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10 Inspiring Quotes That Lead You To A Long And Happy Marriage

10 Inspiring Quotes That Lead You To A Long And Happy Marriage

Did the love of your life just propose? Maybe you’ve just recently said “I do,” or you’ve been hitched for a few years now. With the divorce rates high and stable in the United States, most married couples want to know how to make their marriage last and remain a happy one “until death do us part.”

Ask happily married couples what their secrets are and the success factors boil down to a few key areas: communication, respect, gratitude, acceptance, trust, and friendship.

Check out these 10 inspiring quotes and see if you see your marriage inside them:

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“Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate” – Barnett Bruckner

The secret to finding your true everlasting love is to become the love you seek. If you want someone to love, honor, and appreciate you then you must learn to love, honor and appreciate yourself first. Why? Because we teach others how to treat us by how we treat ourselves. Become the love of your life and the love of your life will find you.

“If most of your arguments start softly, your marriage is likely to be stable and happy” – John Gottman

Rather than bark at or attack the love your life when disagreements happen, begin with saying a few things you appreciate about your love. Keep the middle of your conversation focused on the one issue or disagreement and end with something kind. You are far more likely to achieve a successful outcome, even if you simply agree to disagree, than if you assault your partner with ugly words.

“Every love story is beautiful but ours is my favorite” – Unknown

Comparison truly is the thief of joy and when couples begin to compare their marriage or love story with that of others or those portrayed by Hollywood, that may leave one half of the couple feeling like their missing out. Remember, the grass is always greener when you water your own. Nurture, grow, and celebrate your own love story.

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“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Hold hands. Whisper in each others ears. Play. Make time for each other. Be interesting and be interested. The courtship and the friendship that originally brought you together doesn’t have to end after you say “I do.’ Life’s ups and downs are easier to navigate when you know that you’re meeting it head on with your best friend.

“Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side” – Zig Ziglar

When you said “I do,” you joined forces, clasped hands, and walked down the aisle together as a united couple. When the outside world of kids, money, in-laws, outlaws, work, and home ownership tries to burst your love bubble and tear the two of you apart, remember, you’re on the same side.

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” – Winnie the Pooh

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways! Be grateful. Begin each day with gratitude. The more gratitude your heart holds, the less negativity and criticism it will harbor. You’ll be less likely to be snarky when you get home from work or crabby when your honey unintentionally hurts your feelings.

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“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”  – Dalai Lama

Your happiness is your responsibility. Your partner’s happiness is your partner’s responsibility. Make no mistake here – the love of your life is not responsible for your happiness. He’s more like BASF. Think of your sweetie as a happiness mood enhancer.

“For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.” Judy Garland

Every day, for the next 30 days, practice the art of the 30 second kiss. That’s right, take your sweetie in your arms and pucker up. Kissing reduces anxiety and stops the static and chatter in your mind. It increases the levels of oxytocin, an extremely calming hormone that produces a feeling of peace. And don’t forget to hug the love of your life as well. Hugging really does make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. It reduces stress and tension and provides an overall sense of calmness.

“You are one with your husband until you believe the thought that he should look a certain way, he should give you something, he should be something other than what he is.” Byron Katie

To remain one with your partner allow him to be who he is. To believe the thought that the one you love should change to suit your expectations is an illusion. When we allow each other to be who we are without jealousy, envy, or anger the marriage relationship reaps the rewards of trust, appreciation, and love.

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“But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.” – Kahlil Gibran

Understand where your partner ends and you begin. You are a whole person not someone’s better half. You are not the missing puzzle piece to someone else’s life. Pursue your passions and dreams and allow the love of your life to do the same. Your marriage will flourish under the guardianship of two whole people who joined together to become an unparalleled force.

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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