5 Tips to Make Your Marriage Work

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With nearly 50% of marriages ending in divorce in the U.S., making a marriage work truly does require considerable effort, determination, and patience. Couples often find it extremely difficult to solve their differences and find solutions to recurring problems in their marriage. After numerous quarrels and no reconciliation in sight, divorce becomes the (seemingly) only option.

But don’t give up. For those who feel that the possibility of divorce is on the rise and want to mend their relationship with their spouse, there are options. Continue reading to learn five ways to strengthen marriage and make it last.

Practice Clear and Effective Communication

“Communication is key” is a phrase often repeated, and for good reason. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that one’s spouse is an entirely separate human being, with a different way of thinking and going about life. Thus, clear and effective communication with one’s spouse is paramount to getting two different mindsets on the same page and avoiding a misunderstanding.

The Greek philosopher Epictetus once said, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” On that note, successful communication begins with honesty, flows with kindness, and thrives with attentive listening. Oftentimes people are so busy thinking about a comeback that they are not intently listening to what their spouse is telling them. And on the flip side, it’s difficult to be heard if partners consistently play the blame game and never actually reveal what they need.

One can not solve a problem that they don’t know exists or that they’re not sure how to solve, so spouse’s must give one another their undivided attention in conversations and think before they reply, but after the other has spoken. Additionally, talk about issues with a genuine intention of seeking a solution and not placing blame. It isn’t necessary for two autonomous individuals to be on the same wavelength, but they can certainly coincide.

Make Intimacy a Priority

“Intimacy” doesn’t just mean the bedroom stuff. Intimacy is closeness, togetherness, and affection. A couple may require varying levels of intimacy to remain happy in their marriage, so it’s essential that they keep in mind their partner’s emotional needs and commit to fulfilling them to the best of their ability. If one person prefers frequent affection and the other is satisfied with receiving it occasionally, they should first discuss what affection looks like to them, and then meet each other in the middle.

Everyone likes to feel that their spouse enjoys being around them, so couples should make spending quality time with one another a priority. Activities could be as simple as watching a movie on the sofa, cooking a meal together, or having regular date nights. Let your time together be sacred and consistent. Doing so can help provide a temporary escape from the stresses of everyday life and allows partners to focus on their union.

Build Trust

A marriage without trust is, indeed, in jeopardy. Trust is like a fortress that surrounds a couple, and it gets harder to build back up each time a bit of it crumbles to the ground. Because of how it operates, it’s essential to preserve it and never take it for granted. Even if little faith remains between two married individuals, they can start building back stronger now.

It goes without saying that extramarital affairs are trust killers, but having an affair isn’t the only way to cause distrust between a couple. Speaking poorly of one’s spouse to family and friends is highly detrimental. Not only that but couples feeling like they can’t disclose certain thoughts and feelings to one another is a sign of weak trust. Such apprehension should be discussed gently between partners to get to the root of the issue.

Forgive More

It’s true – no one’s perfect. Marriage is a long ride, and even with excellent communication, misunderstandings are bound to arise from time to time. An individual should forgive their partner for their shortcomings, and ask the other to forgive them for theirs. A grudge is a dark, rainy cloud that offers no benefit in maintaining a healthy marriage. Let it slide, or risk it raining on the chances of having a marriage that lasts.

Seek Professional Help

It’s important for couples to remember that they do not have to figure this out on their own. Couples therapy offers many benefits, one being that it allows both partners to share their thoughts and concerns in a mediated environment. Another is that it allows the couple to hear an unbiased perspective from a professional who specializes in helping married couples get their marriage to where they want it to be. Couples can search for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs) in their area to get professional help.

It’s Hard, But it Can be Worthwhile

Maintaining a healthy, loving marriage is a lifelong commitment that requires immense patience, diligence, maturity, and empathy. And despite the amount of effort that it demands, it can be worth it when it’s all said and done. Partners must treat each other better than they treat anyone else, and remember that they are a team rather than enemies. So give each other the benefit of the doubt, and focus on reaching solutions that satisfy the needs of both partners. And with that, for couples struggling to keep their marriage afloat, consider implementing these five tips to help get it back on track.


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