The life of two: A ‘how-to’ guide

The life of two isn't easy once the challenges of life have started to appear. Keep your marriage safe from heartbreak and divorce by following this helpful guide to making your life of two successful.

Translated and adapted by David Hall from the original article “Como Encarar o Desafio da Vida a Dois” by Suely Buriasco.

Many people still dream of a fairy tale marriage. They dream of a marriage with a prince, a princess, and an enchanted castle. They soon find, as they fall into the routine of day-to-day life, that marriage is not a sea of roses.

Once the magic ends, natural difficulties appear. The betrothed must prepare themselves well for this. Unfortunately, many marriages end in divorce due to struggles and arguments that could have been resolved with more maturity and discernment about the life of two. Some of the following problems seem to be common:

1. Was this not the dream?

If the life of two is not a sea of roses, it is not a lake of thorns, either. Marriage is the willed union between two whole people (, each with their own personalities, attributes, and qualities. After marriage, life is no longer a dream but reality. It is nothing more or less than a choice made out of love. Both partners make sure the reasons for their marriage are very clear, and decide not to let the vicissitudes of life corrode the bonds created by their own free will and choice.

2. My spouse is no longer the same person

People and situations change with time. It is essential that both the man and the woman keep up with the changes each is making in their lives. What your spouse may have liked yesterday, she might dislike today. It is normal for tastes and likes to change. ( It happens to everyone, including you. Habits in a marriage should be discussed and reshaped until both you and your wife are satisfied.

3. Communication has stopped

Everyone has bad days. Financial issues, education, and everyday problems happen; upsetting the sometimes fragile tranquility of the home. It is not abnormal to have communicative failures. Some things are said that should not have been. Other things, needing to be said, remain unsaid. Although this may be the case, care should be taken to ensure that such behavior does not become a habit. Communicating efficiently is how a husband and wife understand and strengthen each other through the difficult times and trials of their lives.

4. We never talk about anything

Many couples grow apart because they do not know how to keep a balanced conversation going. Without this knowledge, every discussion transforms into a fight or a misunderstanding. Problems such as these pose an enormous threat to the relationship.

There are important practices that increase and strengthen communication in a marriage. One such practice is to stop complaining about the same things repeatedly. You can also wait until both you and your spouse are calm before continuing any discussion. In this manner, conversations will flow naturally, without fights or pointing fingers. The purpose of dialogue is to exchange opinions and manifest your feelings so that problems can be solved. Through dialogue, you hope to find agreement, respect and consideration.

5. I married the entire family

Even if the couple has had little contact with their original families, family beliefs, customs and rules from each are brought together and mixed into the marriage. As the two backgrounds blend, it is the couple’s responsibility to understand and assimilate each other’s ideals. They should work at building a new family with its own concepts and identity. During the unifying process of the couple, remember to make sure your new home is blinded against any negative influences, even from family or traditions.

When two people join and build a life together allied in their desires for happiness, complicity and love, care must be taken that every hardship is overcome in order to strengthen your union.

Suely Buriasco

Suely is a conflict counselor, an educator and has a MBA in Strategic People Management. She's the host of the program "Deixa Disso," which offers relationships advice. She has also published two books, “Uma fênix em Praga” and, “Mediando Conflitos no Relacionamento a Dois”.