No relationship is all sunshine, but two people can share an umbrella and survive the storm together.
This adage is particularly true in marriages.
Regardless of whether you are married to someone you have courted for long or in a traditional arranged marriage typical to oriental cultures, living with someone with different beliefs and habits can prove an uphill task.
Marriage requires a lot of understanding on the part of both spouses and a certain degree of compromises too. You need to accommodate some likes, dislikes, and lifestyles of your partner while expecting them to reciprocate. Thankfully, there are different, time tested and proven ways to strengthen your marriage against storms of life.
Here we look at the five best ways that can help strengthen your married life, regardless of your culture or location.
5 ways to strengthen your marriage
A lot has been said about strengthening your marriage by belief in a god or some higher power and spirituality.
But here, we look at things that do cause avoidable disturbances in any marriage.
1. Money matters in marriage
Money ranks as the number one enemy of a stable marriage.
The State of Finances in the American Household, a study conducted by Ramsey research with 1,072 adults reveals, most arguments among spouses occur due to debts. The study also reveals that one-third of all marriages in the US start with debts.
This scenario is not peculiar to the US.
Worldwide, squabbles between spouses over money matters is billed as the greatest contributor to storms in marriages.
The reason being couples are wary about discussing their financial issues with their spouses. Even worse, others tend to conceal their real income from the partner wherein there are still others, who earn more try and dominate the spouse that does not earn or has lower income.
You can strengthen your marriage from storms of life that occur due to money-related issues by being transparent and completely honest with the spouse about family finances.
2. Jealousy and doubts
Jealousy and doubts over your partner can cause severe storms in marriage.
This occurs because a spouse- female or male- may be having a doubting nature or is overly possessive. Such women and men falsely believe their partner is cheating and has extra-marital affairs. Yet others imagine their spouse continues to be in contact with an ex. This can fuel severe storms in your marriage.
Understandably, some people will be more attracted to your husband or wife. This is usually due to their friendly and outgoing nature that attracts people to seek friendship. Such people seldom look for sexual relationships with your spouse. Most doubts and jealousy over a spouse are baseless and lack solid grounds.
If you or your spouse have jealous or doubting nature, the best way to strengthen your marriage against storms is to be open about your friendships. Assure your spouse you have no intentions of entering into extramarital affairs or are eying someone for carnal relations.
This requires some effort but will prove worthwhile to strengthen your marriage.
3. Understand their background
Social media, dating websites, and cheaper foreign travel are causing a rise in the number of interracial marriages worldwide.
This phenomenon is not restricted to developed countries only. PEW Research estimates that 12 percent of couples worldwide in 2013 were interracial. By 2018 end, this figure could well hover around 20 percent of interracial couples worldwide.
Whether you are married to a person from a different race but of the same nationality or a foreigner altogether, it is vital to understand the cultural, educational, and economic background of your spouse.
Nowadays, a lot of women and men find spouses through reputed matrimonial websites. In such cases, the bride and the groom can be from different cultures. This makes it important to understand each other’s background.
People of different ethnicities behave differently in various situations.
Though your spouse would be acting according to her or his culture, it can be misunderstood as apathy or even avarice, depending upon the situation. You can quickly strengthen your marriage from storms in life caused by cultural differences by learning more about the ethnicity of your spouse, its customs, traditions, economic situation, and education.
Thankfully, a lot of resources that educate us about different cultures and traditions are available on the Internet. Refer to these to gain vital insights into your spouse’s thinking and behavioral patterns.
4. Speak about problems
Majority of spouses seldom speak about problems at work, unpleasant situations they encounter or even illnesses to their partners.
This leads to a dangerous buildup of pent up feelings and emotions. We falsely believe that discussing these issues will dent our respect in the eyes of the spouse.
Practically though, things work differently.
Speaking openly about your personal or office problems and situations in life have therapeutic benefits. Such talk relieves you from the burden of being pent up. Also, it instills a sense of confidence in your spouse that you trust them and their judgment.
Often, the spouse can comfort you or offer solutions you could never have imagined.
Keeping problems to yourself and resulting pent up feelings cause storms in married life.
This occurs because we tend to express our angst on the spouse or household. Merely being open about these problems and situations effectively strengthen your marriage against storms in life.
5. Maintain strong family bonds
Most married couples nowadays relegate family ties with siblings and parents to the backseat of their life. This can prove very disastrous, especially when you encounter storms in marriage.
You and your spouse will have nobody to turn to or confide in when needed.
Such self-inflicted isolation from siblings and parents means you may have to confide to strangers or a counselor.
Hence, the best way to strengthen your marriage against storms in life is to maintain strong bonds with closest relatives of your spouse. Visit them when possible or host family get-togethers for your and spouse’s relatives. And if that is not possible, maintain regular contact by phone and email.
Social media also helps in bonding with relatives.
Thus, when you encounter storms in your marriage, it is possible to seek help if necessary from relatives and tide over any crises. Resolve any differences between families by bringing them together sometimes.
A marriage without friction or storms is destined to fail
It is only when a relationship is working that friction and storms occur. Instead of circumventing them or fleeing such adverse situations, it is best to face them.
Use these five simple ways to strengthen your marriage against storms in life. Whether marriages are made in heaven or not is debatable. But making them work by weathering storms typical to matrimony need down to Earth and practical solutions.
While religion does provide some answers, others require a more worldly approach.