There’s a lot that can be said about how to make your marriage last, but what are the most foundational pieces? We believe that making your marriage last isn’t your primary goal. Deep down, we want the best love.
We don’t just want to stay together with our partner because it’s convenient. We want an Exceptional Relationship that lasts a life-time. If this is what you want to experience with your partner, then keep reading.
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Without honesty you can’t build trust. Without trust you won’t open your heart and your relationship will remain superficial.- Natasha & Jachym Jerie
Honesty is the bedrock of any long lasting relationship. Without it, you don’t have a foundation. Natasha and I discussed very early on that we both want complete honesty with each other. It still is the foundation on which our relationship is built. To create an Exceptional Relationship and have your marriage last, honesty is a requirement. As simple as this sounds, being honest with yourself and your partner poses its own challenges.
It’s nice to say that you’ll be honest. Here’s how this actually looks like in a practical example.
You’re really attracted to someone else, and you start contemplating sleeping with them. You want to tell your partner about your desire. “But they’ll get hurt!” you think. Yes, that might happen and the thought of it might freak you out. But ultimately, it’s an opportunity for:
- Your partner to address their insecurities.
- Both of you to grow.
- Both of you to look at how you want to handle this as a team.
- Discuss to see where your marriage might have gotten a bit stale.
You don’t like your partner’s cooking? You tell them.
Otherwise you’re stuck eating the sardine spinach casserole ‘that you loved so much last time’ the rest of your life.
You’re not attracted to your partner anymore? You tell them.
Otherwise you’re tempted to look beyond your partner to find passion and attraction elsewhere.
You’re unhappy how you handle money together? You tell them.
Otherwise you’re sneaking around trying to hide your spending habits or withholding information while trying to do things your way.
You lied to your partner about something? You tell them. (Yeah, I know who wants to do that?!)
Otherwise your lies will blow up a decade later and trust will be deeply broken between you and your partner.
Why Is Honesty So Important?
Without honesty, you’ll be eating the meatloaf that you hate for the rest of this marriage. You’ll be faking your excitement for it. You’ll lie to your partner again and again because you didn’t speak up the first time. Before you know it, you’ll get tired of pretending to be satisfied, content and happy together.
When you’re not honest with your partner, you’re robbing them of the practical and valuable learnings along the way. Not only that, you prevent the relationship from including your opposing perspectives. Before you know it, you’re lost in a dance of pretending so you won’t ‘hurt’ your partner’s feelings. That’s a dysfunctional pattern and we recommend that you address it.
Be aware that your insecurities might look to you as ‘being honest’ while in reality, it’s just a fleeting thought. There’s no need to communicate these things.
An exceptional relationship takes an exceptional commitment.- Natasha & Jachym Jerie
Relationships need to be tended to. Just like you need to take care of your garden if you want to grow the right flowers and vegetables, you also need to take care of your marriage. How do you do that?
Through commitment. You don’t just promise the world to your partner at the altar and hope that your marriage will last. Far from it. The commitment you make to your spouse is a continuous commitment.
Without such a commitment, you’ll run for the woods at the earliest sign of trouble. The moment you don’t see an easy solution, you think that your relationship is doomed. But guess what? It’s normal that you have difficulties in your marriage. Everyone has them at some point or the other. How do you work through the rough patches in your relationship and show your commitment to your spouse? Read on to find out.
Commitment means that you make time each day and each week for you and your partner. We can promise the world to our spouse but if we don’t follow through with action, the promises are just empty words. A marriage that lasts isn’t built on empty promises, it’s built on commitment.
Natasha and I have a meeting every week to check in with each other and make sure that we’re feeling good about our relationship and life. We go for walks together, spend evenings with each other, and go out for dinner together. That’s commitment of time.
But there are other ways of showing commitment. I am committed to Natasha to speak her love language which is acts of service. I make sure that I do household chores, wash dishes, clean up the place etc. Why? Because I know how important this is to her. That’s commitment to love.
