Longevity in marriage doesn’t equate to happiness

Longevity in marriage doesn’t equate to happiness

Any marriage has challenges, but not all are miserable. Some people are miserably married but are stuck in bad marriages because of children, financial security, the prestige of being called married, advanced age, fear of shame, fear of what their church or community will say about divorce or separation, lack of an alternative or all of the above reasons.

Each new day, we see couples celebrating silver, pearl, ruby, golden or even diamond rich marriage anniversaries but sometimes the quality of these marriages is wanting.

Being married for many years doesn’t necessarily mean both spouses are happy.

There are health problems associated with long term bad marriages such as chronic stress, depression, obesity, hypertension, high levels of inflammation and substance abuse.

Okello and his wife Lucy of 32 years chose not wear a rig but chose to work towards having a better marriage.

In three years time they will be celebrating their jade( 35th) anniversary.

“ We didn’t see eye to eye for much of the first 10 years of our marriage. Children bonded both of us. The very thing that attracted us to each other, were the same things that we loathed about each other. But we decided to make this marriage work,” they confess.

As Roman Catholic believers, divorce was not an option for the Okello’s . “ if you ask us if we would marry each other today the answer is obviously,yes!”

However research has shown that stable long term relationships offer mental, financial and physical benefits to a couple. The University of San Diego discovered from the analysis of data from 800,000 people that being married boosted their chances of surviving cancer.

Studies also show that people in happy relationships have stronger immune functions than those in stressful relationships, eat healthier and take fewer risks.

However how then do you improve the quality of your marriage to get the maximum benefit out of it, 50 years later?

Make joy a priority

You don’t get married to be sad all your married life. According to The habits of Joy filled marriages (2019) authored by Marcus Warner and Chris Coursey propose four habits; play together, listen for emotion, appreciate daily and nurture a rhythm.

The authors arranged an acrostic that is east to remember, PLAN.

They claim that couples can increase joy in their marriages with 15 minutes of daily exercise they have designed.

Be creative while in marriage

The aura and fun of the honeymoon stage will inevitably fade away with time and reality will set in this there will be the need for keeping the flame lit when it dies out.

Marriage isn’t a case of as it was in the beginning,is now and ever shall it be” and this applies to biblical teachings not your relationship.

Being creative, experimenting and finding new ways of making your spouse better and happy. And some of these don’t cost anything at all.

If you put your mind and heart into it you will find them doable and affordable.