If you have been married for 20, 30, or even 40 years or more, you know how hard it can be to keep the spark alive. Relationships can get monotonous over time, and keeping your marriage new and exciting can be quite the challenge.
Plus, there are phenomena to consider, such as the seven-year itch. Psychologists claim that relationship satisfaction tends to dwindle during this time. In America, divorce rates peak at 10 to 12 years of marriage. In China, the numbers are 5 to 10 years.
So as you can see, the newness of marriage wanes over time. It does not last forever and in fact, it requires a lot of work. Nobody said marriage was easy. After all, the divorce rate is around 50%.
So how do you and your spouse defeat the odds and stay married forever? Here are some ways in which you can maintain a happy and healthy marriage for decades.
Determine Your Love Style
Surprisingly, not everyone defines love the same way. Researchers examined the effects of different love styles on marital satisfaction and found two extremes of the spectrum: Eros and Ludus. Eros was endorsed the most, while Ludus was endorsed the least.
Eros is described as passionate love inspired by strong physical and emotional attraction to a person’s partner, while Ludus is more of a game-playing conception of love, in which love is viewed as a game, without any sort of jealousy or commitment. Researchers found that Eros contributed to marital satisfaction for both husbands and wives.
Continue to Fall in Love
In order to stay in love for the long term, you need to continue falling in love with each other over and over again. To do this, couples need to be reminded of why they fell in love in the first place. Partners who have been married a long time often explain that their relationship has lasted because they both “like” and “love” each other. An easygoing personality also helps.
There are many factors that impact the experience of falling in love, and a couple of them include a reciprocal fondness for each other as well as an attraction to their partner’s personality. If both of these factors stay the course over time, it can be assumed that relational quality will improve over time.
Some long-married couples claim that staying married is effortless, but many will admit that it takes a lot of effort. However, if partners never lose sight of the qualities that brought them together in the first place, then they can enjoy a happy, long-lasting marriage.
Change the Way You Fight
Disagreements happen from time to time, even in the best marriages. The trick is to fight fairly. Instead of rolling your eyes and showing contempt, focus on your tone. Speak gently and avoid yelling, screaming, or cursing. Be polite and positive. Maintain respect by trying to diffuse the argument. By following these tips, you can get through difficult conversations with ease.
Spend Time Apart
When you love someone, you do not need to spend every waking moment together. In fact, you should not if you value your mental health. You need space every now and then, and it is important to have hobbies and activities you enjoy doing without your partner. Whether you spend time alone or with friends, you will come back home feeling refreshed and more patient with your partner’s idiosyncrasies.
Taking a break also allows you to bring a fresh perspective to your marriage. You will have more things to talk about rather than the same old conversations. Partners grow together and become more curious about each other, which makes the marriage more exciting.
Create New Experiences Together
While you may have traditions and routines, such as having Saturday night dates, spending time together can become monotonous after a while. Shake things up a little with some spontaneity. Have some moments of fun. You don not have to plan out every little detail, so relax and have some unexpected fun with your spouse. The novelty and surprise will help you two feel closer than ever.
Go to Bed Together
This can be challenging if one of you is an early bird and the other is a night owl, but for the sake of your marriage, you should try to go to bed at the same time. That is because having two separate bedtimes has negative effects on a marriage. Most couples do not go to bed at the same time, and this leads to less conversation and more conflict. Plus, it leads to less sex, which can also affect your marriage.
Reduce Screen Time
Smartphones have become a distraction in various ways. They cause distracted driving, and they cause arguments in marriages, as well. It is hard to converse with your partner when they are on their phone ignoring you. It is estimated that 40% of people are bothered by the amount of time that their spouse spends on their phone. So put your device away and have a real conversation with your spouse. It could save your marriage.
Seek Legal Help
Staying married for life is no easy task. Both parties have to make an effort to show each other that they care about them and truly love them.
Many marriages do not stand a chance, though. After a certain period of time, one or both parties give up. They look for greener pastures elsewhere. If this applies to you, contact Broward County divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler right away so we can help you with the divorce process. Schedule a consultation today by filling out the online form or calling (954) 398-5712.