Making marriage last

 By Bel Mooney, Daily Mail

You’re engaged, the wedding date’s set, but what comes after the honeymoon’s over and the last flower of your wedding bouquet has wilted?

Marriage, when it’s successful, is a blessing and a source of great happiness for millions.  But it doesn’t come easily, as anyone celebrating their golden wedding anniversary will tell you!

Recently a group gathered in London at the For Your Next Step pop-up café, organised jointly by Lloyds Bank, the Daily Mail, and The School of Life.

The aim was to explore and discuss how to make love last, and the workshop was hosted by Daily Mail advice columnist Bel Mooney and run by counsellor and author Susan Quilliam, from The School of Life.

Bel says: ‘I believe that marriage, or any long committed relationship, is one of the hardest tests of character any of us will have to face in life, and that’s why everybody could do with some help.

‘According to Susan, the period of falling in love lasts about two to four years, and after that comes the big hurdle when a couple has to learn how to ‘stand in love’.

‘Many marriages run into troubles because the love and/or money runs out, and when a relationship grows stale and the bills are piling up, few couples can cope.

‘The sad thing is, many couples fail to seek both emotional and financial advice until it's too late.’

 

Here are Bel and Susan’s top tips for building a union that will last:

  • Being aware of what Susan calls your ‘marriage story’ is key.  Ask yourself what marriage means for you; why did you marry your partner, and vice versa?
  • It's good to think about what you expect and need – and also what you are prepared to give. What are the challenges you identify?
  • Consider your parents' marriage and what effect it might have had on you – and how you can learn from that, as well as your own past relationships.
  • Think of positive ways you can resolve differences – and that must involve seeing each problem as a two-way street.
  • Think about the ways you respond to emotion, and consider whether your partner is the same.
  • Try to understand what it means to 'stand in love' and reflect on how you can help that process.  It will necessarily involve kindness and tolerance.
  • Think about 'the proofs of love.' What would please your partner (flowers every Friday?) and do you tell each other what you feel? Find out what proofs of love your partner needs and offer your own too.

 

For more information on marriage, please see our other articles:
Getting married: budgeting for your big day
Getting married: what it means for your money