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3 essential elements of a happy marriage

28 January 2014, 08:00Millie Whitehead

Abuja - To some extent marriage is about knowing what to do with your anger, with those daily frustrations.

It's all too easy to direct anger at the person often responsible for those little frustrations- your spouse!

Sometimes even when others are getting under our skin or a situation outside of the home brings us down, it's the spouse who feels the brunt of our negative emotions.

Yet in the happiest marriages, spouses do their utmost to shield that anger from their partner. While it is never healthy to sweep your frustrations under the rug, you can try to deal with them while remembering these three essential elements of a happy marriage.
Understand your partner

It can be difficult to separate 'knowing' your partner from 'understanding' them.

Knowing may mean you know what they're going to do or say before they do it. When you've been married for long this becomes easy, usually for both parties.

The trick is to instead try to understand the feelings that motivate your partner's behaviors.

Continually trying to understand how your spouse is feeling and treating those feelings with care, you can enhance your relationship each and every time you make an effort to understand where they're coming from and how they're feeling.
According to WebMD, couples should "Make small gestures, but make them often." In other words, find small ways to be nice, to show you understand how your partner feels after a long day at work or a long day with the kids.

Face difficulties together instead of on your own.  When you understand what drives your partner you'll be able to find more of those small ways that will lighten their load and help them feel better, feel all the more better in light of your understanding.
Be supportive

Men and women, husbands and wives, and partners get ideas into their heads. Sometimes we think our spouses are off the wall. Sometimes we are just too tired to think.

Yet to complement your relationship and build your happy marriage, try to be supportive and encourage your partner in their pursuits. Instead of pointing out what you feel are their flaws, help them find creative ways to overcome them.
Being supportive inspires a feeling of 'togetherness.' An article in Men's Health reported that "...researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, found that couples that say 'we' are better at resolving disagreements than couples that emphasized their separateness by using pronouns like 'I,' "me," and 'you.'"

Sometimes it can help to lead by example. Your supportive example may spur your spouse on to another supportive behavior that will benefit you just when you need it most.

Putting a spouse and their thoughts down does not lead to a happy state and it can erode away many of the other positive features of a relationship.
Be respectful

Arguing is a part of marriage, but fighting doesn't have to be. When you argue, try to keep the focus on the issue at hand.

Perhaps one partner wants to purchase something major for the home and the other does not.

Disagreements must involve reasoning; once your argument degenerates into personal insults (i.e. you're always a jerk about money), you've weakened the strength of your argument and you've reduced respect.
Name calling and personal insults have no part to play in a happy marriage. Instead, they drag it down making it harder to return to those times when you didn't use such behaviors.

Respect one another's opinions as well as one another's feelings. According to Woman's Day, losing respect for a partner could be a sign that the marriage is faltering--maybe even over.  Respect is vital to every marriage-certainly every happy one and must be cultivated during the rough times as well as the good times.

If these elements are missing from your marriage and you're opting for another course, a course of separation or divorce, you can click here to work with a firm that is sensitive to family issues and considerate through the entire process of formally ending a marriage.

However, if you can work to develop these essential elements of a happy marriage and strengthen your bond by these nurturing behaviors, you may enjoy the contentment that comes from a healthy and happy marriage.

- Women24


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