As early as we can remember, often times our aim in life becomes finding that special someone who we can have our own “happily ever after” with. However, given the present-day scenario, “happily ever after” seems more unrealistic than it did in the past. It does not account for the fact that 50% of all marriages in America end in divorce, while another 10%-15% separate without filing any paperwork. In fact, the divorce rate for second and third marriages is even higher, according to the American Psychological Association.
Why is it that expecting a fairy tale lately often ends in disappointment? The primary reason is that couples are making a great mistake by simply just relying on the intense emotions they felt for each other in the initial phases of the relationship to work some kind of magic for the long-term success of their marriage.
Instead, they need to spend a lot of time to find what can help them remain happily married despite all the challenges life tends to throw at us. Couples should focus on increasing the good instead of the bad, says Linda Charnes, a leading psychotherapist who offers marriage counseling in New York City.
Choose Your Partner Wisely
In the book, The Science of Happily Ever After: What Really Matters in the Quest for Enduring Love, acclaimed relationship psychologist Dr. Ty Tashiro sums up the importance of the immense wisdom one has to show while choosing a partner in the first place. It is only with someone highly compatible that you can get the assurance of lifetime happiness, along with togetherness.
If you think going on candle lit dinners or watching movies together is sufficient for a lasting marriage, think again! Trying something that is exciting for both of you will have an even bigger impact on the relationship. Things that bring mutual excitement keeps the spark alive.
Your Spouse Should be Your Priority
This might sound like a cliché, but it is true, especially at a time when most of us are surrounded by hundreds of virtual friends on social media. How can you expect undivided attention from someone who is just another person in your life? No matter what, get into the habit of taking your spouse’s feelings and requests seriously.
Sacrifice in “Sliding Door Moments”
A popular phrase coined by Dr. Gottman, “sliding door moments,” are those passing moments when an individual in a relationship has the opportunity to pivot and choose self-sacrifice over selfishness, says an article on The Huffington Post. However, be watchful whether you are sacrificing something just because your partner wants you to.
As a rule, remember that no man or woman is perfect. A marriage is only successful and can become a “happily ever after” if the couple accepts one another, with all their flaws, without making any conscious efforts to change each other. If you are facing any problem doing so, it is highly recommended to seek marriage counseling.