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How to Create and Maintain a Happy and Healthy Life-Long Marriage

This past semester I’ve had the honor of teaching a Diversity in Marital & Family Relationships course at Chapman University 🙌🏼Teaching psychology courses always feels like such a gift because it keeps me learning about the things I care about most— Life, People, Love, the Human Psyche, Relationships...🙏🏼 With the current divorce rate in the U.S. being at 50% 😳, it appears we (as a country) need knowledge on not only how to prevent divorce, but also ways to create and maintain a life-long happy and healthy marriage.

The following information is based on research conducted within the U.S. over the past 5 years 🦋

So, for those of you who aren’t married yet....

1️⃣Wait till you are older (late 20’s - early 30’s) to get married. Research suggests those who get married after age 27 are more likely to be educated, thus bringing in a higher income. Financial struggles greatly increases the chances of a relationship ending in divorce. Also, your personality is more developed by that time and more likely to be similar to your 50 year-old-self. People who get married in their early 20’s often find themselves divorced due to “growing apart” or “changing”.

2️⃣Marry someone who is dependable. Life is tough and full of demands. Marriage is a partnership that requires two people equally willing to work diligently on creating and maintaining a happy home. You need to be able to rely on your partner and trust that he/she will do what he/she says.

3️⃣ Marry someone who has your back. Your life partner should be your best friend, your biggest advocate. Marry someone who has proven that when push comes to shove, they are there for you 💜

Now, for those of you who are married... Marriage requires 3 things:

1️⃣Intimacy: This is the close, connected, and bonded feelings in a loving relationship. Learn to be an active listener and be a source of emotional support for your partner. That means disconnecting from all distractions and living in the present moment together. Listen to their worries, encourage them to pursue their dreams.

2️⃣Passion: This is the drive that leads to romance, physical attraction and sexual consumption. This one starts off strong but fizzles quickly. Work to keep the passion alive in your relationship by talking sweetly to each other, meet each others needs (look into the 5 Love Languages for more info on this), explore new ways to pleasure each other, and most importantly- love your body so that you feel comfortable enough to share yourself fully with your partner.

3️⃣ Commitment: This is deciding to love your partner and intentionally choosing to maintain that love through all of life’s ups and downs. People go into a marriage with unrealistic expectations of what a marriage is. Instead of coming down to reality and working through their struggles (which will actually promote your personal growth), they divorce thinking they will find a better marriage with someone else. Well, the current divorce rate for second marriages is 67%. Most often, the problem isn’t your partner, but rather your expectations of marriage.

💚I hope you find this information helpful! Let me know your thoughts, and what you do to maintain a happy and healthy relationship in the comments below. I love you and wish you all loving and committed partnerships!

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