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11 Secrets Couples with a Lifelong Marriage Want to Tell You

11 Secrets Couples with a Lifelong Marriage Want to Tell You

You’ve seen that adorable elderly couple sitting on a park bench or taking a stroll around the park. They’re always holding hands and they look so comfortable with each other, like they’ve spent their entire life in synchronization. If you could interview that couple, there are probably a few major things you could learn about cultivating a successful relationship.

The American Psychological Association estimates that between 40 and 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. That number is a 40 percent increase from 40 years ago, and it’s not looking any better for the future.

Divorce is sometimes the best option for everyone involved, but other times, it could have been prevented if there had been some great role models to turn to in time of need. The reality is that you could be sabotaging your relationship without even realizing it! If you could spy on a couple that has a successful, lifelong marriage, here are a few things you’d notice they do.

1. They tell each other what they’re thinking

How many of your arguments come as a result of poor communication? Contrary to popular belief, being “one” in marriage doesn’t mean that you have the same thoughts. Even those who’ve been married for 50 years can’t tell what their spouse is thinking all the time. That’s why it’s so important to tell your spouse what you’re thinking, without making them guess.

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2. They continue to date each other

If you look back at the days before you were married and compare them to now, you’ll probably notice a significant difference in the attention your spouse pays to you. That’s probably because before you were married, you went on real dates.

Dates are the best place for you to really bond as a couple. You can revert to the days where you were trying to impress one another and make each other happy while getting away from the stress of life, kids, and work.

3. They have children

These married couples will likely tell you that having children was one of the most difficult things they’ve done. They’ll also tell you it’s one of the most rewarding. Children define a new kind of intimacy among parents. Creating a child, finding out you’re pregnant, being a part of the birthing experience, teaching your child to ride a bike, and more are all a part of an amazing experience that helps your entire family grow closer together.

4. They argue with a purpose rather than for the sake of arguing

There are probably a few things that you and your spouse argue about over and over. For example, he leaves his muddy shoes on the carpet, while she parks the car crooked. The list could go on and on. Instead of yelling and complaining without any kind of resolution, argue with the intent of finding a solution.

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Constructive arguing involves asking questions, understanding your spouse’s feelings, and presenting some kind of solution. These arguments end with an action. Try and plan to correct the problem, so that the topic doesn’t come up again in the same negative light.

5. They don’t complain unless they have a solution

“You always leave the butter sitting on the counter.” “You never help me get the kids ready for school.” “You never remember parent teacher conference.” Sound familiar? Those in lasting relationships recognize that constant complaining gets you nowhere. All it does is heighten your anger and increase the likelihood of an argument. It’s okay to vent – just make sure you have a solution for what’s frustrating you before bringing it up.

6. They express gratitude

The best way to avoid complaining is to look for things to be grateful for in your spouse. You could even try documenting these things in a gratitude journal. It might take a little pondering at first, but you’ll soon find that there are many things to be grateful for. Your gratitude can go as deep as, “I’m grateful that my husband never gives up.” Or it could be as lighthearted and simple as, “I’m grateful that my wife picked me up from work today.”

You can also try and take the time to express gratitude for your spouse verbally. Studies show that those who make sure their spouse feels more appreciated have significantly greater feelings of love and contentment than those who go days at a time without saying thank you.

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7. They recognize that their marriage comes first

Any lifelong couple will tell you that your spouse should come before anything else, even a deadline at work, and especially a night out with friends. When you prioritize your marriage, you cultivate an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect, which is an invaluable quality in any marriage.

8. They prioritize pillow talk

It’s easy to go to bed at separate times, especially when you have different interests and responsibilities to attend to. But couples who have been married for years recognize the value of pillow talk. They make it a priority to go to bed at the same time, even if it means going to bed later or earlier than you like. The time alone with your spouse in such an intimate setting will be priceless for relieving stress, talking about kids and work, and discussing hopes and dreams. These night-time chats really help develop your relationship – in every sense of the word.

