When two loving people exchange wedding rings, they are most often greeted with the wish: “Long and happy!”.
Unfortunately, but not for all couples, this wish comes true in real life – the divorce rate is high, but then how to live together not only for a long time but also happily?
To make this happen, relationship experts recommend following certain principles. Which ones?
Nowadays, there is practically no external reason for couples to be together. Society does not demand that these two people keep their families, no matter what happens.
Economic conditions do not force them to hold together to survive.
Partners stay together not just to please parents, and not even for the benefit of the children themselves, but because they are more likely to enjoy spending time together. But what guarantees the duration of such a union?
Even relationships that should not be called healthy, such as co-dependence or violence, can continue for a long time, and there are their own criteria for strength.
The conditions for the duration of a happy relationship are the emotional maturity of the partners, or at least the progress towards it.
An emotionally mature person is able to objectively assess the situation, act independently, while maintaining a deep connection with each other.
He behaves honestly and openly, knows how to set boundaries and does not use other people for selfish purposes. Here are nine principles for such a relationship!
Support When Things Get Tough
The ability to be together in a hard time is one of the unifying elements of a happy relationship.
- Change of residence;
- birth of a child;
- death of a parent;
- illness for oneself or a child –
more difficult moments come in every family, so it is important that the spouse does not step aside, but offers to support his other half.
One who has been neglected, unloved as a child, often tries to make up for this lack in a relationship. Almost literally putting his emotional difficulties on his partner’s shoulders, he feels much more stable.
But it puts a lot of pressure on the marriage. Therefore, responsiveness between both partners is necessary, but it is better to avoid such exaggerations.
Calm Your Anxiety
Being able to emotionally regulate my emotions means realizing that what I feel, first of all, is my own experiences, emotions. My partner could provoke them in part, but my task is to calm down.
The same applies to the ability to withstand anxiety differences arising from a mismatch of opinions and desires. For example, a husband plans to go to his mother, buy a sofa or place a child in school, but his wife does not take part.
The discussion can turn into a scandal, mutual attacks. In a mature relationship, partners can assess their feelings, maintain dialogue and agree despite different points of view.
Distinguish Partners From Ghosts of the Past
If you do not trust your wife because you have been betrayed in a previous relationship, if you react to your husband’s reprimands as a criticism of your mother, then you will probably have to work with yourself to separate these different things from the past.
This substitution can occur if the experience of a relationship with someone important to you in the past (parents, older brother or sister, teacher) has become traumatic for you.
A sign of a mature relationship is the ability to distinguish a spouse’s behavior from other people’s similar behavior and to perceive it in the current context.
Talk About Your Vulnerability
It is not about sharing everything that comes to mind. You can tell about your success and hide painful experiences. It takes determination to confess yourself in fear.
You’re going to another country, I’m afraid you’ll meet another woman there.
Now you’ll really realize I’m not competent.
I’m scared when you react.
It’s easier for us to talk about our fears in an accusing tone.
Your jokes are stupid, and you’re a fool yourself.
I know you, run after the first girl you see!
And I provoke my partner to answer with accusations. But the ability to talk about what hurts us causes sympathy and a desire to resist. It is a necessary quality to understand each other better without thinking of anything superfluous.
Recognize Each Other’s Merits
From time to time, all couples argue. But those who are happy in marriage show, even in times of conflict, that they treat each other well and that the particular outburst of anger and dissatisfaction is coincidental solidly of love and understanding.
Why is this rule difficult to follow?
In conflict, emotions are thrilled by drawing a black-and-white picture
You always do it without talking to me first.
You don’t feel sorry for me at all!
Learn to maintain a broad, ambiguous perception of your partner in the conflict, to acknowledge his merits, to say:
There is a bright side to our relationship, and you did great then, but now I am very offended.
And the dialogue becomes much more constructive.
Take Into Account The Needs of the Partner
In tense situations, we usually put the personal needs of each person forward, while we leave the wishes and interests of the partner behind.
And at that point, it’s hard to understand why the other one suddenly shows his stubbornness and refuses to do what we ask. In a mature relationship, partners always try to keep each other’s needs in mind.
Joke Without Offending
The ability to see something comical in some situations, looking at oneself from the sidelines, helps to understand that the circumstances are not so tragic (unless, of course, we are talking about everyday things).
During strong emotional arousal, the cerebral cortex stops functioning well enough and the limbic system turns on. We scandalize or slam doors.
Humor that do not hurt your partner allows you to reduce the intensity of passions and communicate more calmly.
In love, it is important to be yourself, to be natural. However, just allowing yourself to be spontaneous does not mean that you can be rude.
If we don’t set rules by default, we should agree on them as soon as possible.
This mainly applies to all forms of physical violence. Insults, cynical comments and offensive humor are unacceptable, everything that looks like devaluation and humiliation.
Of course, these are subjective categories: someone is likely to feel offended by pointing out that they have made a mistake. But in most cases, we are quite aware of when we have done harm to ourselves and when someone has broken our boundaries.
Understand that part of a partner’s reaction is not about me
When we realize that a harsher expression, an elevated tone of voice of a loved one, is not entirely related to us, then we react less painfully and do not include defensive positions.
Think that we caused a critical remark or negative reaction ourselves in about 50 percent of cases, but the other 50 percent are projections and transfers from relationships with other people, such as a boss who has shouted at work in the morning.
What to do in such situations? Repeat just like during active listening, your partner’s feelings, give them a way out, but then ask:
What else is bothering you?
Your reaction looks too strong.
Maybe you have brought other feelings here?
We can only stay in touch with loved ones and really hear what worries them only when we are not overwhelmed by guilt and do not start defending ourselves against criticism.
To do this, it is important to understand that the partner’s frustration is related not only to us but also to his inaccurate perception and transmission of emotions.
With the involvement of good people, however, the end of this story is happy.