Do we fail our commitments from time to time? Yes. We then pick up where we have left off and recommit. That’s all it takes to make your marriage last. The reason why many relationships don’t last is that many couples assume that love, connection and trust maintain itself. It doesn’t.
A relationship is something that grows and changes as you invest in it over time. It’s your active engagement every day that counts. Sure, the cumulative love and actions of the past do count. But how are you as a partner today? What are you doing to nurture your relationship and to bring out the best in each other in this very moment?
As long as your life and relationship is all about you, it’ll be miserable.- Jachym Jerie
So many couples are stuck in trying to get their spouse to give them what they want. It’s all about ‘me, mine, I, me, me, me.’ This kind of mindset makes the relationship an economical one; meaning love and giving is transactional. I give to you when you give to me. It’s not a nice place to be in.
You have to make sure you get enough back for the effort you put in. It’s another reason why resentment can build up over time in relationships. When your fulfillment is based on a plus or minus equation of who has given whom what, it’s a never-ending game of disappointment.
That’s why the Exceptional Relationship Formula isn’t based on balancing out the transactions between you and your partner. Instead, we’d like to introduce another way that’ll make your marriage last:
Be of service to your partner.
I am in service to Natasha and she’s in service to me. I want to give to my wife. Her emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual well-being are important to me.
I ask her and myself often: What can I give to Natasha today? This changes the dynamic of a relationship completely. Instead of bartering, you give to each other and find fulfillment in the act of giving itself.
Find out what’s important to your partner (hint: if they keep complaining about something, it might be important to them). Really explore why it’s important to them, how it makes them feel when they get it, how they feel when it’s not being done etc. The deeper you go with this exploration the better. Since you want to make your marriage last forever, it’s worthwhile to make it as beautiful as possible for each other.
Sometimes you don’t feel like being of service to your partner. While we don’t encourage you to force yourself, we do believe it’s worthwhile to give it a try anyways. You’re doing it for your partner after all, not because of you. People often think they have to be in the mood to do something, that’s not really true. You choose to do a loving action because you want to express your fondness to your partner.
To make your marriage last, understanding is vital. There are three different areas of understanding that you need to look at. Here are the three categories.
1. Understanding Yourself
This topic alone could fill books. You absolutely have to know yourself. If you don’t understand yourself, you end up projecting your own insecurities, doubts, and traumatic experiences onto your partner and the relationship. We’re not trying to be dramatic here, we went through this experience ourselves.
For the longest time, I had little clue about myself. This unawareness might not seem much, but when it comes to our relationship, it really held us back. Whenever conflicts came up or issues within our relationship bothered me, I didn’t know what was going on.
It was only over time and with Jachym’s persistence did I learn to acknowledge how I was feeling and what was going on inside. And that’s the key to having a long-lasting marriage: to know yourself well enough to communicate your needs, desires and concerns with your partner.
Until I learned to understand myself, we couldn’t progress forward no matter what Jachym tried. A relationship is made of two halves and you have to represent your half by knowing yourself.
To have a healthy relationship, you, as an individual, need to be healthy. Relationships can be great to uncover our wounds and heal them. Doing that can make your marriage last. Why? Because the more love can flow through you, the more the relationship flourishes.
Our insecurities are an obstacle to the flow of love. When we share all deeper aspects of ourselves in our relationship, we’re able to support one another and grow together. Many relationships become stagnant and eventually break down because one partner is unwilling to grow. Let your relationship be the safe space to discover more about yourself.
2. Understanding Relationships
Many issues could be avoided if people knew more about relationships and what’s possible. Many people think that it’s normal that a relationship deteriorates over time. Blaming, nagging, bickering, and criticizing are to be expected in long term couples. Really? Absolutely not, we totally disagree with that.
We know that it’s possible to create a relationship that is more satisfying over time. In fact, things can be even better than the honeymoon. A relationship where you have taken care of many of the insecurities you face and have learned to relate in a way that’s empowering and uplifting for you and your partner.
