Seven to eight years, that’s the average length of marriage in the US.
Others are much shorter, like 55 hours in the case of Britney Spears and Jason Alexander. On the other hand, the longest marriage for a living couple that made it to the Guinness World Records is that of Eugene and Dolores Gladu, who were married for 81 years and 57 days when they received the title in July 2021.
If you want your marriage to last, here are some tips from relationship experts as published on Oprah Daily.
- Be ready to have arguments; it’s part of the married life. No matter how in love a couple is with each other, there will be differences between them that may upset one or both of them. “Like all relationships, there are ups and downs,” said psychologist Erica MacGregor. “But when you do fight, happy marriages listen to each other’s point of view, recognize when the argument is going off the rails, and make the necessary repairs.”
- Always find traits and things to appreciate about your partner. Minor annoyances are also normal. But you need to focus on your partner’s strengths and positive qualities. As for his weaknesses or flaws, accept these imperfections so you don’t build up unrealistic expectations that could hurt you deeply if they are unmet. “Using our strengths on a daily basis is associated with greater well-being,” said Suzann Pileggi Pawelski, co-author of the book Happy Together, along with her husband James Pawelski. “And when we help our partner use their strengths, we experience more relational satisfaction.”
- Don’t expect your partner to complete you. Tom Cruise’s famous line, “You complete me,” in the movie Jerry Maguire is romantic and make-believe. You shouldn’t expect your partner to complete you, resulting in an unhealthy, over-dependent relationship. Instead, focus on give-and-take, on complementing each other. “We should be secure, mature, and whole in ourselves while being open to the other person,” explained Pawelski.
- Have fun together, share common experiences, and laugh together. “Happy couples have a zest for life with each other,” said Pawelski. Likewise, Dr. Juliana Morris, a family and couples therapist, added, “Whether it’s a love of travel, a strong desire to build a family together, or a dedication to a common cause, these experiences enrich their relationship.”
- Be kind and respectful of each other. “It’s so important to be respectful and understanding of your spouse,” said MacGregor. “If you are critical and judgmental, it usually ends in defensiveness and resentment.”
- Celebrate small, blissful moments. “Most of us know that it’s important to be there for our partner during the tough times. But it’s just as important to acknowledge the good times, too,” advised Pawelski. When you do this, your marriage gets filled with joy and sweet memories that you’d want to experience over and over again.
And yet, in this story of a married couple, a husband doesn’t even want to celebrate his wife’s birthday party with her along with her family and friends. He’s chosen to attend his best friend’s wedding that is scheduled on the same day.
Published on Reddit’s r/AmItheA–hole forum, this Original Poster is a husband who shared his story under the username u/Acceptable-View-4318. He began with the following details, “My wife is turning 30 and has planned a big birthday party with her friends and family; unfortunately my best friend has also got his wedding on the same evening. I have picked my best friend’s wedding, as we are very close and I do not get along with my wife’s family.”
Of course, it’s understandable that his wife was enraged when he told her about his decision. She insisted that he shouldn’t attend the wedding, but OP replied that he has already made a commitment to his best friend.
Then he added as extra information to his post, “The birthday has been planned for a few months now, invites have been sent, and the venue has been booked. I got the wedding invite this week.”
But OP seemed serious about wanting to the opinion of the AITA members as he reiterated the question, Am I the a–hole?
The reactions of the AITA community were clear, and only an idiot would miss the meaning.
Comment from luvfupaburgers: “I guess if you want to be divorced, it’s fine to go to the wedding.”
LillyLing10 wrote, “Yeah maybe his friend will miss his wife’s birthday for OP’s next wedding. Honestly she’s turning 30 and has been planning for months. OP only just got the RSVP, I would go with the wife and send friend a good gift.”
Careful-Lion3692 also shared this experience to drive an important point into OP’s head: “I have a friend who I’ve known since elementary school. We are not best friends, but we are friends. When she got engaged, she told me the month and year they were looking at because she wanted me there. I got the save the date and invite at least a year in advance. When people truly want you there, they don’t make it an afterthought. OP is screwing over his marriage for someone treating him like an afterthought.”
These words from chitheinsanechibi were also worth noting: “Honestly it sounds like OP is glad for an ‘excuse’ to ditch an event at which he’ll have to socialize with his wife’s family who he ‘doesn’t get along with.’ Gee, I wonder why they don’t like him? Because they can see that he’s a flake who’s willing to ditch his wife every time she’s inconvenient to him?”