Today on the 29th of May 2016, my hubby and I celebrated 11 years of marriage. We decided to celebrate big and enjoy a helicopter ride; perhaps almost synonymous with our marriage, one hell of a ride!
After all this time, I can attest that there is no such thing as a perfect relationship, no matter how happy a couple look. I’m in an inter-racial age-gap marriage with baggage brought from our former lives and issues developed within our lifetime. However, at the core of our relationship, we are content and in my experience, here are at least 10 ways a marriage can lean towards being happily ever after:
NOTE: I’m not a relationship counsellor by any means, but I do have over 10 years experience of the good and bad of a long-term marriage.
1. Have a Common Spiritual Belief
Regardless of what your beliefs are, if you don’t share the same spiritual outlook with your potential spouse, your marriage might not work. I have seen it time and time again over the years that different beliefs often cause division in a marriage. This is primarily due to morals and values deriving from this perspective so, look for someone who shares the same spiritual foundation as you, as this is at the core of who you are as a person.
2. Know Exactly What you Want in a Spouse
We knew exactly what we wanted from a spouse before we met each other and did not waiver from that despite propositions from other people. Call it fate or whatever you may, but it is incredible how you get who you want when you know exactly what you’re looking for.
3. Have No Secrets Before Marriage
We knew the good, the bad and the ugly about each other before we decided to wed. Your past always comes back to haunt you. So if you haven’t been honest with your spouse, it may damage your union as the truth always rears its head one way or another in future.
4. Meet Their Family and Friends
A good way to know your potential spouse better is in the company of other people. Observe how they interact with their parents, children, family and friends. It may reveal qualities that you like or dislike about them.
5. Seek Marriage Counselling
We invested 6 weeks in marriage counselling before we decided to wed. It was the best investment we made as those 6 weeks taught us how to resolve conflicts maturely. A lifetime of marriage is filled with differences in everything; from opinions to where you’ll live; from how many children you’ll have to financial management. So learning some basics of resolving married-life conflicts is quite handy.
6. Observe How They Handle Their Finances
This is a real serious point – financial stress is one of the biggest killers of marriage. It takes all sorts to make the money world go around – from the spenders to the savers, the frugal to the flamboyant. You’ve got to know how you handle your own money and ascertain if your potential spouse’s ways fit in with yours.
7. Accept Them or Move On
I’ve heard many friends determined to change their spouse into something that they really want. It does not work like that; trust me, I use to try. People don’t change much at all and you are kidding yourself if you think you can. Accept your potential spouse warts and all or move on to someone who suits you better.
8. Marry your Best Friend
Your best friend is someone you can talk to for hours on end and be with 24/7 yet still not be bored or irritated by them. Your best friend is also someone who is there for you through thick and thin, ups and downs, good times and bad. Marry that kind of person, a true and loyal friend.
9. Keep it Spicy
Yep, I went there! Bedroom activities are different for everyone. I have found that as long as we communicate about it all and keep things interesting in the bedroom, lifetime marriages can be a lot of fun in that regard.
We talk a lot about everything. From the conversational topics of religion, politics, racial issues, business, etc… To the intimate details of our lives such as feelings, fears, mistakes, regrets, hopes and dreams. Deep communication and also the general chit-chats keep us connected on a close level.
“A marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person,” – Mignon McLaughlin, American author.
I wish you all the best in your pursuit of love and marriage and may you never settle for anyone less than what you deserve.