If you go to your local Barnes and Noble, or whatever bookstore you frequent, usually somewhere in the middle of the store you can find a relationships and marriage section. This area is often filled with everything from Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts to How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It.
With all the information out there regarding how to have a successful marriage, what makes the principles so hard to incorporate and apply?
Granted, marriage is not so easy that there is a definitive formula that everyone can follow to discover a marriage out of this world. It still requires work and there will still be struggles.
A lasting marriage can be attained and it’s simpler than you think.
Beyond the idea of simply creating a marriage that lasts there is the joy and pleasure a marriage fully alive can provide for both participants. There are no actual steps that everyone can follow to an extremely happy marriage, but there are some sure fire ways to create an unhappy marriage.
- Complain. Complaining is like a rocking chair. It feels comfortable and you feel like your getting something done by rocking, but you don’t go anywhere. To break this, try the 21 day complaint free marriage experiment.
- Have a cluttered home. Nothing will add to the stress level of a marriage like a cluttered home. It’s disorganized and often chaotic. Simplify the things in your house. Put things away or get rid of it if you don’t use it. Your marriage will improve as will your own well being.
- Complicate things. Many people fall victim to the dreaded over-thinking things. Most things in life are not all that complicated. Break everything down into two choices. Then make a decision and go with it.
- Have a busy schedule. Work, kids, school, friends, family, housework, social activities, travel, and on it goes. We seem to cram as many things into life as we possibly can. Then we don’t enjoy the things we are committed to because we worry about the next thing on our list. Slow down. Prioritize your commitments. Do less.
- Be too close to each other. Every relationship begins with the desire to be as close as possible. You think about them all the time. You scheme ways to be together. As the relationship progresses, most couples remain too close, although you don’t realize it. You border on being smothered by your spouse. Unable to chart your own way in life. While this seems like it is based on love and care, it often is a reaction to the importance level your spouse assumes in life. You become fearful of being too independent based on how your spouse may react. Many married couples are emotional siamese twins, joined at the emotional hip. One of them will often be offended when the other simply wants to go to the other room to get a glass of water.
- Spend no time alone. Just because you are married does not mean you have ceased to exist as an individual. Life is still going on and your dreams still play an important role in your life. There is nothing wrong with being apart at times in order to go out with friends. This is more than being apart to take care of career tasks. This is being apart to do things you love and enjoy.
- Be each others only friends. Similar to spending no time alone, don’t be each others only outlet for friendship. You already play too many roles with each other in marriage. Save some things for other people to fulfill.
- Be overly-controlling. Humans have a major weakness in that we think we can control the things around us. Including other humans. Often this comes across as manipulative. Give your spouse the respect another human deserves and let them handle their own choices. Not only is this a respectful way to do marriage, it’s the foundation for getting more out of marriage.
- Triangulate your children. Pardon me while I use psychobabble for a moment. In families, whenever a need or desire is not met by one of the members, we often will recruit another member to fulfill it. For example, you don’t get all the attention you wish from your spouse so you dive into your kid’s world. This puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the child. It requires them to become adults too fast. Let your children be children. Keep the marriage between you and your spouse.
- Don’t exercise. Regardless what science and the medical world tell you, your body is the only one you are going to have. Take care of it. A healthy body creates a healthier marriage. Take care of your physical health and you will get more out of life.
- Eat only from the drive-thru. Just like taking care of the outside of your body, you need to care for your insides as well. This doesn’t mean go on an immediate diet. Just watch what you eat. Pick healthy items. Or better yet, cook at home with your spouse. It gives you more time together. And you will live longer together.
- Dive into the media. It is easy to get lost in TV, video games, the Internet, even books and talk shows. When you get right down to it, none of these are reality. Even reality shows aren’t reality. Get involved with those around you. Go on a media fast for a day, week, month. See if that doesn’t provide a spark for your relationships.