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How to make a marriage last

Have you ever wondered why some people have such blissfully long happy marriages?

They just keep adding decades to their union until some are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary or more.

You know there must be factors affecting their success, but the magic formula seems elusive.

For example, one man has attributed it to a simple formula. He says, “The secret to staying married for 40 years is this: No matter what happens, you just don’t leave.”

While his humour actually bears a lot of truth, we all know there are more factors involved. For example, somebody might choose to leave you.

Here are some tips to keep your matrimony secure:

  • Intimacy and money are the core of any marriage.These two areas must be reasonably OK if you don’t want your marriage to end up on the rocks. Always keep the romance alive, and whatever you do, don’t hide money secrets.

  • Never bad-mouth your in-laws. As much as you like to raise hell, keep calm. For example, do say, “Your uncle is a little thrifty with money.” Don’t say, “Your uncle never pays up.” It’s all in the choice of words.

  • Don’t have two big arguments back-to-back. You might be disagreeing over vacation plans for the summer. You’ve got to work that out. But don’t jump into another contentious topic over your wife’s sister coming along on the trip. Keep that discussion for later.

  • Address most problems on your own. Don’t drag your other half into the mix, if you can help it. For instance, if you think your 10-year-old nephew has stolen cash from your purse, tell your nephew: “I’ll be watching you.” Then hide the purse. Don’t ask your spouse to get involved.

“Some of my clients are in horrific situations these days,” says a marriage counsellor we’ll call Meagan.

“Their own loved ones, not to mention their spouse’s loved ones, are into vices, not working, and wanting to be helped financially.”

Meagan advises: “Get ready to set some firm boundaries. Boundaries will keep your marriage boat from sinking.

“Don’t compromise your morals, your financial health, or your physical safety. Once you tolerate a little trouble, it’s hard to put your foot down.”

She insists that adding a little mercy never hurts.

Meagan insists. “For example, if you have to kick a family member out of your home, say: ‘I love you, honey. But, we’re having to say goodbye. You gotta start packing.’”

“Marriage is a delicate balancing act,” says Meagan. “When you hit rough waters, you can’t allow anything to penetrate your home life.”

While we once thought of marriage as a safe haven for raising kids and growing old together, things have changed.

Complicated societal problems are pushing more problems into everyone’s home life.

“I make it a point to nurture my husband, sit down with him every evening to talk, and ask him what’s stressing him out,” says a friend of ours we’ll call Jeanna.

“Simply respecting your mate goes a long, long way. Without respect, there is nothing to build on.”



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