The Minimalist Marriage: How to Enjoy Bliss, Making Love Not War.
We know you have a lot of questions if you're recently married and seeking ways to keep the fire burning in your new marriage. If you've been in the game for a while and find that it's not what it used to be, or that it's good but you want to improve it, there's still room to learn how to improve the experience, right?
First, let’s take care of the basic concepts: Marriage & Minimalism
What is minimalism: Leonardo da Vinci once said “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. Any fool can complicate things but it takes the intentionality of a wise person to simplify.
Minimalism, therefore, is a mindset, not just an activity, and the subtle art of subtraction not addition. Making a decision to live a blissful and meaningful life.
An act of subtraction by removing what you don’t need to create room for what you do.
An act of spotting the sources of crises and tension in your marriage and doing something to fix it. An act of saying NO to consumerism and yes to meaningful coexistence with your spouse, focusing on what makes the both of you happy and productive.
What is Marriage: It’s not just about two adults living together, roommates also do that. It’s not just about having sex, people who aren’t married do that too. It’s not just about having and raising children together, surrogates also exist for such purposes. So if marriage is not just about sex, living together, or children, then what is it about? It’s about harmonious coexistence, it’s about two people who are loyal to each other. Interdependent people who are willing to achieve together what they won’t have been able to achieve separately. Most importantly, marriage is a safe place to be vulnerable and have heartfelt communication.
Making marriage work is like building anything of notoriety, it requires years of caring for each other, learning to communicate effectively, setting goals and working together to reach it, and many more.
Let's face it, every couple is different but there's a common thread. Being unique enough to keep things interesting while still being similar enough to make it work.
We thought we'd provide a few pointers to help you get started on the right path since we know a thing or two about making marriages work. Sounds like a good time? So, let's get this party started!
In this article
Causes Of Problems In Marriage And Solutions
Phase of Marriage
Benefits of Minimalist Marriage
Causes Of Problems In Marriage And Solutions
- Values and beliefs
A mate may hold views and values that the other does not; one may practice one religion while the other practices another; this couple may have opposing viewpoints on life. If one partner gets tired of doing things on their own, it could lead to serious problems in the future. Cross-cultural partnerships have a disproportionately high rate of such issues.
- Life stages
Both spouses could have outgrown each other and desire more from life from someone else, which leads to marriage troubles. This is a frequent major issue between married people who have a huge age gap. This prevalent marital problem affects couples of all ages and stages too.
Unfaithfulness is among the major disturbing issues in marriage. Cheating can arise in a relationship for a variety of reasons, and it is a prevalent issue that couples struggle to overcome. Cheating, physical infidelity, internet romances, as well as long and short-term relationships, all can be addressed.
- Traumatic situations
Certain couples' lives have been drastically altered as a result of a number of tragic incidents. For example, if one spouse is in the hospital or is experiencing major financial difficulties, the other may be unsure of how to manage without them. The strain might be too much at times, and the responsibility can be too much to bear. The relationship may continue to deteriorate until it ends.
- Sexual differences
Loss of libido is the most prevalent sexual issue in marriage. One partner in a relationship may have different sexual preferences than the other. Sexual issues can arise for a variety of causes, leading to more marital issues. Libido problems affect both men and women for different causes.
Most couples will experience stress at some point during their marriage. Financial, family, mental, and physical issues can all contribute to marital stress. The way stress is managed and dealt with now may lead to increased stress in the future. Stress can be brought on by a variety of factors but can be effective cured by cultivating relaxation: sweet music, exercises, breathing
Boredom is a serious yet neglected concern in marriage. Many couples may get unsatisfied with their relationship's occurrences. In a relationship that lacks spontaneity or spark, boredom is likely to become an issue.
Jealousy is another common marriage issue that leads to divorce. A jealous spouse can put a strain on a relationship, and a lot of stress might lead to the collapse of such a relationship. Jealousy can lead to a strained relationship.
- Trying to change each other
In a relationship, a man who crosses his partner's personal boundaries might create problems. It is possible that such disdain for your partner's boundaries occurs by accident, but the level of reprisal from your spouse is usually mitigated over time.
- Impossible expectations
We all agree that marriage is for life, yet we don't take the time to get to know our partners before we marry. A mismatch between a couple's expectations for the future of their relationship leaves a lot of space for our partner to have unreasonable expectations. When these expectations aren't met, resentment and disillusionment ensue.
- Financial issues
Money has the ability to break a marriage faster than anything else. It is critical to discuss any financial concerns as a couple honestly. If your marriage is experiencing financial difficulties, don't be scared to share your financial details with each other.
- Loss of attention
Over time, every marriage suffers from a typical relationship problem known as "loss of attention," in which a couple diverts their focus to other elements of their lives. It can spin out of hand if not dealt with properly, leading to marital issues. The problem is commonly referred to as a "marriage crisis." And can be solved with the deliberate act of forgiveness and empathy for one another.
