Marriage is a lifelong commitment of love, happiness and family building. It is a devotion to growing each other’s physical, intellectual and social demands. A love relationship should not be just a feast of sweet words; it should be backed up by actions.

Spouses should vigorously seek ways of showing love to each other by creating a sense of ownership and being accessible for friendship and intimacy. Your flexibility in adjusting to change will inevitably help you survive the marriage cycle. All relationships have ups and downs. Some of the down times are avoidable while others are not.

No matter how in love you are, your ability to reason about alternative solutions is the most excellent tool in marriage. Remember that most divorce cases occur during the first ten years of marriage. If you expect to have a happy home, the following six tips will help you maintain a lasting happy relationship.

1. Express Appreciation

Showing gratitude, affection, praise, and encouragement, support the self-esteem and worth of family members. Married partners, who complain about falling out of love, may have just stopped affirming each other and started to take each other for granted.

Criticism and focusing on the negative depreciate and devalues your partner. People who are Judgmental are bossing, ordering, demanding, blaming, correcting and belittling. Expressions of interests like suggestive glances, smiles, and touching communicate warm caring. Without doing so, you make your partner begin to doubt their importance to you and love flies out of the window.

2. Spend Time Together

Just like anything else of value, marriage requires time and work. Making the family a priority is necessary because the demands of work, committee meetings, clubs, hobbies, sports or studies tend to pre-occupy most peoples’ time leaving them fatigued, and with little energy.

Ensure that you commit to having quality and a regular time together at meals, recreation, and other family activities. Learning to say ‘No’ and being in control of your daily or weekly schedules is very important in strengthening the family bond

3. Ability to Deal With a Crisis

Where two people of different backgrounds, ideas, and will attempt to live and work together, conflict is inevitable. How you handle the difficulties you experience, determines if the marriage will survive or breakdown. During times of crisis, couples should support each other in finding ways of solving their differences lovingly, using useful communication skills.

Do not try to solve a conflict by ignoring it and hoping that it will go away or use bullying or manipulative tactics as these will result in each spouse becoming defensive and blaming.

4. Good Communication

Communicating involves more than mere talk. It involves reciprocating of emotions and meanings not through words only but also, by voice tonality and gestures. A few people are gifted naturally with these skills, but they can also be learned. You should be open in sharing your true self and brave enough to say what you think or feel.

However, honesty is not a license for dumping criticism, gloom or hurting one another and one should know when to keep the truth without necessarily lying.

5. Have a High Degree of Spiritual Orientation

Couples who share similar faith, universal values and purpose in life have higher levels of marital happiness and are not likely to divorce. Spiritual intimacy between husband and wife is found to correlate positively with attitudes of sexual intimacy in marriage. When couples share their whole and spiritual selves, there is a force which is known to unite them like nothing else.

6. Commitment

Spouses who realize that marriage is work, and require high levels of commitment to each other’s happiness, welfare, and other needs, have higher chances of survival. The difference between happy and unhappy marriages often is in their belief of how to find joy and love through giving or getting.

Marriage and raising a family involves a lot of giving and only those who find pleasure in giving, report satisfaction and excitement in seeing their partner receive. On the other hand, those who end up in conflict are those who do not find pleasure in giving but in winning.

Final Line

Some couples may need to do more adjusting than others, as they come from different backgrounds. But knowing that these differences are as a result of clashing backgrounds and not critical mismatch helps the process of bonding and reduces friction in the relationship.

The process of divorce involves feelings of distress, panic, guilt, and blame, a sense of failure, anger, low self-esteem, and anxiety. You may end up in a severe depression or drug use which will eventually lead you to deteriorate in life even more. It’s never too late to re-examine your attitude and fall back on the right track to save your marriage.