People often view marriage as the natural path of progression in a relationship.
You start dating, you get into a committed relationship, and then eventually you get married. But there’s also such an alarming divorce rate nowadays that maybe you should think twice before getting married.
People have marriage problems whether there’s an issue with pornography addiction or not. Issues will arise one way or another because that’s the way life works, but you can make some considerations ahead of time to avoid larger ones later on. Avoiding unhappiness in your marriage starts with considering a few things before you even choose that path.
What are some ways to avoid unhappiness in your own relationship headed in the direction of marriage?
You’re Not “Two Becoming One”
How often do you see men who believe marriage or a committed relationship is about two people becoming one? We’re sold this lie by society as we grow up but you cannot take two separate individuals and make them into one person. Don’t get me wrong; I know what the good book says. But I’m also a realist.
In my relationship and many other successful relationships I’ve seen, the couples are two separate individuals who enhance one another’s lives. They complement each other and increase enjoyment for each other. At the same time, though, they’re also two different people who function independently of one another.
There’s nothing wrong with your partner being your confidant or best friend. You should always support one another in your endeavors. But you shouldn’t operate under the idea that you “complete” each other, either. Successful couples are first successful on their own then come together as two whole people. They aren’t two “halves” who make a whole.
Don’t Force Your Interests on Each Other
You should never try to get rid of or suppress your spouse’s interests and they should offer the same respect to you. Nor should you force them to develop an interest in the things you enjoy doing, either. Whenever you try to make anyone do anything it always ends up badly sooner or later.
Sure, when you’re in a new relationship you’re going to put your best foot forward. They might be interested in something you couldn’t care less about, but you’ll pretend you are to show you care. If you keep acting like you’re interested, though, the cracks are going to form eventually.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any shared interests, either. People who have strong relationships have at least some things in common. But you don’t need to share an identical set of interests to build a strong relationship. Having separate interests is part of being two individuals who come together in a relationship.
You Don’t Have to Agree on Everything
Compromise is part of every relationship. You’re never going to find someone with whom you agree 100% of the time. Every human being has their own unique experience that got them to where they are today so no two people will see the world exactly the same. There’s nothing wrong with this!
Too many people think you and your partner need to agree on everything. If you’re with someone you always agree with, every single time, one of you has most likely lied at one point or another. Agreeing with someone all the time probably means one of you is compromising your individuality.
Disagreements are okay. How you handle them is where the potential issues arise. Compromise and agreeing to disagree are key components of strong relationships. You and your partner don’t always have to see eye to eye but you do need to respect one another and your individual opinions.
A Marriage Certificate Does Not Guarantee Love
I feel that individuals sometimes take marriage certificates as a way to certify or guarantee their love. It’s like they believe they’re buying something that ensures their relationship will last forever. But love and relationships don’t work that way.
You can’t guarantee that someone will love you forever, nor can you guarantee that for someone else. You can’t ever be entirely sure of your future emotions. If you’ve cared for someone for a long period, chances are your feelings will continue. Still, a marriage certificate isn’t going to guarantee your feelings.
You can’t look to a marriage certificate as a way to legitimize your relationship. Sure, it’s a binding contract but it’s not going to make your relationship any stronger, nor will it keep your partner feeling any particular type of way. You and your partner need to do the work on your own to keep your relationship strong; you can’t just rely on a certificate to do that for you.
Decide Whether Marriage is For You
Like I mentioned before, here’s another thing to consider: you and your partner don’t need to get married! There’s a societal expectation for people in a committed relationship to eventually marry one another. You don’t have to conform to that expectation if it isn’t right for your relationship, though!
I’ve been in a relationship with the same woman for 12 years but we aren’t interested in getting married. We’re happy with the way things are right now and aren’t interested in changing the current structure of our relationship. That doesn’t mean our feelings on marriage won’t change in the future, but it isn’t right for us right now so we haven’t pursued that path.
You and your partner need to decide for yourselves whether marriage is right for you. Don’t get married because it’s the thing you’re “supposed” to do. No one else’s opinion on your decision matters; your relationship is between you and your partner. The best way to avoid an unhappy marriage is to avoid changing the parameters of your relationship if it’s not the right thing to do.