Married for 60 years a husband and wife had no secrets except for one: the wife kept a shoe box in her closet that she forbids her husband to open. But one day while on her deathbed, she allowed him to open the box with her blessing. When he opened the box he found $95,000 in cash and a crocheted doll.
The wife explained, “My mother told me the secret to a lasting marriage was to never argue, instead I should crochet a doll and keep quiet.”
With only one doll in the box this meant she’d only been angry with him once in their 60 years, he was touched. “What about all this money though?” he asked.
“Why,” she said, “That’s the money I made from selling the dolls.”
Wouldn’t it be great if this was still the secret to a successful marriage? Life was very different then. It’s not to say it was easier 60 years ago, but the roles and expectations of marriages have changed over the generations.
Statistics show that 41% of first marriages end in divorce, 60% for second marriages, and 73% for third marriages. With these percentage rates you could be wondering what the keys to a successful and lasting marriage are.
Successful and lasting marriages don’t just happen; you must be willing to commit to each other by keeping your mind focused on the goal of having a happy marriage. Marriage requires a lot of adjustments on each other’s part and that’s not always easy. Here are a few key ways to help your nuptials remain strong.
So often couples think they can change each other after they say “I do”. Rather than trying to transform your spouse, remember what made you fall in love with them in the first place. Treasure your differences and stop looking at their shortfalls. Remember it’s just as easy to be positive as it is negative. Couples who focus their attention on the positive qualities of each other are the ones who are happy.
While it’s good to have your space and keep your individuality couples that have lasting marriages connect regularly. Besides having frequent date nights they make the time to do things together. Whether it’s cooking dinner, going to the grocery store, taking a walk, or doing everyday chores, successful partners spend time doing ordinary things together. Connecting on a regular basis keeps the lines of communication and intimacy from falling apart, key factors for a lasting relationship.
Forget the past and remember the happy times. No marriage is perfect and there will be bumps in the road. You’re not always going to like or have passionate feelings of love for each other. But there’s no reason to dwell on the bad times. Instead, reminisce on the happy and special times you have shared together.
For a marriage to last and be successful it’s important to remember no one is perfect. Don’t forget it’s the little things you do for each other that count. Be respectful and don’t take each other for granted, and if you’re able laugh at yourself and each other your marriage will withstand the test of time.