Learn how to strengthen your marriage
Every marriage has its ups and downs. You may have found your perfect partner and be living happily ever after now, but it is normal for any long-term relationship to ebb and flow. If you want to keep you and your spouse happy together in the long term, you should be prepared to invest in some essential regular relationship maintenance.
At KlearMinds, our experienced couple counsellors have helped many married couples navigate relationship issues. We also offer pre-marital counselling to help you learn the strategies to build a lasting, fulfilling marriage together. The key to being able to weather any storms is to form good habits from the start. With that in mind, we’ve collated some of the key strategies that will help you build a strong and healthy marriage.
1 – Learn how to manage conflict
Conflict is something that every couple has to deal with on occasion. One of the most common misconceptions is that happy couples never argue – but that is just not true. Every human relationship will encounter conflict at some point; it’s part of how we grow and change.
Don’t see conflict as a sign of weakness that is to be avoided at all cost. Nor should arguments descend into name calling, blame storming or physical violence. Rather, you must both learn how to handle disagreements in a loving and respectful manner.
Focus on identifying where you own needs are not being met, and communicate this openly to your spouse so they can support you better. Whether the issue is sharing household chores, needing your own space or trusting in each other’s decision making, you need to get to the bottom of the conflict to enable you both to move forwards in a positive, productive way.
2 – Always check your assumptions
It is all too easy to jump to conclusions when you feel that you’ve been hurt. But perhaps you were too quick to judge? Not everything has to be interpreted in the way that you think, especially in the heat of the moment. In other words, your assumption that you know exactly why your partner acts the way they do, or what they mean by a particular statement, can be one of the greatest downfalls of your marriage.
It’s always better to check your assumptions before making a judgement, to avoid misunderstandings and unnecessary conflict. Take a deep breath to regain your composure, and when you are feeling calm, centred and ready to communicate, ask your spouse to clarify their words or actions.
Remind yourself that your marriage is based on mutual love, trust and respect, and that your default position should always be that your partner has acted with the best of intentions.
3 – Support each other’s personal growth
Whether or not you are in a relationship, you will experience change and personal growth throughout your life. In successful marriages and similar long-term relationships, each partner will have the freedom to evolve, and are supported wholeheartedly in this endeavour by their other half.
Many couples drift apart or experience conflict when they are changing in a way that is not complementary, which pushes them further away from each other. From new interests and hobbies to career development opportunities and more, if you try to stop your partner from changing, you will inadvertently be stifling their ability to grow, which can lead to resentment. Change is inevitable and the most successful marriages remain open to embracing it as a couple.
4 – Ask for help when you need it
While clear, honest and respectful communication is the key to relationship success, not everyone knows how to be a good communicator. Start by learning to listen to your spouse for the purpose of understanding, and separate this from your desire to respond straight away, or the urge to ‘win the argument’.
At KlearMinds, we have been teaching communication strategies and relationship tools to many couples over the years – and we can do the same for you. No two marriages are the same, and it is up to you and your partner to figure out what works for your relationship. It takes honesty, vulnerability and courage to do the inner work needed for a strong and healthy marriage. If you feel that KlearMinds couple counselling may be helpful, please get in touch.