- Lack of appreciation
A typical marriage issue is a lack of gratitude, recognition, and respect for your spouse's contribution to your marriage. You and your partner may suffer as a result of your incapacity to appreciate your spouse. Begin by expressing sincere gratitude and thanking them for their efforts in ways that they prefer.
- Trust issues
When uncertainty creeps into a relationship, the concept of trust in a marriage is still extremely traditional, and it puts a lot of strain on a marriage. It can wreak havoc on your marriage from the inside out, leaving you with no chance of saving it. Honesty and open communication can be a source of restoration.
- Technology and social media
The impact of social media on marriage and family is becoming increasingly apparent. We've become so engrossed in the virtual world that we've forgotten to love the people and things around us. Social media has become a typical source of marital discord.
Despite the fact that selfishness can be readily overcome by making simple changes in your attitude toward your spouse, it is nevertheless a typical marital issue.
- Anger issues
A typical marriage issue is losing your temper, shouting or screaming in wrath, and committing bodily harm to yourself or your spouse. If you're having trouble controlling your anger, talk to a counselor about learning coping skills to keep your anger in check so it doesn't ruin your relationship.
Deception isn't just about infidelity or selfishness when it comes to a typical marriage issue. Experts say white lies are frequently employed to save face and prevent your partner from gaining the upper hand. It has the potential to be extremely damaging.
- Keeping score
When animosity gets the best of us in a relationship, revenge or seeking vengeance against your spouse is a common reaction.
- Communication problems
One of the most common issues in a marriage is a lack of communication. Men and women communicate in very different ways, and it's easy to fall into a communication rut. Healthy communication is the cornerstone of marital success.
Decide: It’s best to clarify your decision to stay together or not. If you intend to stay together, then you guys should be willing to make it work.
Win-win: If you want to stay together, the ideal way is to adopt “win-win” concepts about how to do things.
Willingness to Learn & Change: The desire to gather knowledge and build abilities in order to improve your duty is known as a willingness to learn. Couples that show a willingness to learn and change are often on the lookout for new ways to keep on top of modern trends, accomplish personal, professional & collective goals, in order to make their relationship the best.
Forgiveness: In marriage, forgiveness is the ability to press the reset button on your relationship. It helps to move away from the victim role and show that you are capable of accepting and moving on from your pain. Forgiveness is a skill that partners use to address negative thoughts and behaviors in order to strengthen their relationship.
See more solutions in the next session:
The Phases of Marriage
Years of Infancy
Here is where everything starts. Everything begins from the ground up except for the grave. So marriage is just like children’s development starts from infancy.
We can't promise that the relationship between you and your spouse will always be easy. Just like a child trying to walk, they rise and fall until they master the skill; to get through the infancy years, you two must be willing to put in a lot of effort. You must be willing to learn about yourselves, and when things get a little uncomfortable if you ever contemplated divorce, weigh the pros and cons of doing so. Some couples just realize early that staying together makes sense since nobody has got their back like each other. And eventually learned to deal with their differences and grew to accept one another.
Years of Adopting Minimalism
Many people overestimate the power of romantic love, making marriage difficult. They believe that falling in love with their partner will make them blind to their differences. As a result, they rush into marriage without first resolving their different histories, expectations, and financial mindsets, to name a few. These are some of the difficulties that couples have in their early years of marriage, which will not automatically dissolve unless both parties are prepared to make changes that would propel them into better times. When both sides are prepared to commit to a lifetime of learning and improvement, the relationship will progress and each year will seem to be better than the last, fueling your passion for one another and ensuring that you never get bored of being around one another. Minimalism inspires you to want a tranquil marriage free of conflicts, and it motivates you to sell everything you possess and pay off your debt if that's all it takes to live in peace and quiet.
Years of Seeking Change
When you're in a relationship, it's easy to get stuck in a rut. Paulo Coelho famously quipped, "If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it's killing." When he thinks routine can be dangerous if taken too far, he isn't kidding. Routines aren't bad because they help you go to the gym on a regular basis, eat well, and get things done, but they lack flexibility and balance. Try new things, date yourself again, test your youthfulness, visit places you wouldn't normally visit, work together on a charitable project, journal on each other's positive qualities, celebrate each other's accomplishments, bring up hurtful issues and resolve them once and for all so you can heal and blossom in love.
Years of Rejuvenation
Most relationships start from not having enough resources which drive the lovers to be creatively resourceful and as things get better some begin to slack and indulge themselves in whatever pleases them and neglecting their relationship with one another which could be causing them pain.
Then, for whatever reason, they consider making a change, being comfortable with being uncomfortable, just as an eagle sheds its old feathers, claws, and beak and replaces them with new ones when it grows old and fragile.