When you have a true grasp of how relationships work, you’ll grow through the challenges and come out stronger on the other side. But that’s only possible when you know how to stop repeating the same mistakes. That’s why we highly recommend gaining and applying knowledge about relationships so that you’re able to handle issues when they arise.
When Jachym and I first started working together, we were completely baffled. We got along just fine at home, but it felt like we spoke totally different languages when it came to work.
There were moments where we couldn’t understand each other at all. It made us so frustrated and we even questioned whether creating a business together was a good idea.
After many trials and errors, we realized that we process information differently. I always want to do things in an organized, dependable and efficient manner. There needs to be clarity, clear purpose and method to achieve a specific goal. While Jachym works in a completely different way.
He loves to dream, bring abstract ideas and innovation to the table. Implementation isn’t on his mind, but having long-term visions and strong philosophies that inform the business is his genius.
At first, I didn’t understand what he was even doing or what it was for. I always had my practical hat on and couldn’t think outside the box. He on the other hand, couldn’t understand why everything had to have a reason and clear procedure.
Once we realized each other’s differences, we began to appreciate the very thing that we ourselves didn’t have. Our weaknesses could be supported by our partner’s strengths. And in term, we create the greatest dream-team that we could ever ask for.
For example, those who have done training on the Exceptional Relationship Formula have a clear and dependable blueprint when conflict arises. With that knowledge, couples can confidently address any issues and move forward knowing the exact steps to take.
When we encounter a problem at work and can’t seem to figure it out, we talk to a colleague or get the necessary training to address the issue. When it comes to relationships, we can be quick to throw our hands up and say that we can’t do it. With this approach, how do we expect to make our marriage last? Applied knowledge is necessary to navigate the field of relationships.
3. Understanding Your Partner
What does your spouse love? What do they hate? What have you not discovered about them yet? (there’s always more to discover) That’s the understanding you want to foster.
But be aware that you’ll never understand your partner. They are a different human being and your so-called ‘understanding’ of them is a mental representation of your spouse. It’s not your spouse. Don’t make the mistake to pigeon hole your partner and believe that you know them.
Why’s this important? Because as you get older your preferences and needs will change. If you don’t keep up with each other as you change, you won’t be able to make your marriage last. Before you know it, you wake up next to a stranger with only ideas of who they should be.
Don’t let your expectations become greater than your actual understanding of your partner. Stay curious by appreciating each other’s differences. Never stop exploring the world and each other. If you find yourself in a boring and stale routine, then it’s time to have a conversation with your spouse to find out how you can live your best life together.
Most people dream of a better and more exciting life, but few actually get to live it. The same goes for relationships. Learn how to apply the Exceptional Relationship Formula to your marriage so that every day you feel like the luckiest wife in the world.
This is one of the most life-changing things we will share in the whole article. Without it, you’re relating to a fantasy partner in your head that you believe you know. Most of the struggles within relationships is a fight between who your partner is and who you want them to be.
Being present is the shortcut to deeper connection and love. Why? Because you are experiencing your spouse without being clouded by thinking, judgment, and other distractions.
When you’re present with your partner, you actually see them. No matter what kind of love you think you want, being seen and loved for who we really are is all that we ever want. That’s why being present is vital for the relationship to grow and for your marriage to last.
The good news is that everyone can do it. Think back to when you first met. What did you do? You were fully present with your partner. Just look at the new couples; they stare into each other’s eyes like there’s no one else around them. They behave like their relationship will last forever. That’s being present.
When you see another couple who’s constantly on their smartphone at date-night, that’s not being present in action. Your spouse is bound to stop feeling cherished, loved, valued and respected when you’re never present with them. When you’re not being in the here and now with your partner, you have no relationship with them. It’s the very backdrop that even allows a relationship to develop.
Put all your distractions away and truly be together. No more thinking about tomorrow, yesterday or something else. All that matters is your partner here and now. Treat them like you’re seeing them for the last or first time.
