Marriage is a marathon, not a sprint.
The honeymoon being over, both literally and figuratively, is something that newly married couples often fear. They fret that their love for their partner will wear off, they worry that their partner’s faults — once charming — will become annoying, and they stress out about turning into a bitter married couple like the rest, or at least fifty percent, of Americans.
But, it doesn't have to be like this. Whether you are looking for a husband, looking for a wife, or you've been married for two minutes or two years, remembering the following can help your future or present relationship survive even after the novelty has worn off:
Know your relationship will ebb and flow
Life is full of change and relationships aren't immune to this; couples go through phases where they struggle and phases where they are over the moon with happiness. However, it's important to remember that — when the proverbial "honeymoon ends" — your relationship isn't destined for a downward slope. Instead, your relationship will curve and be quite true to your wedding vows: there will be good times and bad, sickness and health, laughter and sorrow.
The point is this: once the honeymoon is over, the happiness isn't. It might appear to be at times, but working on yourself, communicating with your partner, and being open to self-improvement can all make your marriage more solid than ever.
Spend time together and time apart—
Spending time together in a marriage is kind of a no-brainer: if you don't ever see each other, you may as well not be in a marriage… or just be in a celebrity marriage. But, it's important to also spend time apart. This doesn't mean you need to get a job where you spend eight months a year in Antarctica, but doing your own thing, having friends, and taking time for yourself can aid a relationship. If anything, time apart prevents you and your partner from getting on each other's nerves.
Avoid falling into the all too common rut—
In fairytales, couples get married and ride off into the sunset to live happily ever after. Yet, the fairytale doesn’t tell you about the "RUT AHEAD" sign that is typically standing on the side of the road. Ruts tend to happen when people get into routines: they wake up, go to work, take the kids to soccer practice, go to bed, rinse and repeat.
This, of course, can be tricky because routines are typically necessary in order to get things done. But, they can also be detrimental to the excitement of a relationship. So, you must be aware of these rut-causing routines and instigate a process to help you and your partner, remain "rut-free." Perhaps this process involves date night once a week, going on a trip every summer, or spending the night in a hotel every few months. Whatever it involves, make it part of your life: go out of your way to keep the excitement alive and well.
Have outside interests
John Lennon may have wanted us to believe that love is all we need, but, the truth is, we need other things too. Even if you adore your partner, love them unconditionally, and view them as your number one priority, having other priorities can help make your relationship better balanced. Thus, be sure you have other interests as well.
These interests can be things you and your partner do together — such as doubles tennis, rock climbing, or swing dancing. Common interests can act as a form of bonding and bring you and your partner closer together. But, you may also take up an interest without your better half. So, join a book club, sign up for a painting class, or start a fantasy football league. Outside interest can help avoid monotony and put less pressure on your relationship to be your sole source of happiness.
To learn more about what to do when the honeymoon is over, click here.