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  • Writer's picturePhebe Brako-Owusu, LMFT

Marriage Monday: Strengthening your Marriage

Being married is great. After all, you get to spend the rest of your life with someone who loves you and wants what’s best for you. But marriage is not easy—it takes work and commitment on both sides. It is a long-term commitment that requires patience, understanding, and work. And like any other relationship, it needs to be nurtured and cared for in order to stay healthy.

There are many ways to make a marriage work. Some people believe that the key to a happy and successful marriage is to do everything together. But I believe that it is important for couples to have their own hobbies, interests, and friends outside of the relationship. The truth is that there is no one rule or formula to have a happy marriage. It should be tailor-made to suit you and your partner’s needs and family situation.

However, there are some general tips that seem to work in keeping your relationship strong and happy. Give these tips a try:

  • Don't be afraid to ask for help! Marriage can be a scary thing. You've got someone else to take care of, and they might not always act the way you want them to. Someone else's happiness and well-being is now your responsibility, and that can be terrifying. But here's the thing: marriage isn't just about YOU anymore. It's about BOTH OF YOU—together. And if something is troubling one or both of you, it should be dealt with immediately before it festers into something bigger and more difficult to deal with down the line. So don't be afraid to ask for help in marriage! If something feels off, talk about it with your spouse instead of letting it build up until it becomes a problem too big to fix without outside help—like counseling, therapy, or even an intervention from friends and family members who care about both of you enough to tell you when something isn't right between you two. It's okay if things aren't perfect all the time; we all have rough patches in our relationships sometimes. That's just part of being human! But what makes a marriage truly special is being able to look past those rough patches and see each other through them anyway—because we love each other so much that we're willing to try.

  • Don't give up! Even when things seem like they're falling apart (and sometimes even when they are), remember that there's always hope if both partners are willing and able to compromise their needs in order to make things better for everyone involved. You may be exhausted, or you might feel like it's not worth the trouble anymore. You might feel like you're not getting what you need from the relationship, or maybe you're just not sure how to get more. You could be feeling hopeless about the future, or you might be worried about how your children will be affected if you decide to leave. I know it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when things get rough—trust me, I've been there! Your marriage may not be perfect, but it doesn't have to mean everything is over. No matter what has happened in your life, no matter how many times things went wrong or didn't work out according to plan… don't give up yet! There is still hope for a happy ending! You deserve happiness and joy in your life.

  • Don't be too hard on yourself or on your partner! In marriage, it can be easy to get caught up in the idea of perfection. We want our spouses to be perfect in every way, and we expect ourselves to be perfect too. But let me tell you a secret: there's no such thing as perfect. I mean, look at the world around you! It's full of imperfections—people who have trouble with addiction and mental illness, people who commit crimes and hurt each other. Even if you're not dealing with any of those things personally, chances are someone you know is struggling with some sort of problem that makes them less than perfect. So why do we expect ourselves to be so perfect? Something no one has been able to achieve. The answer is simple: because we're human. We're imperfect beings living in an imperfect world, and as long as we're alive on this earth, we will never be able to achieve perfection. It's impossible! But here's what I've learned about marriage: it doesn't matter how imperfect your spouse or yourself are—what matters most is how well YOU work together. If two people are willing to work at it.

  • Don't hold grudges against each other: We've all heard the advice: Don't hold grudges. But it's hard to follow! How can you not keep track of everything that's gone wrong? It's so easy to focus on the negative, especially when you're mad at someone. But think about it this way: if every night you wrote down all the things your partner did that made you feel angry or annoyed, chances are good that by morning you'd have a pretty long list. And if you were to look at that list in context—as a whole—you might notice that most of those things don't actually matter a whole lot in the grand scheme of things. It's true: even if you’ve been married for 30 years, there will still be times when our partners annoy us or hurt our feelings. But if we can remember to let go of those petty grievances (and make sure they don't get written down), then we'll be able to focus on what really matters.

All in all, making your marriage a priority is going to help you build a strong and happy one. It’s not always easy but we are sure that if you follow these tips and try to implement them into your daily lives then it will be worth it! Remember, when things get tough remember why you fell in love with each other in the first place: because they make life better!

Looking to strengthen your marriage? It's always a great time to talk to a therapist who can support you with this goal. Click here to get in touch!

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