Over half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. If you are just entering into the world of marriage, this may seem surprising, because you are very much in love with your spouse-to-be. Unfortunately, it is a true statistic, and what many young couples fail to realize is that marriage takes work. Here are some tips you can use to create a marriage that lasts.
First and foremost, recognize that marriage takes commitment. There are going to be difficult times in any marriage. There are going to be times when you resent your spouse, feel unappreciated, or simply want out. Realize this, and commit yourselves to working through these hard times.
Second, put your spouse first at all times. When kids come into the picture, they must be second to your spouse. This does not mean that your spouse monopolizes your time, but make sure you do the little things to show who is the most important in your life.
Make sure you spend a few minutes each day talking without distractions. Turn off the TV 10 minutes before bedtime, put the kids to bed a little early, take the phone off the hook, or do whatever else it takes to get some time to focus solely on one another. This must be done daily, and if you miss a day, make sure you get right back into the routine the next day.
Never forget to say, “I love you,” and kiss your spouse frequently. These do not have to be long, passionate kisses, but if you do not kiss your spouse several times a day, it will be noticed. Make sure you hug frequently as well.
Never, never forget birthdays or anniversaries. Simply giving your spouse a card or flowers will go a long way. If money is tight or you did not have time to go to the store, a simple “happy birthday” will show that you did not forget. Since these special dates happen just once a year, do what you can to make them special.
Finally, tone down the criticism. Criticism will kill a marriage faster than just about anything. Remember, your spouse is not perfect, but neither are you. If there is something that you feel needs to be changed, talk about it in a civil, non-critical manner, but overlook flaws whenever you can. Focus on the positive, and make sure you tell your spouse when he or she does something you appreciate. It’s the little things that make or break a marriage and with these tips you can build a marriage that lasts.