Despite the dramas and laborious decisions involved in creating a wedding, it’s actually the easy part of a long lasting marriage. It is (relatively) easy to fall in love, a little harder to take the leap of faith that this person is the 'one', and even harder to make the marriage stand the test of time.
As a marriage celebrant, under the Marriage Act 1961, it is my duty to inform the couple of relationship services that exist in the local area. Some religious leaders have marriage courses or offer counselling services. And while a lot of couples in the 'hopelessly in love' stage may think their marriage is invincible, relationships are dynamic and it doesn't hurt to be prepared, or at least know what services are available to help you should you ever need it.
If I had the one secret to a long lasting marriage, I would probably be a famous counsellor, and not a marriage celebrant! However, there is a new study from the Personality and Psychology bulletin that offers words of advice for a long lasting marriage.
Set realistic expectations of your marriage.
This study looked at 135 couples in Tennessee and had them fill in a survey on their marriage twice a year for four years about their marital satisfaction. The results found that having high expectations of a marriage was good for couples that worked well together. They were able to rise up to the challenge and commit the time and effort needed for their relationship.
However, couples that were having more marital troubles and used indirect hostility tactics like sarcasm or hostile jokes, were not necessarily less satisfied in their relationship if their expectations were lower of what they wanted from a marriage.
So what should you expect from a marriage? You should expect a best friend and intimacy, but your partner doesn't have to be everything on your shopping list A balanced perspective of what your partner can provide for you is important to a successful marriage.
For more relationship advice in NSW, visit the Family Relationships Online website or phone the Family Relationship Advice Line on 1800 050 321.