9. They nurture common interests

Most couples don’t have nearly as much in common as they thought they did when they were dating. She might suddenly lose interest in ESPN, and he might suddenly decide he doesn’t like star gazing after all. But there will be some things that every couple still has in common. Successful marriages find the few things they have in common and cultivate a strong relationship through their common interests.

10. They use trust and forgiveness daily

Happy couples rely on trust and forgiveness. These essential qualities silence arguments and revitalize feelings of love and contentment. This is founded on unconditional love and an understanding that we all make mistakes. It is important to note; however, that this is a communal deal. There is a fine line between being trusting and forgiving, and getting hurt. Couples that are willing to mutually learn to trust and forgive each other are the ones that will survive.

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11. They hug each other

Physical intimacy has more pull in a relationship than many people give it credit for. Full body hugs are one of the best ways to feel closer to your partner and release stress. This fact is even backed by science. Hugging releases a hormone called oxytocin, which is nicknamed the “love hormone” because of the feelings it can evoke. So if you’re looking for a way to create greater feelings of love between you and your spouse, give each other a nice, tight hug before you leave for work and as soon as you get home.

Featured photo credit: artisticfilms via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

What do I want to do with my life? It’s a question all of us think about at one point or another.

For some, the answer comes easily. For others, it takes a lifetime to figure out.

It’s easy to just go through the motions and continue to do what’s comfortable and familiar. But for those of you who seek fulfillment, who want to do more, these questions will help you paint a clearer picture of what you want to do with your life.

1. What are the things I’m most passionate about?

The first step to living a more fulfilling life is to think about the things that you’re passionate about.

What do you love? What fulfills you? What “work” do you do that doesn’t feel like work? Maybe you enjoy writing, maybe you love working with animals or maybe you have a knack for photography.

The point is, figure out what you love doing, then do more of it.

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2. What are my greatest accomplishments in life so far?

Think about your past experiences and the things in your life you’re most proud of.

How did those accomplishments make you feel? Pretty darn good, right? So why not try and emulate those experiences and feelings?

If you ran a marathon once and loved the feeling you had afterwards, start training for another one. If your child grew up to be a star athlete or musician because of your teachings, then be a coach or mentor for other kids.

Continue to do the things that have been most fulfilling for you.

3. If my life had absolutely no limits, what would I choose to have and what would I choose to do?

Here’s a cool exercise: Think about what you would do if you had no limits.

If you had all the money and time in the world, where would you go? What would you do? Who would you spend time with?

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These answers can help you figure out what you want to do with your life. It doesn’t mean you need millions of dollars to be happy though.

What it does mean is answering these questions will help you set goals to reach certain milestones and create a path toward happiness and fulfillment. Which leads to our next question …

4. What are my goals in life?

Goals are a necessary component to set you up for a happy future. So answer these questions:

Once you figure out the answers to each of these, you’ll have a much better idea of what you should do with your life.

5. Whom do I admire most in the world?

Following the path of successful people can set you up for success.

Think about the people you respect and admire most. What are their best qualities? Why do you respect them? What can you learn from them?

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You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.[1] So don’t waste your time with people who hold you back from achieving your dreams.

Spend more time with happy, successful, optimistic people and you’ll become one of them.

6. What do I not like to do?

An important part of figuring out what you want to do with your life is honestly assessing what you don’t want to do.

What are the things you despise? What bugs you the most about your current job?

Maybe you hate meetings even though you sit through 6 hours of them every day. If that’s the case, find a job where you can work more independently.

The point is, if you want something to change in your life, you need to take action. Which leads to our final question …

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7. How hard am I willing to work to get what I want?

Great accomplishments never come easy. If you want to do great things with your life, you’re going to have to make a great effort. That will probably mean putting in more hours the average person, getting outside your comfort zone and learning as much as you can to achieve as much as you can.

But here’s the cool part: it’s often the journey that is the most fulfilling part. It’s during these seemingly small, insignificant moments that you’ll often find that “aha” moments that helps you answer the question,

“What do I want to do with my life?”

So take the first step toward improving your life. You won’t regret it.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Ly via unsplash.com

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