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Dealing with marital problems

When the big day is over, the last cake crumbs have been eaten and the wedding dress dry cleaned, the task of actually being married begins. ‘Happily ever after’ is vague on the details, and difficulties will naturally occur in your marriage.
 Australia in the last 30 years has seen a great increase in the number of people cohabitating, having children outside of marriage, divorcing and separating. However research has shown that marriage is associated with increased happiness, longer lifespan, increased earning capacity and better mental health then their cohabitating counterparts. This shows that while we all feel the gravitational pull of a committed relationship, we clearly struggle to make it an enduring reality.
 No relationship matters more then the one you have one with your life partner.  So a large part of being married entails learning to love each other well and lastingly.

Differences unsurprisingly occur and problems arise between you- but learning to deal with them is the key to maintaining a happy marriage.

Because of this, effective communication with your partner is both one of the most challenging and the most rewarding things you can learn to do in your life.

One of the fundamental skills of effective communication is the ability to listen, particularly during heated or difficult conversations, when more often then not all you want to do is lay into your partner.  Listening with discernment and perceptiveness, as well as without judgement, is important.  That means realising what it is that is important to your partner and honouring that- even if you deem it to be silly or trivial.
 An effective way of dealing with your marriage problems is marriage counselling.
Often couples will wait, hoping their problems will resolve themselves. Seeking counselling sooner rather then later- before damaging behaviours become entrenched or marital discontent can crystallize into adverse decisions or actions- can make a huge difference to your relationship.  The anti-counselling sentiment that "therapy is for nut jobs", or "If you can't tell your mates about what’s going on - then it ain't worth telling" is growing old very fast. Getting married without pre-marital preparation is similar to embarking on a business or any other important venture without preparing. Sadly, statistics show that half of all marriages end in divorce and only half of those that endure are truly happy in the long run.
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