We’ve all heard the grim statistics about marriage and divorce. It’s now said that 50% of marriages will end in divorce and we have a tendency to allow our minds to stick on that one perspective. But shouldn’t we, as married couples committed to lasting unions, instead focus on the other side of the coin? If fifty percent of marriage will fail, that means fifty percent of them will succeed!
Author and personal motivation consultant Anne Naylor did just that and set out to interview couples whose marrriages have lasted thirty years or longer to find out how they did it. She reported her findings on the Huffington Post in her article, “50% of Marriages Work. How?”
Here are a few of the things that we found particularly noteworthy.
1. These couples have shared values.
Although partners may be quite different in their choices of food, music or leisure activities, they nevertheless agreed on certain life priorities, about money, raising children, and the numerous little elements that make up daily life. When values are agreed upon, there is an unspoken understanding that makes for ease and comfort with each other, and a greater potential for long-term happiness.”
2. These couples feel safe enough to really communicate with each other.
Good communication starts with the feeling of safety with your loved one, that you are free to express what is true for you, without fear of rejection or criticism. This would include being an open-hearted listener to your partner — to their dreams and aspirations, as well as their fears and insecurities.”
3. These couples feel safe with being vulnerable and see both sides of that vulnerability.
When you are close and intimate, you are necessarily vulnerable. This is the one person who can hurt you the most, even without intending to. Vulnerable has the meaning both of being wounded, and being blessed.”
The best advice we will ever get on having a long and happy marriage doesn’t come from experts. It comes from couples who know firsthand what it takes and what you must give in order to stay together forever and feel blessed to do it.
Please read the article in full to hear what else Naylor learned from these couples. Definitely watch the video interview with the delightful Trixie Buckel, a 94-year old woman who was happily married to her beloved husband for seventy years. It’s heartwarming and filled with the wisdom of someone who knows exactly how 50% of marriages work.