We tried to save money on our wedding so we did a lot of the work and utilized the skills of family and friends. The day before the wedding, as I took our wedding cake out of the oven (that I had just baked myself), I finally had the thought, “Maybe I’m doing too much work on my wedding.” While weddings can be stressful and take a ton of work, the marriage that comes after takes a lot more. This is especially true if you desire to have a marriage that is lasting and strong.
In his book, Learning to Live with the Love of Your Life, Dr. Neil Clark Warren reveals 10 secrets to a happy marriage based on his interviews with 100 successful couples and his 30 years of counseling work. According to Dr. Warren, the following 10 skills are crucial to a joyful marriage. Here are his 10 secrets of a happy marriage.
1. Dream a Dream.
If you want your marriage to grow and to be its best, you and your husband need to create a vision for it and your life together.
2. Get Tough.
Marriage takes a lot of work, and a couple must be willing to fully commit to making the marriage strong.
3. Maximize the Trust Factor.
Learn how to be truthful and trustworthy for your husband, and how to trust him in return.
4. Get Healthy.
Marriages have a much greater chance of being successful if both people are emotionally healthy. If one or both of you have personal issues or an unhealthy self-concept, consider seeing a counselor.
5. Work on Chemistry.
Keep the romance strong in your marriage. Discover the reasons you fell in love with each other and build on those.
6. Learn to Talk.
Communication is invaluable in a strong marriage. Take the time to learn good communication skills and use them in your relationship.
7. Work it Through.
Even in the best marriages, conflict will happen. The key to getting through the tough times is to learn the skills of conflict resolution and to come up with a strategy in your marriage.
8. Negotiate a Mutually Satisfying Sexual Relationship.
Both you and your husband need to be willing to work on this aspect of your relationship. Dr. Warren makes several recommendations, including buying a book on marital sex, seeking counseling if needed and improving communication.
9. Get Connected.
Although children can be a drain on a marriage relationship, they can also be the source of joy if their role is viewed correctly.
10. Pursue Spirituality.
Spiritual intimacy in marriage is another great step toward marital fulfillment.
This article is based on the book, Learning to Live with the Love of Your Life by Dr. Neil Clark Warren.
Tell us! What is the most challenging thing about your marriage?