Two of the highest predictors of a healthy and long-lasting marriage are communication and knowledge of your spouse.

Communication

This is about listening, sharing your thoughts, and avoiding being critical.  Communication is also about understanding your spouse’ needs and expectations through conversation and consequently exploring their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

Healthy couples who communicate what they want, avoid getting what they don’t want. Communication is to a marriage  like oxygen is to life; in both cases, the latter cannot survive without the former.

Effective communication involves turning towards your lover whilst listening (not just hearing) with your ears and eyes. Genuine communication enables you to solve your problems with ease.

When you’re having any sort of problem, you’ll be able to be honest with your spouse so you can work through it together. Being honest and building trust are incredibly important in any relationship. Without communication, neither of these things will happen.

Knowledge of Your Spouse

This is about knowing how to have fun with them, knowing their preferences, and caring about their values and wishes.

When you know someone well, you know exactly what they like and dislike. You’ll be doing more thoughtful things for them because you know they’ll enjoy them. You’ll also avoid talking about any issues you know they feel a bit sensitive about.

Additionally, you’ll understand each other for who you both really are. If you can’t be your true self around your spouse, then the relationship will most likely not last. Authentic connection is the key to a healthy relationship.

It is unfortunate that many of us have no clue what our other half’s dreams are. Well, it’s not too late if you don’t know your loved one’s dreams.  Why not approach them and pop the question, ‘What are your dreams?’

Once you have found out (after they will most likely have replied with, ‘I thought you’d never ask’), the next action you’ll want to take is to honour their dreams. If you only talk about the dreams with your spouse, then it will most likely stay a dream.

If on the other hand, you envision the dreams, seeing yourself actually engaging in them, you program your mind to see it becoming a possibility. The best course of action is to schedule the dream, taking baby steps that lead to the successful accomplishment of your lover’s dreams.

These small habits are what can contribute to a healthy marriage in the long term.