By Margarita Nahapetyan
To maintain a happy marriage is far more complicated than most couples realize. Marital researchers have found that couples who help each other cope with stressful situations outside the marriage have much stronger, healthier and happier relationships than those who are unable to do that.
A poll of 4,000 couples discovered that spending at least 22 periods of "quality time" together every month, such as going for a stroll or dining at a restaurant, were also key to maintaining a strong and healthy relationship.The couples, who considered them as "happy" or "very happy," were asked by researchers how much time approximately they spend together. This way researchers were planning to establish the secret and the key to such happiness.
After the responses have been analyzed it became clear that most of the couples spent together at least seven evenings every month with two proper dinner dates. Other important elements included two romantic walks a month and at least one visit to a cafe or movies alone, without the children or friends. The couples also suggested that husbands should give their wives flowers or another gift at least once a month. Though they also advised to spend at least one evening a month apart from their spouse.
One educational psychologist said that affection, cuddles and romantic gestures are an important part of a romantic relationship which those entering the relationship desire most. "They are the safe gestures which say 'I like you, I am glad to be with you, I like and appreciate your support and care.' In this busy world we often take our partners for granted whilst we get on with our daily struggles of work and rearing a family. We tend to forget the importance of hugs when familiarity becomes part of our lives, and as the saying goes 'familiarity breeds contempt'." If couples don't have admiration and respect for each other, things between them will never work. Growing old together has the exact meaning, so the fact that the body will eventually change must be accepted and the person should be loved for who he/she is despite all.
It is essential to remember that even in the happiest marriages, it is quite natural for two people to disagree. Each person is different by his nature, and no matter how much people love each other, differences will eventually cause conflict at some point. In some cases it is just fun to argue about political issues, for example. In other cases it might be much more serious. It is important to understand that although you disagree, you are not enemies. Arguing does not mean that you have to attack each other -- physically or verbally. There is nothing to be afraid of, couples can argue, but they must remember to do it respectfully. On issues that couples must agree on, like how to raise children, for instance, there is no other way but to discuss them and arrive at a compromise. That way there is no resentment. It is good to simply stay calm and the solution will always be found.
It is a big no-no for both a woman and a man to use sex as a weapon in a dispute with your spouse, such as withholding sex as a way of dealing with a problem. Lines of communication must always be open. If they, by any chance, shut down, you might want to consider counseling. Both, husband and wife should realize that change is not a reason to look for sexual fulfillment outside of the marriage.
For a woman it can be very painful to talk to her husband and realize as if she has been talking to the wall. But while women often find silence uncomfortable, men find solace in it. Woman starts to think that the reason for the silence has something to do with her, that husband's lack of response means he is angry or upset with her. But in reality, his silence may simply mean he really has nothing particular on his mind. Men very often don't tell their wives things because they don't want to worry them. That protectiveness, however, may be misinterpreted as lack of interest. Also, at home, men want to relax. And that means they are immersing into their own thoughts or dreams.
Financial problems often become a reason that breaks up a marriage, so it is especially important to talk about money in an honest way. It is good to be as open with each other as possible so that there is no hidden resentment about how the budget money is being spent. If one of you is unhappy about the way money is handled in your household, do not postpone it and deal with it immediately. Do not keep any worries to yourself because that will never help either of you. Always remember that you are a team.
Never complain to your family about your spouse. Keep in mind that your family, relatives and friends will be at your side most of the time, even if you are not right. If you constantly complain about your spouse to your family and friends, they will eventually start to disrespect and dislike him/her, which will not be very pleasant for you at a later time, when things work out between you two.
As a conclusion here is a short story, which, hopefully will make you smile and appreciate the wisdom of a "happily" married woman.
There was once a man and a woman who had been married for more than sixty years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had absolutely no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.
One day, after many, many years, the old woman got very sick, and the doctor said she would never recover. The woman knew it was about the time to reveal her little secret to her husband, and asked him to take down the box and bring it to her bedside. When the man opened it, he found two crocheted doilies and a stack of money in the total of $25,000. The man asked his wife about the contents.
"When we were to be married," she old woman said, "my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you I should just keep quiet and crochet a doilie."
There were only 2 doilies in the box. The man was beyond himself with joy. His wife was angry with him only twice in all the years of their happy marriage and love! "Honey," he said, "that explains the doilies, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?" "Oh," she said, "that's the money I made from selling the doilies."