To re-energize, consider making big changes such as leaving the city and making it your aim to become accustomed to discomfort. The harder you make things on purpose, the closer you'll get as a team, pushing your personal development bounds. Making the decision to live life in a courageous zone (as opposed to a comfort zone where there is no growth) can be difficult, but the more difficult it becomes, the more lovely discoveries you will make which will, in turn, make your relationship more meaningful to you.
What are you willing to do to improve your connection with your partner just as an eagle is willing to forgo short-term pleasure for long-term satisfaction?
Years of Identifying the virtues
Some people divorce their spouses who possess 80% of the qualities they like to marry someone who has the 20% but not the remaining 80%. You will value your spouse more if you catch them doing something good or write down what you enjoy about them. This will help to maintain a peaceful coexistence.
Even though we used the expression year of this and that … this is not implied that where one year ends the other starts.
The marriages that survive and thrive are those who are thoughtful and intentional about making every day, month, and even year count for good.
Benefits of Minimalist Marriage
Here are five ways that minimalism can aid you in building and maintaining a healthier relationship:
The more transparent a couple can be about their finances when they first get married, the better their chances of long-term success are. The sooner you can honestly discuss money in a relationship, the better. Smart couples prefer to downsize their belongings to live a more minimalist lifestyle. Even though minimalism is not just about saving money, but also about building and enjoying a happier life and having a fantastic marriage.
It's a wise approach to view your marriage as an open-source project that you can continue to improve upon. Just like Microsoft and Apple Inc. continue to improve on their operating systems such that every year the programs are better and more effective to get things done and delight us. So you should make all aspects of your relationship visible and open to discussion and improvement. Such as being able to freely and calmly talk about money with your partner is a skill you can master. And learning to explore and acknowledge some of the less favorable aspects of your personality and habits.
To celebrate your anniversaries, birthdays, and Christmas, try to plan a fun activity or mini-vacation that you can all do together. This means spending more time with each other, spending less money, and making more memories together. Because you spend less money overall and don't have to worry as much about finding the "perfect" present, the overall stress of the holiday season is minimized.
I learned that the adage "garbage in, garbage out" equally applies to what my wife and I eat. We've made the transition from boxed meals to home-cooked meals made with fresh veggies, grains, and legumes since the beginning of our marriage. As a result, our health (and grocery spending) has significantly improved.
Most people have misplaced priorities, they're busy but not productive. They earn big but spend it all.
They don't make time for money and don't know how to multiply the little they have got.
Some couples even left higher-paying positions in their previous job, to learn the business of their passions. What's even more amazing? Many of such relationships are saving more money than they do in the past. None of which would have been possible without using minimalism as a method to gain financial control early in my marriage.
If you can figure out what to hold on to and what to let go of, married life becomes a lot easier.
When you understand how to engage with your spouse, how to prevent and respond to conflict, and how to do it in the simplest language possible, your married life will be happier.
if you've ever stood back after cleaning out your closet or garage and thought to yourself, "Wow, I feel better," and you'd like to have the same sense of streamlined clarity and success in your married life.
These are not the typical fanciful "3 (or 7 or 10) steps to saving your marriage" that someone concocted, rather they're helpful suggestions for the open-minded.
Priorities your Joy
Regardless of where they come from, you must minimize the distractions, complications, and superfluousness that contend for a place in your connection.
It's not about offering a "one-size-fits-all" answer, Instead, my purpose is to assist you in reducing the chances of your marriage devolving into conflict and drama.
If your marriage is now afflicted by disharmony or drama, don't panic.
By complementing the work you're already doing, this book can help you get back on track.
Simplify and Minimize
Many of our society's engrained and accepted attitudes, opinions, and interpersonal activities are contradicted by a minimalist marriage. The couple makes the conscious decision to clear out unneeded clutter, both in terms of physical belongings and marital strife. They have chosen to reject materialism and the marketing culture that misleads us into believing that we require more items in order to be happy or fulfilled.
Understanding Who Benefits
Who encouraged you to purchase it in the first place?
Cui bono, In Latin, means "who benefits?"
"Who benefits if I buy these things?" you might wonder. the next time you're tempted to reach for your wallet because your car is five years old or you don't have the most recent phone to make headlines. Think who benefits? Your realtor. Your bank. The car dealership benefits more than you when you buy what you don't need with the money you don't have because you get into more debt and they get more commission.
We honestly believe that adopting and applying these simple minimalism principles will improve any marriage.
Nothing works until we make it work, while the divorce is at an all-time high. The affluent divorce so does the poor. Newlyweds divorce does old-timers. This only means that you and your spouse can only be married for as long as you are willing to keep investing in it. It's a never-ending investment that when properly done yields maximum rewards and leverages.
While minimalist marriage is not a panacea, couples who decide to use its principles have a better shot because it encourages you to prioritize your happiness, health, and wealth over doing what is in vogue or appearing cool outside while you're losing at the home front.
Are you married, how have you made your marriage work, or if you are not married do you think these ideas are helpful? Comment down below.