My husband and I have been married for two years. Over the course of our short marriage, we’ve thrown fits, made countless chicken tacos, dined at amazing restaurants, and laughed until we’ve cried.
This past weekend, my grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. “Goodness,” I thought. “60 years is a long time.” As I stood watching my grandfather toast my grandmother and their long life of partnership, I had one question for them, “How in the world did you do it?”
I approached my 80-year-old grandmother, she put her hand on my shoulder, and simply said, “You get friends and lots of them. Community matters when two people make a life together.”
Psychologists and marriage counselors would agree. When life gets messy and your primary relationship is tested, having a strong community can make a huge difference in the health of your marriage. Fertility issues, loss of loved ones, an unhealthy work-life balance and trust issues can cause a marriage to crumble.
“It’s often helpful to talk to a couple friends when these big issues come up,” psychologist Dr. Robbins told CNN on his “9 ways to keep your marriage healthy.” ”Many couples live very privately and discuss these issues with the shades down, but relationship issues like this can often benefit from hearing how people that you trust dealt with a similar situation.”
Perhaps you need to vent about how your husband always leaves his cereal bowl in the sink. Maybe you’re struggling to learn how to balance your mother’s demands for your famous pumpkin pie and your mother-in-law’s insistence you join in on Christmas carols.
A quick coffee break with friends or an email to a trusted adviser can allow you to let off steam and garner advice. Just be sure to be careful about what you share. People talk, and it’s wise to not share anything you wouldn’t want your partner to hear about. But small or big, these issues shouldn’t be left to just you and your spouse. When hard times come (and in most marriages, they’ll come in force), it’s important to have a group of people to offer comfort and distraction.
One issue that many couples face is infertility. When making a baby becomes a struggle, the stress of treatments and failed attempts can be overwhelming. Many partners become consumed with the big goal: pregnancy. But by taking a break, going out with friends for dinner or a movie, couples can better cope with the anxiety and frustration of infertility.
A strong community offers the promise of support when life gets roughs. Day-to-day living can put the best marriages out of commission, so it’s vital that your relationship is surrounded by people who can offer you a laugh, a word of wisdom or a shoulder to cry on. There is a reason we have weddings –marriage and community go hand in hand.
About Monet Moutrie
Monet Moutrie is a writer and baker, who lives in Austin, Texas with her three cats and husband. Between government work, graduate school and her own blog, Anecdotes and Apple Cores, nothing sounds better to Monet than an evening of yoga, a cup of Earl Grey tea and a novel. Knock on her front door and you'll find her pulling out a loaf of bread from the oven while brainstorming ideas for her own work of fiction.Web | Twitter | More Posts (47)