Over the last two decades, marriage specialists have researched the ingredients of a happy marriage. As a result, we know more about building a successful marriage today than ever before. For example, happily married couples will have:
Healthy expectations of marriage
A realistic concept of love
A positive attitude and outlook toward life
The ability to communicate their feelings
An understanding and acceptance of their gender differences
The ability to make decisions and settle arguments
A common spiritual foundation and goal
Every couple should be aware of these issues before they marry. Taking the time to understand these issues is like investing in an insurance policy against divorce.
I have learned that living happily ever after is less a mystery than the mastery of certain skills. Although married life will always have its difficulties, you will steadily and dramatically improve your relationship by mastering certain life skills.
Many couples wrongly blame in-laws, money, and sex for breakups and marital dissatisfaction. However, the hot points in marriage usually result from poor communication, gender issues, and lack of spiritual health.
More relationships begin with an emotional honeymoon, a time of deep and passionate romance. But this romance is invariably temporary. In The Road Less Traveled, Dr. Scott Peck says that “no matter whom we fall in love with, we sooner or later fall out of love if the relationship continues long enough.” He does not mean that we cease loving our partner. He means that the feeling of ecstatic love that characterizes the experience of falling in love always passes. “The honeymoon always ends,” he states. “The bloom of romance always fades,”
It is an illusion that the romance in the beginning of a relationship will last forever. This may be hard to swallow, but debunking the myth of eternal romance will do more than just about anything to help you build a lifelong happy marriage.
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