Love, relationship and family

Marriage: Can you really be happy with the same person for life? How to do it?

Updated on February 23, 2021, Seytoo
Marriage: Can you really be happy with the same person for life? How to do it?

Love needs the strength of commitment, which is the explicit and formal willingness to overcome obstacles that any couple will encounter sooner or later on their journey.

We see couples who, after 30, 40, 50, 60 years of marriage, are still happy together. How did they do it? Is it a matter of luck?

There are obviously no miracle recipes for a successful relationship (otherwise, it would be known!) But there are some common characteristics among all happy couples. Here are 7 of them.

1. The right choice.

We “choose” our spouse. It seems obvious. And yet… many are those who embark in the life of a couple driven solely by passion. Now there is a fundamental difference between “being in love” and loving.

Being in love is an emotion that imposes itself on me that I suffer: I did not choose to fall in love with X or Y, that's how it is!

Loving is the same emotion, but one that I put under control of my will: if I didn't choose to fall in love, I can decide what to do with that feeling. To help me decide, I appeal to my intelligence that will help me discern whether the person I love is really the one with whom I can build a meaningful and lasting love story. This time for discernment is essential in order not to make mistakes. But it's a difficult time, because it asks to control your desire.

Usually, happy couples have taken this time to think things through, to make sure they make the right choice.

2. The common project.

The common project is the “general orientation” that the spouses will give to their married life: together, they will build a common history, the fruit of their projects and their dreams. For this, it is essential that everyone first has a personal project: what am I going to do with my life? What are my deepest aspirations? What is essential, the priority for me? (e.g.: family? work? children? my hobby? my friends?) Are our priorities compatible? Not only now but also in the long term?

Of course, you don't have to plan “everything.” Life is rich enough in unforeseen events and twists and turns to undermine the best projects. But tragedies can be avoided if lovers took the time to check that their main options are compatible...

3. Commitment.

Love needs the strength of commitment, which is the explicit and formal willingness to overcome obstacles that any couple will encounter sooner or later on their journey.

There are people who get involved without getting married. There are people who get married without committing (to please Mom or Dad, for example). However, in our societies, we observe, statistically, that marriage is the concretization of commitment: it is much more solid than cohabitation. Why? Because it allows couples to resolve their difficulties with the satisfaction of knowing that confrontation and conflicts do not call into question their initial project or their love. Many cohabitants admit letting the problems go way too far: indeed, in the event of a serious conflict, who says that the couple will weather the storm, since they have not decided?

4. Dialogue.

To love yourself, it is necessary... to speak. Communication is essential, necessary: it makes it possible to constantly readjust, to take a step back and to defuse conflicts. But it's not always easy: Many couples suffer from an inability to express “in words” what they are feeling. One of the difficulties of communication is that men and women do not communicate in the same way: women talk more; they like to express their feelings and what they are experiencing inside. The man is more secret. He can talk without difficulty about his job, his hobbies, politics, etc. But he will say little about what he “is.” And that's exactly what interests his wife! The man must therefore learn to communicate his inner life. The woman must learn to perceive the love of her spouse in his actions. And both must learn to speak the truth, facing reality in the face, to allow problems to be resolved as they arise. And express their happiness, too! What a joy to hear the other when he says he is happy thanks to his spouse.

5. Loyalty.

In all the surveys, we find the idea that fidelity helps the couple to live happily. It is necessary because it affirms to each spouse that they are unique, irreplaceable. Of course, it is only empowering if it is freely chosen: if a husband doesn't cheat on his wife just because he doesn't have the chance, it is not a proof of love! But if he chooses to refuse the opportunities that will eventually present themselves, loyalty becomes a way of telling her that she is and remains “the only one.”

Loyalty is not just “physical.” It is above all to remain in solidarity with the other, to help each other to progress together, to achieve the initial common project (which can evolve and adapt...), it is in fact to protect the privileged relationship, which destiny we share.

6. Confidence.

Confidence is almost the reason for all of the above: is it not folly to attempt the adventure of love when there will always remain a part of the unforeseen and mystery in the personality of her husband? Isn't it foolish to invest in the long term when no one can predict what the future holds?

Madness, yes! But here comes trust: human relationships are not only a matter of knowledge or reason, but also an act of faith. We meet more and more young and old alike, deeply marked by a failure in love. Our society is at the time of love flitting. People no longer dare to believe in it and no longer dare to invest in a love story. Confidence, an essential ingredient of love, is so fragile.

7. Forgiveness.

As essential as the rest, forgiveness is not necessarily natural. It is even often difficult. Forgiveness is not a feeling, but a decision: I want to keep doing what I can to make our relationship positive. If, no doubt painfully, I make this decision, one day the feelings will follow. Too often, we wait for feelings to reappear to forgive. Only the reverse is beneficial. Forgiveness is not forgetting; it is the will to stop hostilities, the will to continue the journey together.

It is every day that we have reasons to forgive or ask for forgiveness: forgetting, harsh words, nervousness, etc. Forgiveness allows you to get back on the road, peacefully.

So these are 7 ingredients that can be found, in varying proportions, in all stable and happy couples. Ingredients that prove that love is not all about feelings, and you can indeed spend your whole life with the person you love and be happy.

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