Most people claim they want an ever-lasting marriage, however, they lack the understanding of what it takes to make that happen. There is a huge transition when one gets married, which is their whole life changes from being a single person to having to take care of two people and possibly many more. It is the perfect time to create a solid foundation for someone’s marriage because having a solid foundation will help these newlyweds grow closer, also to navigate challenges together thus adapting to married life will be easier and guaranteed a happy marriage.
Being a newlywed is not an easy thing to do like walk in the park. Things are constantly changing and there are lots of modifications to adopt such as having to deal with a new home, new roles, and responsibilities. When we marry someone, we marry everything about them. Adjusting to married life is already hard for every newlywed couple, let alone for intercultural couples.
According to Rebecca Lemke, one of the most important keys in securing a happy marriage is communication. It is the building block in a relationship. We all talk differently, especially these mixed cultural couples. They might use different language due to being raised in different cultures, which makes it difficult sometimes for their spouse to understand. So, these couples have to decide on which language to interact at home. A good marriage flourishes on the open exchange of emotion, concern, desires, and beliefs (Krull, 2016). “In communication, there should be a listener and a sharer” (Nance, 2017).
And when listening, it is necessary to know that we are listening to fathom the spouse, not to react towards it. Just listen to them without trying to fix things and just support them. Listening means paying attention when they are sharing something. It shows that they care (Wright,2014). They have the power to build a healthy marriage by offering encouragement rather than criticism. Positive communication is vital in marriage as we are showing appreciation, affection and respect to our significant other (Keys to Effective Marriage Article, 2017). Kevin Miller stated that one of the two keys to a happy marriage are communication. It is when spouses can talk freely and feel safe to verbalize their concerns and feelings over difficulties that came, they can voice out their thoughts. Great communication in marriage is a skill that we can learn, it just takes practice (Communication in Marriage Article). Based on the Daily Monitor website, it stated to consult with each other before doing anything because they are a team now, for instance before spending money.
Next is accepting each other’s differences, for instance, the way he or she lives, sleep, eat, and behave. Do not try to improve them, just accept them the way they are (Bhagwan, 2018). “If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it”, a wise saying from Mary Engelbreit. We might disagree with our spouse on certain things, therefore, learn to disagree in a healthy way. Respect their opinions and ask for clarification when necessary. We cannot change anyone’s characteristics no matter how hard we try, not unless they want to change it themselves (Tucker, 2015). Do not see the negative in them, instead, focus on what is great about him or her. What is right for us may not be right for our spouse (Campbell, 2013).
Not judging is an essential step in accepting our spouse. Furthermore, the new things that we have discovered about our spouse will make us understand each other more. Life will be more beautiful if we just appreciate our spouse and those different cultural practices. They may have been raised differently the same goes for everybody else, due to coming from different families with different backgrounds and different ways of doing things (Rao,2017). It is extremely important for us to understand our spouses. Like Dr. Chantal Marie Cagnon says, be more open-minded in seeking new information about the other person. The biggest frustrations are when we start thinking that we are right and they are wrong (Wright,2010). Family Life claimed couples to be more understanding of each other. Not only that we all wanted to be loved, but also accepted for who we are. Once we completely accept our beautifully flawed spouse, marriage becomes so much easier (Dey, 2015).
In addition to that, patience is also one of the key factors in marriage as it is the most needed element in maintaining a good relationship with their spouse. Patience and endurance are essential to co-exist in peace with their spouse (Mathi, 2018). It is very crucial to tolerate the minor faults that their spouse did. Otherwise, they will be unable to cope with it. Tolerance means that there are times when you need to be patient, calm and choose not to argue for the sake of a healthy marriage. For instance, the laziness of their spouse, or the way their spouse does things. If there is no tolerance in marriage, they will get easily triggered over a small matter. To practice tolerance, one can be supportive and forgive the minor faults (Miller).
Some may think when we forgive someone, we are making excuses for their behaviour, but, in marriage, forgiveness is a quality that shows that we are capable of letting go to heal and move on with our lives (Gaspard, 2016). They can voice their opinions, but avoid giving firm views as it tends to create a bigger problem (Alex, 2011). A part of adjusting to married life is learning to give and take, both must make sacrifices, not just one spouse. Both spouses must be selfless. Tolerance and patience are two virtues that should be practiced in marriage (Practice Tolerance Article). Patience is the ability to compromise and tolerate or confine ourselves from acting in anger or frustration. Be more considerate to one another to ensure a happy marriage (Barari, 2011). Being patience in marriage can allow us to think before we speak or react to our spouse. It also will help us to fight and argue less with each other. Instead, they will have calm discussions. This encourages good communication in marriage.
However, there are certain critical things one should never tolerate in a marriage (Sanoff, 2015)
Compromise is necessary but if things are getting out of control and forcing you to stay in an unhappy marriage, then it is time to break free. If their negative pattern does not change, then it is time to evaluate your marriage (Stritof, 2018). Adapting to married life is the opportunity to learn about your spouse, also to be more open to changes.