October/December 2014

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Five Steps to a Happy and Healthy Marriage

Posted: Friday, Mar. 07, 2014

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Photo by Lora Denton Photography.

Originally from England, Sarah Ryberg has lived in Charlotte for the last 12 years and is a graduate of UNC Charlotte. After two whirlwind weddings - one in Charlotte and another in her homeland - Sarah is settling into married life and learning what it takes to be a Mrs. You can reach Sarah at sarahmryberg@yahoo.com

Although three years is still early into our married life, I’ve already learned so much about relationships from our marriage. Robert has helped me become a stronger person who is brave enough to love herself, regardless of what others think. While he likes to kid around and would jokingly deny it to your face, he’s become more affectionate, and I know it’s my love that’s made him more expressive.

What got us to this point of being so happy in ourselves and with each other? Going through the various experiences that come from sharing a life together. We’ve supported each other through the bad times and celebrated the good together, and it has made us into an even stronger, healthier, and happier couple.

No matter what stage you’re at in your marriage, there’s always something you can do to keep your relationship healthy. That’s why i’m sharing a few of the things I’ve learned along the way. While I’m certainly not an expert, I can say these tips have helped us stay happy and strong.

1. Trust in your relationship Sometimes you and spouse won’t get along, and at those times, it can be difficult not to vent to your loved ones. I’ve learned over the years that venting to others is dangerous. It can affect their opinions of your spouse and their advice isn’t always best for your relationship. However, I’m still guilty of venting. If you do go to others for advice, just remember to listen to your own voice in the end. You know your relationship better than anybody and you know what it needs to overcome this rough patch.

2. Listen Hubby and I can be stubborn, but over the years, we’ve gotten better at listening to the other’s point of view. Instead of insisting that our opinions are right, we try to understand where the other is coming from. It’s not always easy, but it helps us reach a compromise that makes us happy and fulfills both our needs.

3. Support each other’s interests Let’s face it, Robert isn’t a big fan of Disney and I get bored watching “Call of Duty” over and over again. However, we make time to indulge in each other’s interests because we know how important it is to the other person. Robert loves showing me his gaming style and I love swooning over “Cinderella” with my own Prince Charming. Even if we don’t share the same interests, it strengthens our bond when we share in the other’s excitement.

4. Keep dating Hectic schedules can make coming home and zoning out the most appealing activity in the world, but over time, that can weaken the bond with your spouse. Hubby and I make time for each other at least once a week. Whether we dress up and head out to dinner, or stay in and watch a movie, that time together helps us shut out the world and keep connected with our relationship.

5. Laugh often I’m not very funny. I try, but it’s just awkward for everyone involved. However, my husband is quick witted and hilarious, which is so therapeutic when we’re struggling. Sure we have the tough conversations, but he keeps us laughing too, which helps us get through the rough patches with a smile on our faces. Robert and I have been through a lot together, but having each other has gotten us through so much. I know we still have a lot to learn and experience, but based on our ability to grow together, I know that we’ll be ok.

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