A successful marriage is all about growth – it’s a commitment that’s by no means easy, and takes equal effort on both sides of the partnership. When it comes to regrets and revelations, Canadian married couples know all too well about the highs and lows of the journey from “I do” to “happily ever after.” To get the inside track, we’ve enlisted relationship expert Alyson Jones to unearth some of the most common issues and revelations of Canadian married couples today.
Issue: a lack of (or poor) communication
“Communication and problem solving are very important skills in a relationship. If you cannot find a way to communicate, you will not be able to find a way to resolve the issues.”
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Issue: a lack of romance
The fix? Never underestimate the small gestures when it comes to romance. “Sometimes the most romantic things are the smallest things – a good conversation, a thoughtful gesture, and some time together… simple and authentic moments that really bond people,” she explains.
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Issue: the wedding hangover
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Issue: having a hard time with imperfection
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Issue: there are many stages to a marriage
Embrace the highs – and lows – of your marriage journey. Ultimately, it’s the rough patches in between that will serve to bond you the most and make you appreciate those high points even more.
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Issue: giving in to those “bad days”
Nobody’s perfect. Often, more so than the other person’s actions, it’s our own reactions to things that might be fueling the fire in relationship conflicts. Be accountable for the part you play on these “bad days” but also be quick to forgive yourself – and your partner – for being human and giving in to a bad day.
Issue: letting your marriage get “stale”
Interestingly enough, the remedy for this, says Jones, is often found in discovering new interests as an individual and bringing that into your relationship, whether via stories or by having them join in. “It is good to keep developing new skills and interests… A good relationship that has movement in it thrives and grows throughout a lifetime.”
Issue: loss of self
“When you are living an authentic life,” says therapist Alyson Jones, “you can move forward in your life – and a relationship needs to have enough room and respect in it that both people can be true to who they are.”
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