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What Defines Marriage?

Question:

I’ve been in my current relationship for 3-1/2 years. We’ve been married for 1-1/2 years. What is a real marriage all about? I’ve never had a role model for this. I mean, is it all about sex? Is your partner supposed to be your best friend, or, even someone that you can tell anything to? Should you be a lot alike? Thank you for any help that you can give me.

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
  • ‘Anne’ bases her responses on her personal experiences and not on professional training or study. She does not represent herself to be a psychologist, therapist, counselor or professional helper of any sort. Her responses are offered from the perspective of a friend or mentor only.
  • Anne intends her responses to provide general information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
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Answer:

These days with many individuals growing up in single-parent households, it’s not uncommon for people entering into marriage to search outside their family for guidance. But what’s important for you to know is that there are no “rules” for a successful marriage. I can, however, tell you what’s important in a marriage: open communication lines, honesty, laughter, understanding, exploration, forgiveness, compromise, and intimacy, which is not limited to, but does include sex. You should be comfortable with each other and truly like each other. You are not required to be exactly alike. In fact, in many cases, there is truth to the phrase “opposites attract.” And, marriage does not mean that you lose your sense of individuality. Keep in mind that when you fell in love with each other, you did so because there were wonderful things about each other that attracted you and made you want to spend the rest of your lives together. It’s those things that give you individuality. It’s what makes you who you are. Many people don’t realize that a lot of work goes into marriage. It’s not all fun and games. There will be rough times, times when you will need to pull together and be strong. There will also be times when you will disagree on things, and you will need to learn to compromise. Simply learning to live together and adjust to each other’s habits may prove to be difficult, and it certainly can be for many people. Be open with each other and communicated your thoughts, ideas, and questions. Together you can build a long-lasting and mature relationship. Take care, – Anne

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