stand by each other when things get challenging.
Communication and Shared Roles
One of the best ways to make it to the end with your spouse is to have regular communication. It’s a good idea to set aside time on a regular basis for distraction-free communication. Marriages where regular communication happens often last longer. Talk not only about long and short term dreams and goals but how you’ll tweak your individual or shared roles.
For example, if one person is better with finances than the other, have a conversation about that person making the final decision when it comes to big purchases. Clearly define roles, like who will stay home with kids, who will make dinner, and who’s job it will be to take out the trash. Setting these simple chores and daily task agreements up ahead will go a long way in keeping your relationship strong. If things aren’t working out as they are, communicate about that as well. You can always change things around as you learn how to best navigate the ins and outs of your new life together.
Honoring the Relationship
Any strong relationship starts with two people who honor each other and support their partner’s dreams. By communicating regularly as you work through the normal life stages, you’ll be happier. Times will get hard here and there. When this happens, consider making the relationship a priority by planning a vacation together, hiring a marriage counselor, or simply planning quality time and date nights together. With two people invested in honoring a shared lifetime dream, there’s always a way to work through crises or challenges. Don’t expect either person or the relationship to be perfect. Instead, honor the journey together and how much is ahead. Marriage is like a marathon, not a sprint.
In the end, marriage is a choice. Love is, too. By choosing to pick your battles, communicating effectively, making decisions together every step of the way, and compromising, you’ll have a better chance at reaching that happy ending we all sign up for.