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What makes a marriage run smooth or not?

Why don't you pick a movie?
Why don't you pick a movie?
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There are a few things that promote easy relationships, don’t get it wrong, marriage does take work. The thing is, if everyone does their part it doesn’t seem like work. Picture this, in conflict when a husband and wife compromise and find middle ground the communication went well. Now, in the same scenario if one spouse or the other just has to be right or have their way…that’s where the communication begins to break down.

You have the choice to have a smooth working marriage or not. Having the need to always be right or have your way sets the stage for mood and how the conflict resolution is going to end. Is having your way worth the cost of being isolated? Is it worth the spouse stomping off to get away from you? Unfortunately some would say yes. In that case, maybe you should revisit why you’re married in the first place.

The idea that marriage takes work is true, but, if the compromise part of the work outweighs the number of arguments your marriage will seem less like work and be more peaceful. Give and take, with a little more give, promotes a smooth running marriage. It also promotes a healthier marriage. Another tool for a smooth running marriage is forgiveness.

The thing is forgiveness is tricky; it is both a decision and a process. It is a decision because it involves using our will and intellect to decide to forgive. It is not a feeling; we need to decide to forgive. Yet it is also a process because we have a right to work through the hurt with somebody who is helpful and will validate our feelings (a good friend, a priest, a therapist, etc).

Do not wait to feel like you need to forgive because that may never happen. Don’t wait for when the time feels right, that may never happen. If you’re living in a marriage with the spirit of resentment your marriage will never run smooth. If you don’t want to forgive, ok. Just make sure you willing to own that. Look at yourself in a mirror and say; “I” know that as long as “I” harbor resentment and “I” choose not to forgive that “I” am adding to this conflict that “I” choose not to take part in resolving it.

Compromise and forgiveness are two very important elements of a successful marriage. If you’re a person of faith you may know this; forgiving somebody does not, in any way, excuse the hurt that was done. It is a decision to let go of retribution and to allow God to begin to heal. When we let go of the hurt, God can start to redeem it and bring good from it.

And if you’re not a person of faith there is a part of that statement you should still hold on to, forgiving somebody does not, in any way, excuse the hurt that was done. Besides, it is usually the resentment that destroys a marriage anyway. People often say that the first year of marriage is the hardest, and that can be true.

It can also be an amazing time of discovery and wonder as two people join their lives together in so many ways. Communication and compromise should start way before you say “I do.” All the stressors of the first year of marriage sometimes only has 10 to sometimes 30 years of resentment added to it.

And that’s if the other spouse chooses to be forgiving and is hanging on to something about their spouse they remember liking. Again, does marriage take work…yes? After 10 and 20 years, some have still not forgiven the bachelor or bachelorette party, scary. But with compromise and forgiveness marriage can smooth out and seem less like work. You will begin to come together and function as one, as marriage was intended.

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