Marriage isn’t scary. It’s the uncertainty after marriage that i believe scares people. They say it takes 2 years to fully know someone. I doubt this is true, as 2 years is awfully short to truly know someone, in my eyes.
And I beg to differ, as there are numerous cases where married couples don’t find out about the other’s secrets or attitudes until after a few years of marriage. So there’s no exact answer or science as to how long it takes to fully know someone. That is the scary bit.
However, as you’re reading this, chances are you’re already married. And like all married couples, you plan to make the best of it. Whether or not you know the person for 2 years prior to this is irrelevant.
So here are a few helpful tips we found that helps to strengthen your marriage, or as we like to call it, ‘divorce proofing’ your marriage :
- Give your partner some space
You can’t be around them all the time, clinging on for dear life. You are married to your partner, and you see it as a ‘unity’ of two beings. Yes, that is right. Marriage is a unity.
But your partner is an independent, living being with their own set of beliefs, values and interests. You have to understand that and give them space for themselves, for them to indulge in their own ‘me time’.
It’s actually about managing this space. You should let them go out with their friends, hang out here and there and let them do their own thing. But of course, you shouldn’t let it happen so often and so loosely that they start to question if you even love or care about them anymore.
Couples argue about a lot of things. Some are over major issues that happen to be very common amongst a lot of couples in singapore, like money or family issues. However, most of the arguments couples have are also regarding relatively minor and petty issues.
Fix these little issues before they get out of hand. Often, big problems come about from months or years of small problems not being resolved, and then finally snowballing out of proportion. By compromising on these issues (while they are still small), you are doing the future of your relationship a big favor and possibly avoiding a huge problem down the road.
A good example of this is from a former colleague of mine. As a young guy in his early 30s, he tends to splurge on rather expensive toys on impulse. At first, it wasn’t that big of a problem. Although his wife pointed out this habit of his at times, they don’t really argue about it.
The problem got bigger after they had children. Arguments regarding his impulsive tendencies got bigger and bigger, as she believed money that could’ve been saved for their children was spent on ‘useless’ toys. These arguments caused a rift between them and it took some time off for the both of them to finally reconcile.
- Controlling emotions
Related to the previous point on compromising, is the ability to control your emotions. Use logic to make your decisions instead of letting your emotions run wild and take over your mind.
Whatever you do or say, understand that there might be consequences not just on your spouse or children, but on you as well. Words can really hurt others, and in a fit of rage or anger, we might say things we don’t mean. You might feel better after lashing out, but the aftermath of it is not worth the harsh words.
I, for one, can speak from experience. My wife tends to remember my exact words from arguments years ago and uses it against me every now and then. While it annoys me and i wished she didn’t remember, I have to admit that it is partially my fault for not controlling my tongue in the first place.
However, the upside is that i have learnt to control my words, though not fully. I think this will help when we have kids in the future.
Lastly, never, ever use the word ‘divorce’ in an argument.
There are many ways to bring about some excitement, or as they call it “spice up” your marriage. While new methods in bed might work, that’s not what i’m going to talk about. What i think can work in the long run instead is travelling together. Just you and your partner. No kids or in-laws allowed.
They say you learn a lot about someone when you travel with them. It might not be easy for couples, especially the younger ones, to be able to do this. No thanks to our rather hectic and fast-paced lifestyle here in Singapore. However, you can plan to do these during the long weekends. As of the time of this article, I believe there are 3 more long weekends for 2017.
Drop your kids off at your parent’s place and go for an adventure together. How often should you do this? My short answer would be as often as possible.
Realistically though, I think once a year would be just right for most couples. If you don’t have kids yet, now is an even better time to do this.
- Earning independently
Reading a number of marriage books, i see this coming up a number of times. And it makes quite a lot of sense the more i think about it. First, it helps to ease the burden on the family, as more people working means more money. Second, I think it helps to avoid money related arguments to an extent.
With each person earning individually, none can accuse the other of “wasting my money”, or other problems that comes with this. Experienced Divorce lawyers in Singapore have also recounted of how money issues are a common cause for arguments and divorce between couples here.
I’m not saying that having more money will eradicate this problem entirely. But with a common problem among Singaporean couples being money issues, i feel that having both parties working and earning independently would be a good start.
I should have put this on the top of this list. But nonetheless, talking about your problems with your partner instead of keeping them to yourself is a great way to remove the tension and get to the root of problems.
If you’ve ever been to a marriage counsellor, they’d often ask the couple specific questions to get them to open up. Soon, after enough questions and answers, they can analyse the real problem and find ways to resolve it. All this is done through communication.
Your partner is not a mind-reader. If you don’t tell them what’s going on, or what you’re thinking, you are leaving them to make assumptions. And this doesn’t help anyone.
This applies to you as well. If you sense that your partner is having problems, ask them what it is. Do not assume. They won’t tell you immediately what the problem is, but give it some time and they’ll open up, as most people do.
Lastly, do not keep secrets. This is another cause for arguments. It’s not so much the fact that you’re keeping a secret that’s the problem. It’s when your partner finds out that you’ll have some explaining to do. So be frank and honest with them. I’m sure you wouldn’t want them to keep secrets from you either.