When it comes to marriage, much of the advice seems to be a paradox. Although it may seem like a lot of marital advice is in conflict with other tips, it shows the delicate balance that is necessary in marriage. A happy and healthy marriage requires that you take care of yourself while at the same time nurturing your relationship. Developing this healthy balance can be difficult but is important in maintaining the health of your relationship.
Independent yet a couple
Marriage requires you to be autonomous yet also part of a couple. A healthy relationship requires each person to have activities, interests and friendships outside the marriage to make for a well-rounded person. Meanwhile, it also requires spending enough time with your spouse to grow interests together as a couple so that you can develop shared interests.
If you spend too much time trying to be independent, your relationship can grow distant. However, if you spend too much energy focusing on being a couple, you may become dependent or needy. There may be different times in your marriage where you find you are likely to be more independent than others. It is important to keep track of this delicate balancing act and make adjustments when necessary.
Supportive without nagging or enabling
A healthy marriage requires you to be supportive of your spouse. However, it is important to be supportive without nagging or enabling. This can be difficult at times. How do you help your spouse enough without acting like a parent or without making your spouse become more dependent?
Support means that you are able to offer assistance when necessary and that you cheer your spouse on. However, it is important that your spouse continue to be in charge of his own behaviors. For example, if your spouse isn’t feeling well, it may make sense to share your concern and encourage him to schedule a doctor’s appointment. However, if you nag him to make the appointment or if you make the appointment for him, you might not be doing your marriage any favors. Learning how to support your spouse in taking care of himself without doing the work for him is important.
Give in to Your Spouse Without Becoming Resentful
There are times that you have to give in during a marriage. It means you work on meeting your spouse’s needs while temporarily setting aside what you had wanted. However, it is important to do so without becoming resentful. For many people, this can feel like an impossible task.
How do you manage to abandon your own desires while still cheerfully giving to your spouse? It is important to not just ignore your feelings or pretend you don’t feel angry. Instead, take notice of when you are giving in. If you find that you are not getting your needs met regularly, you likely will grow resentful. Marriage requires you to try and meet your own needs at times and to work with your spouse when you are feeling angry or upset.
Talk about your problems while focusing on the positive
Some relationship advisors say it is important to talk about your problems together. However, other people say you need to focus on the positive. Well, which is it?
The fact is that both things are important to do. If you pretend that problems don’t exist, they won’t go away. In fact, they are likely to get worse. However, if you only ever talk about what isn’t going well, it can set the tone for negativity. It is important to spend a lot of time talking about your strengths and positive things that are going in your daily life as well in within your marriage. If you have fallen into the trap of focusing on what is wrong, make some changes to focus on what is also going well.
Take a Risk but Guard Your Heart
Advice on love often tells people to “take a risk” while others say it is important to “guard your heart.” There is a lot of risk involved in truly loving someone. It requires for you to take a leap of faith while recognizing you may get hurt. A healthy marriage means you are willing to take risks throughout the course of your marriage.
Taking risks can be difficult when it comes to relationships. There is no guarantee that your partner will be there forever. Infidelity, divorce, and death are chances you take when you get married. Being willing to work hard on trying to improve the relationship and improve yourself can be difficult when people fear their spouse may leave them or not reciprocate.
Maintaining Marital Health
Marriages can be unhealthy when things are out of balance. A healthy marriage requires you to take stock of how you are doing and to make adjustments as needed. If you are struggling to maintain this difficult balance, consider marriage counseling as an option to help you restore or develop skills to cope with this balancing act.