• 455 Tarrytown Rd, White Plains, NY 10607

Category Archives: Black Love

Ways to Make Your Marriage Last

Maintaining a good marriage is a lot like baking a good cake: the outcome is 70% the quality of the ingredients, 25% the skill of the baker, and 5% luck. Therefore, most of the requirements for a long and happy marriage are within your control, so it pays to work at keeping your relationship healthy.

Keep these suggestions in mind to help you and your spouse manage relationship conflicts, financial issues, and family dynamics so you can stick together through better and worse.

Nurture Your Relationship

1. Maintain realistic expectations. Getting married doesn’t automatically make you happy, but it can add to your contentment in life. Expect to run into some conflicts and hard times. You won’t always agree on everything, but you can make a commitment to deal with your conflicts constructively.

2. Focus on the good qualities that your spouse possesses. Your spouse will have habits that annoy you, but happy couples focus on the things they like about each other. Learn to overlook minor irritations, like leaving the cap off the toothpaste, and pay attention to qualities that matter more, like integrity and kindness.

3. Express your appreciation for your spouse. Be generous and specific about praising your spouse. For example, let your husband know if he made a busy week less stressful by volunteering to do the grocery shopping without you.

4. Show your affection. Keep connected through frequent gestures of affection. Greet each other with a kiss or a hug even if you get home from work in a bad mood.

5. Be supportive. Feeling validated and supported is one of the most important benefits of marriage for many people. You can’t always solve each other’s problems, but you can be a good listener and reassure your spouse that you care.

6. Address conflicts constructively. Practice patience with one another. Look for constructive solutions together. Find ways to defuse your anger so that it doesn’t sabotage your relationship.

7. Maintain your own identity. Enjoy your unity, but still be your own person. Maintaining your own friends and interests will help you feel more interesting and actually make your marriage stronger.

Manage Your Finances

1. Find your comfort level with merging your finances. Joint accounts make sense for most couples, but find the arrangement that suits you best. You may want to share your primary accounts and keep some funds separate to spend on your own.

2. Keep your debt under control. Debt can be an emotional and financial burden. Try to live within your means. If your partner has substantial pre-existing debts, you may want to make a formal plan or even sign a prenuptial agreement.

3. Stick to a budget. Approach major decisions about spending, saving, and investing together. You’ll probably have different priorities, but be respectful of each other’s preferences for expensive electronics or weekly manicures.

Deal With Family Issues

1. Share the responsibility for parenting and housework. In the end, pitching in with the household chores will bring you closer together than the occasional candlelight dinner. Both partners have a contribution to make when it comes to children and housekeeping.

2. Agree on your expectations and discipline for your children. Children learn very quickly the game of divide and conquer. You and your children will be better off if both parents provide consistent guidance. You can always make exceptions when needed, but act together.

3. Work at getting along with your in-laws. Put your long-term harmony above relatively petty disputes. If there is a serious matter that affects your children’s welfare or your own peace of mind, it’s usually most effective for your spouse to approach their own parents directly.

Making your marriage last can enrich your life with intimacy, companionship, and opportunities for personal growth. A happy marriage adds so much to the quality of your life, and makes all the time and effort you invest worthwhile.

Balance Your Independence and Your Marriage for a Happy Equilibrium

It’s possible to strike a blissful balance between your independence and your marriage. You can find a way to make them work together. This will create a stronger relationship that makes both you and your spouse feel fulfilled.

Try these strategies to find what works for you: 

  1. Discuss your need for independence. A relationship suffers if one person feels trapped and isn’t able to share ideas. This leads to resentment and anger building up to a dangerous level. You can avoid these issues by talking about your needs with your partner.
  • It’s important to have an open dialogue about your desire for more independence. First, reassure your partner that you still love them more than ever and want to spend time with them. However, you need space and time to grow as an individual.
  • You can share that you need to develop your own hobbies or activities outside of the home and relationship.
  • You can still do activities as a couple, but your own interests don’t have to be neglected. 
  1. Plan time with your partner. Marriage doesn’t create the obligation to spend every second with your partner. Plan to spend some time with your partner and other times for pursuing your other interests.
  • This will help you develop your independence and feel freedom without hurting your marriage.
  1. Find time alone. The time you spend alone can help nurture your independence.
  • Do you crave a few hours with a good book and no distractions? Do you want to take a long hike alone with your thoughts? These types of activities can help you feel free and give you space from your partner.
  1. Find time for friends. Spending time with your friends can be a fun way to find your independence again.
  • You don’t have to force your partner to attend every chat, meal, or event with your friends. It’s normal to spend some time without your spouse while you visit with your friends. 
  1. Give each other room to handle challenges. It may be tempting to act as a savior and try to fix all of the issues in your partner’s life. However, it’s crucial to give each other space to handle difficult situations on your own. Your partner may not want you to interfere. You can still support each other, but you can also give each other room.
  2. Enjoy your own hobbies. You don’t have to share every hobby with your partner. Although you can enjoy hobbies such as skiing or hiking together, you can also find other activities to do on your own.
  • Consider the hobbies you liked before marriage. Did you create your own paintings in a small studio at home? Did you take cooking lessons at a local school or learning center? Do you miss the dance class you participated in before you got married?
  • You can do hobbies on your own without hurting your partner. First, discuss your need for a solo activity and share why it’s important to you. Then, create a separate list of hobbies you can do as a couple, so your partner doesn’t feel neglected.

You can create a balance between marriage and your desire for independence. It requires time and effort from both sides of the relationship, but that time and effort can actually bring you closer together