Lots of people are constantly talking about the disadvantages of getting married these days and how the current divorce rate proves it’s nearly impossible to stay together. Don’t you get tired of being hit over the head with negativity?
Being involved in a dating, engaged, or marriage relationship should be exciting and fun, as well as romantic and serious. Although I am an advocate for helping people heal from their divorce, I am just as much an advocate for preserving the permanency of traditional marriage and the health and well being of the modern romantic relationships. It’s quite obvious society has drastically changed since my own parents married in 1958, but staying together hasn’t changed much at all, if at all. Here are a few tips that couples, whether dating, engaged, or married, practice to help keep love alive and strong:
1. Happy Couples Pray Together.
Praying together brings significant meaning to a love relationship. It creates a harmony between the man and woman that cannot be found otherwise. By praying with each other, both parties confirm their common goal of getting each other to heaven and strengthen the core of their relationship; love that is built upon the three theological virtues, faith, hope, and charity.
One reason why couples might shy away from praying together is the uncomfortable idea of having some kind of hand-holding, “kumbaya,” emotional session (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but it doesn’t have to be that way. It can be going to mass together, saying the rosary together, or reading scripture together. In fact, all of the above suggestions are superior ways to advance your relationship and come to love each other in deeper ways than might have originally been apparent.
2. Happy Couples Are A United Front.
If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard a wife or girlfriend ‘dis her man infront of her friends, I’d be a millionaire. Whether it’s a guy complaining to his friends about what he dislikes about his girl, or the woman looking for sympathy or opinions from her friends, it’s just not how men and women in a happy relationship behave.
The goal here is to be a “united front.” It means you play on the same team. You’re not adversaries, your team mates and in order to win, you’ve got to work together. By working out your problems and disagreements exclusively within your relationship, or if necessary, with the help of a spiritual director (not talking about serious problems that involve a marriage and family therapist), a foundation of trust is put firmly in place. Both parties know they can trust the other to come to them if something is wrong and that they won’t look like a fool infront of other people who’ve heard all about what’s going on and might turn it into gossip.
3. Happy Couples Keep No Secrets From Each Other.
Seriously, no secrets! The first thing that comes to mind here is Facebook. If you want to build a solid relationship, don’t hide behind a Facebook page and blast your true feelings to everyone except your significant other, let him or her be a part of your Facebook world! Secrecy breeds distrust, but blending your friends and family breeds fun and familiarity.
Also, when someone approaches you and asks you to keep a secret, tell them you’re happy to as long as they’re fine knowing your significant other will know, too. This is my standard reply to anyone who prefaces their comments to me with “don’t tell anyone, but…” I promise I will keep the secret from everyone, except my husband, for we have no secrets from each other. But I also promise whoever is asking that he will not tell anyone and I can make that guarantee because he’s proven to me I can trust him.
4. Happy couples treat each other’s parents with respect.
This statement might conjure up chuckles from some, but showing parents respect does not mean you believe they are infallible, it means you appreciate them for what they’ve done. It’s a respect that comes from recognizing the parents have raised their child into an adult who has integrity, sincerity, the gift of faith, and a whole host of other virtues that you adore. This is a real accomplishment, and despite any downfalls the parents might have or characteristics you don’t like, raising good children is worthy of praise and respect. And let’s not forget, respecting our parents is the fourth commandment
These are not the only tips for creating a solid, happy and lasting relationship, but they are a few of the most important. I encourage you to share any tips you know of in the comments section of this article and spread the relationship wealth around.
As always, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org