The secret to a long and happy marriage is one filled with commitment, compromise, understanding and admiration for each other. Marriage is a marathon, not a sprint. And successfully navigating through the thick and thin of life requires patience and gusto and real love for each other.
Here are some golden rules to follow to ensure you celebrate your golden jubilee together.
1. Be your partner's biggest cheerleader
Care for your spouse. Standing by their side. Be a strong team and present a united front. This will help you handle life's biggest challenges.
Praise, love, cheer, support and encourage each other. Feel lucky to be in each other's company.
Complaining about your spouse's faults is never good for a marriage. If you think your friend can provide a fresh perspective on a specific problem you're facing, discuss it without publicly flaying your partner.
2. Respect each other's differences
If you both share the same basic values, you'll approach most things with a similar perspective. And, if you can handle the big issues together, you'll be able to work through smaller issues when you don't see eye to eye.
Your spouse isn't trying to be difficult; individuals are just hardwired differently. Respect your differences.
3. Play by the rules
In every house there are a set of rules that need to be followed to keep harmony in the relationships.
You may set rules about keeping things in their proper places, who does what or financial management.
Even after a lot of planning, at times, things go wrong and life gets frustrating. Blaming each other only creates rifts and doesn't solve problems.
So, as partners, face the music together and works things through.
4. Forgive and forget
Learning to fight without holding a grudge is key to a happy marriage.
If you're committed to always trusting and loving one another, then you'll have freedom to speak your mind without being afraid.
Learn to be truthful without being hurtful. Think before you speak and do not say anything you may regret later. Do not set verbal traps or play mind games. Say exactly what you mean. Do not hold on to bad feelings toward each other and don't assume anything. Assuming worsens problems in marriage.
Have clear, open communication and remember to never go to bed angry. You'll wake up with a clean slate and a fresh perspective.
5. Don't take each other for granted
Genuinely appreciate your partner's commitment to the relationship. It's two-way traffic. You both need to acknowledge each other's hard work. Honor the juggling act each of you handle to make things run smoothly.
Be happy for the little things in life. Life can be tough when kids are small and dependent, but give priority to your marriage and take time for each other.
6. Respect each other's space and needs
We all need some me time. Pursue a hobby, hit the gym or go on a vacation to visit friends.
Also, be honest and listen to each other. Be present when having a conversation. Switch off all devices and pay attention, even if it doesn't seem to be that important. Compromise whenever possible.
If there are things you prefer to not talk about with other people, that's perfectly alright. Maintain a private journal knowing that it is completely safe to do so.
7. Don't be jealous and don't hold grudges
Jealousy stems from insecurity.
If you know and trust each other, you shouldn't be jealous of an old crush.
And, don't bear a grudge if one of you is more popular and/or successful than the other. Accept each other's strengths and weaknesses.
8. Be best friends forever
Accept each other's imperfections. Nobody's perfect. Take the good with the bad. Stand by each other "in sickness and in health." Fulfill the vow you took years ago. No matter what life throws at you, always be there for each other.
Enjoy doing little things together. The feeling of friendship between you should be mutual. And, even after years of being together, continue to laugh and chill together.
9. Keep the fire burning
It may be difficult to manage work, raising a family and attending to children, so create special moments to reboot the romance.
Your romance may go through stages of "passionate love," "reality love," "nurturing-others love" and "reconnecting-mature love."
Change is inevitable.
Continue to grow together instead of growing apart.
10. Seek help if needed
Marriage should be a nurturing, mutually beneficial thing; and, if at any time, you feel like your marriage is being jeopardized, get help. Seek help from friends, family or, if necessary, professional counseling.