Marriage is a lot of hard work, but once you learn the basic ground rules, made peace with crucial marriage truths and must-know relationship truths you will find yourself easily navigating through relationship challenges.

by Lee Baucom, Ph.D.

Marital bliss is just around the corner, all you need to do is read on to find out five marriage truths for a blissful togetherness with your spouse.

1) Every marriage has difficulties
The fact is, every marriage has difficulties. Somewhere around 50% of marriages figure out how to deal with the struggles. They realize the struggle is just a part of being that close to someone – with your lives that intertwined. A problem does not mean the marriage is wrong. It is just a fact of relationships. The real problems are when the issues are not addressed and solved, for the betterment of the marriage. That is why it is crucial to know the relationship truths inside out.

2) There is no “Pause Button” on relationships
Many couples think that they can hit “pause,” raise the kids, get the promotions, pursue hobbies and interests, and then return to the marriage down the road. The connection is the lifeblood of relationships. When you hit pause, you are disconnecting, whether you mean to or not. Connection either grows or recedes. It is never stagnant. Many couples “un-pause,” only to discover they are disconnected, have grown apart, and are different people. Marriages (and connection) need regular and consistent care, nurturing the connection and the relationship along the way.

3) Your task is to create a WE
You start every relationship as “You and Me.” But marriage is unique. Your task is to become a WE, a team, a united sense of yourselves. To see that, “WE are in this together,” “WE move forward as a unit,” “WE make decisions on what is best for the US.” That sense of being a WE is the sign of a successful marriage. But it still has to have two “Me’s” bringing their best selves to the WE. If you abide by this relationship truth, you have a solid, rock steady relationship with your partner.

Your task is to become a WE – a team, a united sense of yourselves!

4) Any conflict should be in the service of progress
It is very easy to get trapped in a “win/lose” mentality around conflicts. When either person is out to win, the relationship loses. When couples use conflicts as an opportunity to grow the relationship and build a WE, then the conflict is in the service of progress. If you want to win, and try to “score points” in the conflict, the connection gets chipped away, and the WE is hampered. See conflict as an opportunity to progress the relationship.

5) Love is an action. The feeling follows
We all love that “in love” feeling. But notice that even in the beginning, actions are what grew the emotions. That never stops. Many people enter into a marriage wanting to show the other person how much they love them. But at some point, many make a shift to asking, “How are you loving me?” This can quickly build resentment – since no one is perfect at showing love. If the question is, “What am I getting out of this?,” the marriage will struggle. If the question is, “What can I put into this?,” the marriage grows, the connection grows, and the WE strengthens.

Lee Baucom, Ph.D. is a best-selling author, therapist, coach and speaker, and has over a quarter of a century of experience helping couples and individuals learn to thrive in their relationships and their lives. He is the creator of the internet marriage program, Save The Marriage.

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