Whenever a married couple seeks the help of a counsellor, it gets people talking. Neighbors, friends, and anyone who knows the couple start assuming that the marriage is falling apart. Some people go so far as to assume extramarital affairs and many other problems.
But this is not always the case. Take the example of Ralph and Bev Milton. The couple has been married for a grand 62 years. And they have not been shy about seeking the help of marriage counsellors to make the marriage successful. In fact, the couple has been through four seasons of professional counselling in the course of their marriage.
Ralph was a co-owner of a publishing house that deals with liberal Christian books. On the other hand, his wife Bev served as a United Church minister.
The couple does not think that seeking professional help in their marriage is easy. The beginning is always the hardest. They also understand that it can be difficult to confess certain things to your partner.
But they know that the benefits of the counselling are better than the risk of not looking for professional help. The retired couple also believes that there are other important components for a successful marriage.
What are the ingredients for a successful marriage?
According to the Miltons, there are a number of factors that make a marriage successful. These include:
- Professional marriage counselling – It is one of the most important components of a successful marriage. The Miltons believe that irrespective of the time you spend together as a couple, changes occur in life. It can be personal interests, and children growing up, among others.
All of these changes can affect everyone differently. So professional counselling offers a couple the chance to examine their relationship, evaluate their strengths, and find ways to enrich their relationship even further.
- Having common interests – Another very essential component of a successful marriage is having common interests. It can be as mundane as cooking, hiking, or enjoying each other’s company. This allows couples to bond more and have a deeper connection with each other.
- A network of friends – The Miltons do not underestimate the value of having meaningful friends in their network. The bigger the network is, the better.
Having a solid network of friends will broaden your relationships. These friends also become indispensable when you face some problems as a couple or as an individual.
- Cultivate individual interests – Another very important ingredient of a successful marriage is to cultivate individual interests. While it is crucial to spend meaningful time as a couple, it is also essential to spend time away from each other.
This way, you are not always invading each other’s space and getting on each other’s nerves. Spending time away from each other also makes you value the time you spend in each other’s company.
Seeking professional counseling can feel similar to starting the marriage all over again. But it shows your commitment to each other. It also reflects how much you are willing to work to make the marriage successful.