As a young bride at 23 years of age, I had no idea what lay ahead, what marriage was really about or what to expect. I was young, innocent, and actually quite clueless so I wanted to share with you a few things that I would have done differently. It might just change how you see your relationship.

No one ever mentioned any of these things. What if they had? Perhaps I would have saved myself a lot of heartache. Now, 27 years and 3 children later, I can honestly say that I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. Long-term relationships are worth the effort and the heartache.

We all have problems. That’s life. It’s how we deal with them that counts and understanding why they happen in the first place is the key.

Here are five marriage mistakes I wish people had told me:

1. Judgment

When we continually judge someone, what we’re really saying is their personality is the problem. We see flaws in them as people as opposed to what they are doing. I did this for years, causing argument after argument but if I had looked at myself first and found out how my husband Ian felt and what he needed, the whole situation would have been diffused.

Get to know your partner inside out and you’ll stop the judgment. Spend time with your partner; the better you get to know him, the deeper your relationship. It’s rare to be like this, I know, but it works.

2. Being defensive

Are you always on the defensive, always on the attack if you are criticized? Do you continually moan and whine? Do you just refuse to listen?

This is one of the biggest disasters for any relationship and I did it for years. I took every comment personally when in reality, it had nothing to do with ME as a person; it was about my behavior, which I could have learned from.

Even if your partner continually criticizes you, you can learn to accept the criticism, take responsibility for it, and even ask them to talk to you about it. This diffuses the whole situation and you can learn from it. Perhaps there are changes you could make in your life.

Try being positive to your partner in even the smallest of situations and the criticism won’t seem as bad, this really helps to build a relationship. Engage in conversation and notice the humor in situations.This is very powerful in relationship building.

Click here to read more

Source: Huffington Post | Louise Armstrong