9 Secrets to a Long Marriage ...

How to Have a Long Marriage is one of those things everyone wants. If you want marriage or if you are married, you want it to last; you want to be with the man or woman of your dreams for as long as possible. True, marriage isn't for everyone, but those who do have it or want it generally want to know how to have a long marriage. Divorce rates seem to skyrocket each year and, at the same time, many of us are struggling for the ability to be married. Whatever your particular case, if you want to know how to have a long marriage, just keep reading!

1. Always Be Forgiving

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One of the most important tips on how to have a long marriage is to forgive each other – always. It can be hard, especially when you're sure you're right, but marriage isn't about right or wrong. Sometimes you just have to give, to remember that people make mistakes, and to offer your spouse forgiveness for any arguments or transgressions.

2. Keep Your Intimacy Growing

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Without intimacy, a marriage simply can't flourish; it can, however, stagnates, and quite quickly. By this I don't necessarily mean sex, although that's certainly important as well. I mean being open with each other, sharing secrets, holding hands, stealing kisses, and being each other's best friend even when you get angry or annoyed.

3. Be Accepting

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Another essential secret regarding how to have a long marriage is to accept your spouse. You can't marry or commit to someone simply because you hope that you'll be able to eventually change him or her. Certain things change and evolve over the course of time, yes, but it's not always up to you to do it. You have to accept your partner for who he or she is, and love him or her regardless – and your spouse needs to do the same for you.

4. Be Willing to Compromise

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Without compromise, then again, a marriage can stagnate. You won't necessarily leave each other or anything, but you definitely won't be happy. When you can't agree on something – and that's always bound to happen – you simply have to work out a way to compromise with one another so you don't spend your time arguing over silly, petty things. You each have to give, not just take.

5. Always Communicate

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Communication is all important. It ranks right up there with trust and intimacy. If you want to learn how to have a long marriage, talking to each other is key. You need to talk about the big things and the little things, the important things and the mundane things. No matter what, keep the lines of communication open – it helps inspire trust even through the bad times.

6. Talk about Your Needs

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It's absolutely vital to tell your spouse about the things you need. If you don't, how will he or she know? Don't be afraid to talk about you want. At the same time, however, you also have to be willing to listen to the things your spouse needs from you.

7. Listen

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In fact, you have to be willing to listen, period. If you two don't listen to each other, you'll never really know what the other person is saying. Always remember the difference between just hearing and really listen. Listen to your spouse the way you want to be listened to, and it will help your marriage thrive.

8. Pick Your Battles

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This is probably one of the best tips on how to have a long marriage. My parents taught me this, and the lesson has always stayed with me – and as to their qualifications, they've been married (and mostly happy!) for 31 years, with an anniversary on September 27! (Happy anniversary again, guys!) You have to pick your battles. Some things just aren't worth fighting about. This is a hard lesson to learn early in your relationship, but over time it becomes easier – and it's a lifesaver then!

9. Love Yourself and Your Spouse

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However, this is unequivocally the most important thing you need to do for a long marriage: love each other, and yourselves. Without love, nothing can live for very long, and that includes a union between two people. You definitely have to love yourself because, if you don't, how can you ever love somebody else?

Learning how to have a long marriage isn't hard at all. It simply takes patience, diligence and, more than anything else, a lot of love between two people. Many times, figuring out how to have a long marriage is up to the individuals, because everyone is different and only you and your spouse will know what works for the two of you. However, these tips on how to have a long marriage are universally invaluable, and should definitely help you and your partner have a long and harmonious life together. If you're married or in a long term relationship, how do you make things work?

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