A successful marriage is built on communication, sacrifice, trust, and of course, love. It is a balancing act that requires both parties to give and take, and it’s the opportunity to spend the rest of your life with the person you love. Marriage is not always easy, and sometimes it’s not fun, but it’s always worth it because your soulmate is by your side.
Psychology Today notes one important thing to consider before delving into marriage: “Love and marriage require a 100% investment from both partners — and acceptance of your spouse as a 50/50 partner in all that you do — and if you are not ready to let someone into your life so fully and openly, then maybe marriage is not yet the step you need to take.”
To help break it down for you even further, we’ve compiled five useful tips that everyone should remember before jumping into the life-long commitment that is marriage. Read on.
1. You need to be able to admit when you’re wrong
Marriage means that no matter how strongly you feel that you’re “right,” you also need to be able to admit that you’re wrong sometimes. Agree to disagree and make sure to work the issue out promptly. Marriage is not a contest that you have to win, and at the end of the day, you’re both there to support and understand each other.
2. Married life is not perfect
Marriage means that no matter how much you value beauty, perfection, and social approval, sometimes you just have to accept that life is much less perfect than you ever expected. There’s a lot of negotiating, and there will be times when both of you will need to make sacrifices for the sake of the marriage. It’s important, however, to not lose yourself entirely. Spend some time alone from time to time, doing the things that you love. You and your partner should understand that the other will occasionally need some alone time to regroup and recharge.
3. Marriage means not straying
Infidelity breaks the trust in a relationship and has the ability to tear a marriage apart. Marriage means that you are committed to one person (unless you’re in an open marriage). When you cheat, you break the most important thing in your relationship: trust. Interestingly, according to a study from Texas A&M University, males tend to cheat more than women not because of a lack of self-control, but because of their stronger sexual impulses. If you fear you may someday cheat, it’s important to talk to your partner and maintain an open line of communication. Don’t keep those fears hidden.
Here’s something you may not know about infidelity: In some states, adultery is considered a crime and is punishable (though these statutes are rarely enforced). Just one more reason to not stray from your partner.
4. Fights cannot make or break the marriage
Fights in marriages should not always mean the end of the relationship. Couples argue, but your relationship should be far stronger than a spat about whose turn it is to wash the dishes. Make sure you communicate constantly so that little things don’t build into a huge blowout. And when you do fight, talk about it, make up, and move on.
5. Marriage means that you are partners in life
Marriage truly means taking on the world together. Your spouse is not only your spouse. This person is also your partner, and hopefully, you two make an amazing team. It’s not just about sharing your bed, your home, and all of those personal and intimate moments. It’s about taking on life’s battles together. That, my friends, is not only marriage — it’s true love.