The day you have been dreaming of since the engagement has arrived. You say ‘I do’ in front of friends and family. You start a new life together. But what now?

Statistics like divorce rates prove that marriage is not an easy relationship to maintain. Also, the sessions of marriage counseling Melbourne couples go through reveal a lot of wisdom that partners often wish they had from the start. 

So, we want to help. Aussie couples can still hope to have a happily ever after and the advice from experts and happy couples will go a long way in getting you there. 

Communication is a Verb

‘Communication’ has been mentioned ad infinitum when it comes to relationships. But many couples still have the wrong perspective on this topic. Hearing this word, you may imagine a picture of just allowing your partner to talk their heart out. But good communication is a skill you learn and will require work. 

Now, don’t get discouraged or demotivated at the hard work ahead. It basically means that you must continually be on the lookout for what is causing misunderstandings or friction and determine if better communication can fix the issue. 

The ‘work’ we mention can be as simple as asking questions like:

  • Did you both communicate clearly?
  • Did your body language align with your words’ meaning?
  • Were you clear about your expectations in a given situation?
  • Did you confirm whether you understood the other person’s meaning?
  • Did you take time to cool down instead of reacting immediately after you weren’t in total agreement on a matter? 

All these questions can help you identify a possible common problem, which you can rectify and become proactive about. Your wish for a peaceful marriage should be enough motivation to work on it. And if you really struggle, a counseling service can help by acting as a mediator or guide you in acquiring more skills. 

But clearly, ‘communication’ is about staying busy improving, not accepting that what you have is the best it will ever be.

Honesty Really is the Best Policy

The issue with not being truthful, is that it breaks trust. And no one really wants to share space with someone they don’t feel very comfortable or safe with. A big lie or a bunch of small ones are enough to create a barrier between two people, that will be very difficult to break down. 

So, whether it’s about money, family problems or scratching the car by accident, rather be open about it. You may need to become vulnerable with each other but that builds a bond that gives you confirmation that you will always have someone in your corner. And that is valuable once you hit tough times. You will know you can count on each other, so even challenges won’t break you apart. 

Expect Change and Embrace it

Another thing that can result in couples pulling away from each other is realising the honeymoon phase is over.

We are not saying all couples start losing love or attraction. But some of the excitement of the wedding and moving in together can wear off. Be prepared that you may feel a bit different and make the conscious decision not to measure your relationship based on the change. Identify and write down the reasons for choosing each other. Then, remind yourself of that on the days when you feel irritable with your spouse’s habits or quirks. 

Hash Out the Big Questions Early On

A major reason for conflict in modern marriages is having opposing views on big matters. Have you had some tense conversations about any if these?

  • How many kids you want
  • How to manage the budget
  • Where to spend holidays and whether your families will always be involved 
  • The role of religion in your household
  • Your 10-year plan as a family

Assuming the other person has the same goals or perspective is dangerous. A day may come where you have opposite views on a major life choice, and this can lead to immense unnecessary arguments…even distrust. Rather sit down and hear each other out on sensitive topics so you can calmly decide on compromises instead of attacking each other one day in the heat of a moment.

Asking for Help is Smart…and Necessary

We can give expert advice, but you don’t have to work through it alone. Today’s couples have easy access to resources like therapists who can streamline processes like learning communication skills or settling conflicts. 

Using such a resource doesn’t mean you’re weak or incapable of having a relationship. Rather, you just prioritise the relationship so much that you want to give it as much potential as possible to flourish.

Final Thoughts

Your marriage can be one of the ones that survive and even flourish for decades to come. But it will take proactive decision making and some tough conversations. However, isn’t it worth turning your dream-life into reality?

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