Charles and Jan were married when they are in their teens, he is 17 and she is 18. And since young as they were, many thought that they will never make the marriage last. After six kids, changed houses for the fourth time, had a turbulent romance, gone through the worst financial crisis and cheating issues – still they are together for about 52 years and still counting.
For some couples that is such a lifetime. So how did they manage to cope with the challenge? Is there a secret recipe for a happy marriage such as theirs? Are there any defined rules to make the marriage last that long? Is love enough to keep the relationship forever? Love and forever are such strong words that are not answered by a simple – yes it is enough. Nevertheless, some couples, like Charles and Jan, are doing something right because happiness is spread on their actions and the warmth to each other and to their loved ones.
Where to Start
And as we look upon them, we often wonder what then is the true recipe for a happy marriage? Let’s start with a quote from Ursula K. LeGuin “Love (we say marriage) does not just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, like new.” In short, marriage is a continuous journey and hard work to make it last your lifetime.
Recipe of a Happy Marriage: The Elements
Love is the foundation of any relationship. And like any foundation it has key elements or factors that will affect how strong (or weak) that foundation is.
Let’s start with trust. They said love and trust goes hand in hand. And it is true if you give your partner the choice to make his/her decisions and gives them some measure of independence. Not because you are married it means losing yourself in the process. Always give the benefit of a doubt. Jealousy and distrust could create frictions and distance in a relationship. Allow yourself to trust wholeheartedly.
Next is communication and respect. Couples who talk about their interests and problems, help and support each other, share the same values and laugh at each other have a greater chance to make their marriage last. Also communication means knowing how to listen and resolve conflicts in a subtle way. We write about communication and resolving conflicts in the article: Tips on How to Fix a Relationship
Intimacy, passion and romance are other basic ingredients in the recipe for a happy marriage. The honeymoon stage is over. Nevertheless, giving your spouse a hug and kiss every day, whisper sweet nothings, have great sex together, and occasional dates would bring spice to your relationship. What about nurturing your relationship with cute relationship quotes?
Marriage is about compromise and constant commitment to each other. It is not just saying your vows of “for better or worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part,” – it is taking those words to heart and making them real. And if at times you need to give more than you receive, do not feel discouraged because everything is worth it.
The Marriage Seasonings
Just like any cooking recipe, marriage has its own seasonings. So here are some of them to bring out the flavors:
- Marriage requires equal partnership specially on being a parent.
- Marriage is not all serious stuff it. Have fun, be crazy once in a while, enjoy each other’s company and play with the children. There are times you need to take a break from all the challenges you might face.
- Marriage has some arguments. Do not expect things to be a bed of roses because roses have thorns too. But, learn to forgive and apologize. It means your marriage is more important than your ego.
Overall, marriage is not just a chapter in a relationship. It is a lifetime devotion of love and taking care of each other. And although there really is no perfect recipe for a happy marriage, it does not mean you could not grow old together and live happily ever after.
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