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We all want a happy marriage. We are feed the "happily ever after" story since we were old enough to sit in front of a Disney movie.

What those movies didn't tell us was what happens after the wedding day. How did they actually make it to "ever after?"

The World Population Review took a look at the divorce rates:

"About 90% of people in Western cultures marry by age 50."
"In the United States, about 50% of married couples divorce, the sixth-highest divorce rate in the world."
"Subsequent marriages have an even higher divorce rate: 60% of second marriages end in divorce, and 73% of all third marriages end in divorce."

So, what are we doing wrong? Well, there are a lot of factors that go into divorce. Some factors that can end a marriage include infidelity, lack of commitment, or arguing. Most people blaimed their partners before blaiming themselves for the failed relationship.

It's critical to take a hard look at the foundation of the relationship, so we went to Ask Reddit to see what is working for people.


Redditor QuintessentialDrudi asked:

"What small details can make a marriage successful and happy?"

Let's find out how to make co-habitation with the same person for the rest of your life work.

Everyone needs their beauty rest.

"Respecting each others sleep cycle."

- arandomproton

"Slightly related: sleep in the [same] bed, but let each person have their own blanket. We have two separate full size down comforters on our king bed and it's been a life changer. Mine is a heavier weight and his is very light, and we never have to worry about hogging the covers."

- QuestionableMotifs

"When we first started the relationship it was awesome. Everything perfect. After 2-3 months, out of the blue, she started to act very nasty with me. All signs she`s unhappy with our relationship. It was getting worse week by week. One night, for some reason, the cat started to meow and I went in the living room to make it stop and fell asleep on the couch. The next day, this gorgeous and happy creature went out of our bedroom."

"Turns out, I was snoring and she couldn`t sleep so since then, I sleep on the couch."

"I went past the strange 'I`m in a relationship but I can`t sleep with my wife in the same bed' moment pretty quickly and we are back to being awesome."

- saamsieucontzic

"My wife and I sleep in separate rooms. I'm a night owl and I snore. She's an early-to-bed type of person but is a quilt hogger and middle-of-the-bed starfisher. Originally started because I had a bad cough and slept in the spare room so I didn't keep her awake. Discovered the next day that we were both better rested and much nicer people. Been doing it ever since (12 years or so). Best thing we did."

- UnfinishedThings

It's a commitment.

"Understanding that marriage isn't a one-time decision; it's deciding every day that the marriage is the most important thing, and then treating it that way."

- Accomplished_Eye_951

"And sex, don't forget about the sex."

- OCDC223

"Sex wont sustain a marriage, though I believe the bedroom is one of the first places symptoms will show up. As in, if your sex life goes dry (assuming no health issues obviously) then something is wrong in some other aspect of your marriage."

- Accomplished_Eye_951

Be a good roommate.

"Marriage is at least a few parts being a good roommate. So replace the last of whatever you used, clean up after yourself, and be considerate."

- rhinoheader

"I agree. Minor politeness type gestures tend to get lost in a marriage and can be taken as a big insult if not careful. My wife has some ADHD type behavior regarding items constantly left out. I constantly and respectfully ask her to finish what she is doing and put things away but she seems to think that marriage makes it okay for her to regularly not acknowledge nor fix the thing I patiently request. The difference is that a disrespectful roommate translates to a disheartened marriage."

- Kind_Humor_7569

This brought up a discussion about pre-marital cohabitation and what the benefits or costs would be to the relationship.

"This is why you should always live with someone before you marry them!!"

- bilyl

"Are you sure about that?"

- PennamiteYankee

"I don't remember if this was based on scientific methodology or more speculation, but I heard that a major risk of living together first is that couples rightfully see moving in as a far less significant step, but after a year or more living together, they can see themselves as too invested in the relationship and some couples who might have otherwise broken up end up getting married. This wouldn't be a reason not to cohabitate, but a risk to keep in mind. Also a good reason to rent a place that one of you could afford on your own, and not to get a pet that doesn't explicitly belong to one of you."

- mcneally

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"According to my father:"

  1. "When there is a disagreement, someone must compromise."
  2. "It can't be the same person every time."

"Compromise does not mean surrender. It could just mean rearranging your plans to suit your spouse."

- Sharpei_are_Life

"Number 2 was exactly the case with my ex. She was always right and even when clearly wrong, she would find a way to frame it as somehow still being me in the wrong which caused her to be wrong."

"I often found myself apologizing even when I was not in the wrong, just so we could move on."

"When this clicked I finally snapped and said f*ck it, I am done, its over. She then finally made an attempt at saying she had been wrong, needed to change, I never accepted so she switched back immediately to her former mode."

- shabba-dabba

"I was raised in an abusive home, physical and emotional abuse, very severe. One of my mother's tools was humiliation. I learned from a young age to deny EVERYTHING as a survival tactic to avoid a beating that might put me in a hospital or to avoid the humiliation she'd inflict on us."

"Another poster said your GF can't change, but that's not true. I had this problem in previous relationships- I was simply programmed to deny being in the wrong for the sake of survival."

"I'm now engaged to be married and my fiancé is the one man who worked this out with me. He helped me to explore what I was doing and to recognise why I was doing it. Then he helped me to accept that admitting I'm wrong doesn't mean I'm going to be unsafe. I had no idea of what I was doing or why, but it's clear as day with a little psychological digging."

"Anyway, I just wanted to share my story after the other poster said she can't change. People CAN change. I did. Admitting when I'm wrong feels safe now and has helped the intimacy in our relationship to develop to the point that we're building a life together. I wish you and your GF the best of luck working this out."

- LasRua

It's all about teamwork.

"Remembering that it's not always 50/50. Some days you will be totally wiped from work, or the kids, or whatever else really, and your spouse will take on more responsibility for you, and your spouse will have days like that and you will be the one to take on more responsibility for your household."

"I believe that the biggest key is remembering that you are a team, and no matter what you need to try to put the stress of each day aside and "help your team" accomplish what you need to accomplish."

- Tatted_painter

"Indeed, it's not transactional."

"To add on to this, small gestures of appreciation without any expectation of reciprocation. Buy her some flowers or chocolate (or whatever she likes) every once in a while. She mentioned she liked a book or magazine, pick up a copy for her outside of one of the major gift-giving days. Make her some pancakes on Sunday, just show her you care in small ways."

- g0d15anath315t

Communication is more than just talking.

"Communication. Is. Key. This can big for the big things, but also the small. Hearing your partner when they're a little down or frustrated, etc., and listening to them is a small effort with a profound effect."

- MoistTractofLand

"Communicating clearly, not passive aggressively. Which for me means figuring out what I'm actually upset about. A lot of good communication is good self-awareness."

- Certain-Zucchini-753

​We all want to find that person we are going to live happily every after with, but it's not always as cut and dry as the stories want us to believe. Communication, respect, trust, and a good nights sleep is crucial to a happy marriage.

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