The amount of time you spend together isn’t as important as the quality of it. Don’t discuss practicalities, but simply allow yourself to be with each other. That’s how you make your marriage last.
Being playful with each other is so important to make your marriage last. As you can see in this article, playfulness is vital for stress reduction and has other benefits. Laughing together means you’re having a good time with each other. Now for all of you who don’t see yourselves as playful, neither did I.
It was Natasha who helped me learn to play again and my life is so much better off because of it. Taking ourselves too seriously only brings more misery than joy.
Make time where you play together. Be kids again and play hide and seek. Use your creativity to create new worlds. If you’re a bit rusty, go take some improv classes. They’re a great way to access spontaneity again.
Jachym and I really value being active and having fun together. Practically speaking, this means taking walks, going to the gym or bowling together. But keep in mind that just because we ‘do fun things’ together doesn’t necessarily mean that those moments are when we have the most fun. In fact, lightheartedness isn’t always planned.
For example, you can plan for a fun bowling game together but end up getting extremely competitive about it. So what helps to keep the fun and playfulness in your relationship? First, it is the willingness to be silly and to have fun for no reason at all.
A lot of times, we feel like we need a serious and long-term goal first. We think that it’s necessary to justify all our actions. But what if you put ‘adulting’ aside for a moment? How do you want to be with your partner? Do you want to crack each other up and laugh so hard that your stomach hurts?
Sometimes, Jachym will feel the sudden desire to pick me up and spin me around. At other moments, I feel like roleplaying as a newscaster and interviewing Jachym with the dumbest questions. It doesn’t really matter what it is that you do. But the intention is to enjoy each other’s company without care.
Life can get serious and so can our relationship. Being open to having more spontaneous and simple fun together is expansive for your marriage. You can only find balance and long-term success when you naturally share all sides of yourself with your spouse, both the serious and the lighthearted.
There’s little hope for a relationship, when we hold onto resentment. Forgiveness is key to make your marriage last. But many people totally misunderstand what ‘forgiveness’ is actually about. They think that to forgive means to forget. That’s not true. Why would you want to forget? If you don’t remember, you’re deleting the past. What you actually want to do is to move forward in a healthy way with all the valuable insights from the experience.
To forgive means to take the learnings on board from this experience and move forward as a wiser individual. What you want to let go of are all the emotions associated with the experience. How do you do that? By processing them. This means you have to move through the pain, not away from it.
Practice forgiveness in your day with your partner. Instead of holding it against them that they’ve done something wrong, forgive them. Seek to have constructive conversations with them instead of using criticism.
But forgiveness doesn’t just apply to your partner, it first and foremost applies to you. Where are you crucifying yourself? Where are you being harsh on yourself? These are the things you need to look at and process. You’ll become a much better partner when you feel more whole within you. You’ll make your marriage last when you address your own hang-ups with gentleness and care.
So many people are unwilling to forgive and truly move on because they still resist the past and what happened. You will never find freedom or peace as long as you don’t accept the past or the emotional impacts of it.
We are human. When it comes to relationships, we will hurt each other even if we try our hardest not to. That’s why the ability to process turbulent emotions is one of the greatest skills that you can have when it comes to maintaining a lasting relationship.
If you know that you’re stuck in the past but don’t know how to move beyond it, then a conversation with a professional who can guide you through the emotions and help you come up stronger in the end may be what you need.
The foundations of a healthy and lasting relationship are simple. Most people who would agree that honesty, commitment, service, understanding and forgiveness are wonderful qualities to have in life.
But you still might find it challenging to actually apply these principles to your relationship. Why? Because our intimate relationships are the ones where the oldest and deepest triggers and patterns repeat itself. Take this as an opportunity to heal and grow together.
Be present with one another and have fun while doing it. The way that we have our success in our marriage is through our Exceptional Relationship Formula. Whenever we doubt each other or ourselves, we know that we can depend on it to get back on track for a happy and loving future.
Know what you deserve.
Build an unbreakable foundation.
Live a life-time of the best love with your soulmate.
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