Few things are viewed as having as much importance and sacredness as marriage. Finding one’s true love is a sought-after goal for most people, and marriage is usually the next step. However, it’s just as well-known that marriage isn’t easy and requires a lesser-known secret to keep it solidly afloat. While communication is one aspect of this, generally emotionally wealthy couples are those that tend to have lasting marriages.
There’s more to keeping a marriage secure and healthy than being consistently happy and giddy, and it’s understanding this first that is most important. The hard work is often overlooked in the fantasy of marriage, and this includes five habits emotionally wealthy couples do to make a marriage last a lifetime.
One way emotionally wealthy couples keep a marriage alive is by expressing appreciation on a daily basis. Couples often ignore each other’s emotional needs out of mindlessness, though not out of an intentional ill will. When one feels unappreciated, a feeling of resentment builds up and affects the relationship in negative ways when it manifests unexpectedly. Acknowledging small gestures and remembering these gestures is a good way to foster positive relationship patterns.
A study published by the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy discovered that the spillover of external stress into the relationship was the single biggest reason why couples relapsed two years after marital therapy. Conversations that are stress-reducing are some of the most important discussions a couple can have.
The Normal Bar study of more than 70,000 people in 24 countries found that couples who have a great sex life kiss one another passionately for no reason, they cuddle, and they are mindful about making small appreciative gestures toward each other. Kissing, holding hands, and cuddling are all opportunities to show appreciation and affection.
Celebrate good news
In the same way appreciation is necessary, so is more positive energy in the form of celebrating good news. Divorce occurs when there is less positivity in a marriage. Howard Markman, co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver and one of the nation’s leading marriage researchers, says, “It turns out that the amount of fun couples have and the strength of their friendships are a strong predictor of their future.”
Researchers from the University of Washington discovered that in stable marriages, there are at least five times more positive interactions than negative ones. When the ratio starts to drop, the marriage is at high risk for divorce.
Maintain other relationships
While you might not expect this tip in maintaining your relationship, it’s healthy to stay close to family and friends to get support and intimacy from other sources besides your partner. While your marriage should be your primary relationship, it should not be your only one. The way to strengthen a marriage is not to put too much emotional demand on a spouse and to foster interests beyond the twosome.