Sometimes you don’t know how you feel about marriage until you meet someone that, for the first time in your life, makes you realize you don’t want to be with anyone else, ever. That moment of epiphany is something all married people have experienced, but few can describe. In Mario Puzo’s novel The Godfather, it’s called “The Thunderbolt.”
However you experience it, you know you have to do something about it before the person in front of you slips away. Those of you who think you might have found The One can list your reasons why, and every relationship is different, but there are a few areas of life that every marriage should satisfy. These voids in your life aren’t things you lack, or things that are wrong with you. Instead, think of them like the matching curves in a pair of puzzle pieces. Each person in a good marriage has a skill, a behavior, or an attitude that matches perfectly with a need the other person has. When you’re in a good marriage, cliche though it might be, the two of you just click together and make a whole that’s stronger than either of you were separately.
Here’s six ways you and your partner should click:
Whether you divide your bills up and decide who’s going to be responsible for what, or you pool all the cash and pay everything out of one account, you need to be with someone whose financial philosophy is compatible with yours. Fights about money are some of the most heated, so when you exchange vows, be sure you know how that person feels about sudden splurging. And while we’re on the subject.
2. Fighting the good fight
You and your partner are going to fight, there’s no avoiding that. The key is to find someone who fights in a constructive way. Is your spouse trying to resolve problems, or just score points? Does anyone ever say something that seems designed to hurt? The person you marry should fight to resolve, not fight to win.
3. Love Life
According to a study, sexual satisfaction is an important component of a happy marriage. This doesn’t mean there has to be lots of sex, or any specific type of bedroom activity, it just means you and your partner have to both be satisfied with the amount and type of sex in your marriage.
Do you feel relaxed around your partner? Do you feel at ease and comfortable with them most of the time? Then you’re in a good place to consider taking vows. If you find yourself tense every time they’re around, you should think about why that is.
Life is hard work, and it’s even harder when you don’t feel like you can share with the person you love. You and your partner should both be able to talk and listen as much as the other needs you to. The trick here is to really listen and empathize, not just wait for your turn to speak.
This is something people don’t often mention when talking about happy marriages. You and your partner need to have fun together. Whether you go on cruises, walk in the park, or just laugh together while making dinner, it’s this enjoyment of your life together that forms the glue that keeps you together forever.