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:
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.