Marriages need all the help they can get. They are fragile to the point of being brittle. The chances of a first marriage going the distance is a little better than 50%. The chances of a second marriage working out are much less than 40%. You don’t even want to know about third marriages. Let’s just say you want to make sure that the first one works out.
Successful marriages are not magic. They were not written in the stars. They are not fate. They are the product of hard work and sacrifice. Even the theoretical perfect match will not survive if both parties are unwilling to work hard and make sacrifices.
We are told that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. That is just as true for marriage. You have to be constantly vigilant and aware of threats to your marriage. You have to know what to look for and deal with the issues before they become unmanageable. It is easy to recognize trouble in the marriage when the problems have grown to ravenous wolves. But to be successful, you have to recognize those problems when they are cute little puppies. Here is what to look for and what to do about it:
The Feeling of Being Unappreciated
If you are feeling unappreciated, there is not enough verbal and nonverbal communication. That is the best-case scenario. The worst scenario would be that your partner is truly failing to appreciate you. If your partner is feeling unappreciated, that could be a bigger problem.
You know how you feel, but they do not. You have failed to communicate the most important thing. You need to start with a grand gesture and follow it up with better communication. For the grand gesture, offer a formal marriage recommitment replete with wedding rings. Instead of new rings, why not start with antique engagement rings that symbolize that your love is timeless. It belongs in the pantheon of the great loves from antiquity.
Recommitments are grand statements that say you would do it all again. Many people have full wedding ceremonies as a part of the recommitment process. Don’t just say you would do it all again. Actually, do it all again. Don’t give feelings of being unappreciated a chance to fester into something bigger.
All couples drift apart if they don’t spend a certain amount of intentional time together. If they get up at different times and do everything as individuals, they can’t help but drift apart. They have their own separate social calendar, their own friends with whom they spend downtime. If you see this pattern of behavior, intervene while there is still time.
Every person needs personal space and individuality. But every couple needs bonding time. You should want to spend more time with your best friend than all your other friends. And it helps if your spouse is also your best friend. Freshen things up with date night. The whole idea is that you want to schedule a time to visit with your best friend and most intimate partner.
Don’t wait for date night. Spend some part of every day with intentional time together. It could be morning coffee time or Netflix time in the evening. It shouldn’t be a chore, but something you both look forward to.
Money problems and marriage problems are interconnected. Many couples have come up with off-beat financial schemes to keep money problems from harming their marriage. It is hard for a marriage to survive if one of the partners is financially irresponsible. This is a problem in the marriage because it reveals deeper problems.
A person who is irresponsible with money might also be immature. And that immaturity will present itself in other areas. The person might also be selfish, choosing self-gratification over the good of others. Also, that person can’t think big picture and long term. Marriage is all about those things. You can turn this around. But it has to be done early. Do not ignore early signs of financial irresponsibility.
Though marriage is fragile, it can also be resilient. It just requires the resilience of each participant. Give your marriage the best possible chance by dealing with feelings of not being appreciated, drifting apart, and money problems.
Featured Image by Solie Jordan from Pixabay