Many young peoples dream of their wedding day. Often, accepting the harsh reality of life after marriage is what makes long-term marriages work. Make no mistake about it, staying married requires lots of hard work, but happily married couples discover the struggles are worth it in the end.
Love Vs. Respect
When you first become romantically interested in someone, your heart may skip a beat whenever you think of that person. After you are married for a while that feeling may deepen into long-lasting respect for them. While you may no longer get giddy at the mention of their names, you love them more deeply than ever before.
Giving Always Wins
Somedays, living with your spouse will be difficult at best because there is not room in one flesh for both of you. Those are the days that you need to take a deep breath, even if you need to hide in the bathroom to do it and show your spouse the respect that you hope that they offer you on those days when you are less than your best. Remember on days that you feel that your other half is not meeting you in the middle, that you will have days too that you cannot give them 100%, so be sure to offer grace.
Remember that Building Self-esteem is More Important
If you have been married anytime at all, you have discovered that you do not agree with your spouse on every detail. When those times occur, think before you speak so that you do not tear down their self-esteem. Part of fairly fighting is the self-awareness that you and your spouse may have carried baggage into the marriage that makes you feel particularly strongly about an issue that the other sees as relatively unimportant. They cannot be the strong person you will need to rely on at some point if you have destroyed how they feel about themselves during an argument.
Make Time for Each Other
Especially if you buy into the philosophy that you always need more, life can get very hectic with job responsibilities and children. Make it a priority to set time aside to be with each other. Even if you need to cut bologna sandwiches into heart shapes and eat them at the park while feeding the scraps to the ducks, spend quality time with each other. Building memories together is like building a savings account. You will need to make a withdrawal someday to get through the rough times in your marriage.
Permit Yourself to Leave
Having a good marriage is a daily choice. Sometimes, it may even be a minute-to-minute choice. Give yourself permission to leave and get a divorce if things are not working out. Before you go, unless you are in an abusive situation, make a list of what you are giving up. Writing it down often helps you discover that your marriage still has many good things and is key to finding workable solutions.