Do you know anyone who is staying married to do the right thing? To keep the family together? Or, to keep the kids happy? I’m going to unveil one of the secrets to making marriages last and work.
I know many of you don’t want to wait until your kids are out of the house to enjoy your relationship. You want to genuinely enjoy your spouse’s company. I bet you have either found the secret to making your marriage work or you are looking for the secret.
Here’s one of the secrets to making marriages last and work.
But first, what do you think makes half of marriages work? I think we all carry assumptions about what makes marriages more enjoyable and long-lasting. Is it common values? Open communication? An abundant and debt-free life?
What’s the Secret to Making Marriages Last?
I imagine the secret to making your marriage last may vary between couples. Yet, I think one commonality among couples enjoying a long-lasting marriage is the ability to tolerate differences.
Do you remember being bothered by differences when you first met? Probably not. It was exciting and interesting to learn about your differences. It was like unraveling a mystery. In the beginning, even your significant others’ flaws were endearing.
No one was trying to change the other. It isn’t until time passes or households are shared that you really start to notice your differences. You start feeling like your way is the best way. Or, maybe you think there is something wrong with your mate for thinking so differently than yourself. If only you can light their fire and show them the right way to do it!
Sounds like a fight waiting to happen. When tension rises, you can try to prove your point or you can shut down. What if there is another way to relate to your loved one?
How Do You Tolerate Your Differences?
I think it starts with being less afraid of differences. How anxious do you get about differences or conflict? What if you didn’t have to change your spouse? Instead, focus on being curious. Remember what it was like to observe your spouse like a mysterious creature.
The idea is to begin to develop a new perspective about differences. They don’t have to be scary or annoying. You may even find you have more in common than you thought. For instance, you may both lose your temper with the kids, just not over the same issues or at the same times.
And, hopefully you find out that your spouse can navigate their own life. You don’t have to point out what they are doing wrong, however subtle your questions and suggestions may be. Realize that differences don’t mean that one is better or worse, right or wrong, just different.
What’s Good About Having Differences?
- It keeps some mystery in the relationship. I don’t think I want to spend endless hours talking to someone who thinks exactly like I do. That wouldn’t be very interesting or challenging for me. It would be boring.
- It helps kids learn about differences. Kids learn how to relate to each parent in a different way. This teaches them how to adapt to changes. And, it will go a long way to helping them work with different types of people in school and life.
- It also opens up more possibilities when solving problems. Sometimes you hold your position, sometimes you compromise, and sometimes you go with your loved one’s idea. Know when to be flexible and when to hold your own.
So, let’s not keep married couples in the dark. Unveil the secrets to making marriages work. Half of us are doing it. Tolerating differences between spouses is only one of the ways couples are able to enjoy each other more.
Now, it’s your turn. I want to hear your perspective. What helps you tolerate differences with your significant other? Share your secret to making your marriage last.
All clinical material on this site is peer reviewed by one or more clinical psychologists or other qualified mental health professionals. This specific article was originally published by Dr Greg Mulhauser, Managing Editor on .on and was last reviewed or updated by