A note from Alex: Welcome to the second post in a new five-part series, The Five Secrets of a Happy Marriage.
The following five secrets have worked very well in my marriage for more than 30 years. Follow these secrets and adapt them to work in your own marriage, and you’ll be on your way to having what we all want – a happy marriage.
2. Meet each other’s needs
3. Learn to resolve conflicts
4. Grow with each other
5. Maintain a commitment to the marriage
Second Secret: Meet Each Other’s Needs
Marriage can be demanding and sometimes frustrating. At times, you may find yourself not being courteous to each other. More dangerously, you and your partner could stop seeing each other as important and will begin putting other things, like work, hobbies or the children, before the marriage.
Successful couples; however, always keep the needs of their partner first. To keep the marriage on track, make an effort not to take each other for granted and remember how lucky you are to be married.
The secret inside the secret of meeting each other’s needs is the real nugget to discover. Simply put, if you focus exclusively on meeting the needs of your spouse, and not your own, you will be rewarded with having your needs met.
To do this, you must trust your spouse and have confidence that your partner is capable of meeting your needs.
More importantly, realize this inner secret will take courage on your part. You must learn to surrender your doubts and insecurities and take a big step outside of your comfort zone. Acknowledge the fear, but remain determined to keep forging ahead.
The dilemma that many people face with this approach is the fear that if they stop asking for their needs to be met, then their needs will stop being met by their spouse. The reality is that the opposite couldn’t be truer.
Take a step back for a moment and examine your marriage. Forget what you need, or want, and focus on the expressed needs of your husband or wife.
Make an honest assessment if you are doing everything (within reason) to meet those needs. If not, then perhaps you will realize your own needs are not being met either – there is a direct correlation between these two events.
Walk through the doubt, leave your needs there, and begin to focus on your partner. Growth for the marriage, and for you, lives on the other side.
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