I don’t have to tell you that marriages and lifelong partnerships are tricky and unfortunately, many fail. However, most of us dream of the one woman or man to spend the rest of our days with, blissfully happy until we take our last breath.
Why is it then that there such a huge gap between this wish and the implementation of it? Why do so many marriages end in broken hearts and shattered souls? Do we blame the other person, ourselves, both?
Most marriages don’t fail because of the obvious reasons of violence or cheating. Sure, those may be the climax or breaking point, but really, marriages end because of a slow process of drifting apart. In general, people are lazy and most believe that marriage doesn’t take work. Love will take care of that, right? Well no, it won’t.
People change and so do relationships.
If you’re really serious about keeping your marriage alive, then you should look out for these five common and destructive mistakes married couples make.
- We forgot about date nights
During the initial phase of getting to know each other, you probably went on many dates, courting the other, always being on your best behavior and really making an effort. Over time you stopped surprising your partner, stopped spending time with each other and forgot about date nights altogether. It’s natural, it’s human. After all, life happens and you’re busy with work, social responsibilities and maybe even kids.
However, if you don’t schedule regular date nights, you miss out on important bonding time. Date nights, whether spent at home or in a restaurant, the movies or even theme parks, provide you with an amazing opportunity to have fun with your partner again.
Spending some intentional quality time with each other will remind you why you fell in love in the first place and it will strengthen your relationship. Simply taking an occasion to have a a great conversation, away from all the stress of your daily life, will go a long way in your marriage.
- No Intimacy
Intimacy is a huge issue in most marriages, especially if you’re super busy, have kids and manage two separate careers. Sex can sometimes feel like a burden, a waste of time and energy, when there’s so much other stuff going on in your head.
It goes without saying that these thoughts are toxic when you want to keep your marriage alive. Showing your spouse that you still covet him or her, even after years of being together cannot be replaced by anything. Not even the daily “I love you” will make up for the lack of intimacy and connecting on a bodily, sexual level.
Especially if you’re stressed and exhausted, it is important to make it a point to be intimate. After all, there’s nothing more energizing than making love, is there?
- Believing your partner is responsible for your happiness
Many people try to find their happiness in other people and if that doesn’t happen, they blame them. This is not the way it works. Even the strongest emotion of having butterflies in one’s stomach will eventually fade and the ecstatic feeling of being in love won’t always be so present.
You have to find that joy within yourself instead of searching for it in your spouse. Of course, you husband or wife should be part of what makes you happy, but they can never be the sole reason. You have to be your own reason to be fulfilled, content and inspired.
Don’t put that pressure on your spouse, they cannot fulfill your expectations and this will eventually lead to huge disappointments and maybe even the end of a marriage.
- Holding on to the negative
There are negative aspects in every marriage, whether you want to admit it or not. Nobody always gets along and fights happen even if you understand each other. After all, you’re two individual people, with different views of the world, different characteristics and opinions. Not even soul mates always agree on every issue.
Yet, if you only concentrate on the negative sides of your spouse and your marriage, your relationship is doomed to fail. You need to shift your focus.
If you make an effort, you will see many amazing things about your situation. When you put those into your center, you will instantly lighten up and the fights and annoying characteristics of your spouse will be much easier to master and tolerate.
Don’t believe that there is a perfect marriage. There isn’t, but those that last, hold on to what is important instead of concentrating on wishful thinking.
- Putting your children before your spouse
This one is a big one. In today’s world, children are everything. They need to be catered to, given a ride to different activities, helped with homework, formed into perfect little creatures that will eventually take over the world. By doing that, your spouse can become invisible and your marriage will ultimately fall apart.
Children are important, don’t get me wrong. But your marriage is the most important part of your family. You need to pay attention to your partner, give him your full attention and spend time with each other. Children will survive if they play second role, but your marriage might not.
|Written on 3/10/2012 by Anne - Sophie Reinhardt . Anne - Sophie is a world traveler, an anorexia survivor, a positive body image advocator, podcaster, blogger, digital entrepreneur, speaker, wife, lover of books, aspiring yogi and social media enthusiast. Her blog, My Intercontinental Life, is focused around living a purposeful, free, healthy and passionate life.|