If you aspire to enjoy a 50-year marriage, or longer, know that these relationships do not happen just because someone has unusually good luck. There is a lot you can do to build a strong relationship to prepare for marriage.

Let’s face it, relationships aren’t easy. We have a difficult enough time managing our own mercurial emotions and making sensible decisions. Add another person to the equation and it sometimes seems that we’re doubling down on trouble. Still, there’s another side to relationships as well: you aren’t alone when it comes to facing challenging times.

3 Ways to Build a Great Relationship

Here are 3 tips on how to develop a superb relationship to make the good times better and the bad times seem less intense:

Tip #1: Offer Gifts of Appreciation: 

 The most generous thing you can do before a marriage is to buy your future spouse a breathtakingly beautiful ring, perhaps a black diamond engagement ring from a fine jeweler like Front Jewelers. And the most generous thing you can do if given something this wonderful is to accept it with grace and appreciation.

Tip #2: Speak Words of Praise: 

Words of praise should not be mistaken for words of flattery. One touches the heart, the other furrows the brow. What sets them apart since they are both complimentary? Timing. When you catch someone doing something right and mention it, these are words of praise. When you merely compliment someone on something for no apparent reason, then it’s often considered mere flattery.

Tip #3: Show Acts of Service: 

All of us are overwhelmed more often than we admit. For this reason, a helping hand at the right time can make a huge difference to us.

Unfortunately, acts of service can be tricky because of a quirk of the mind that psychologists call hedonic adaptation. Basically, it means that we get used to good things. If, for instance, you buy a new car, you can only delight in the new car smell and the firm steering before it just becomes another car. Similarly, if an act of service is consistently delivered, then the recipient begins to take it for granted. This obvious lack of appreciation, then, makes the other person become resentful because they feel taken for granted.

The Rewards of Cultivating a Wonderful Relationship

Marriages fall apart because relationships can wither over time. Small hurts can become smoldering resentments. Acts of indifference can grow over time to become arguments for divorce filings.  Ironically, most of these issues occur after two people have come to believe that they’ve come to know each other very well.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Practicing the disciplines of loving and kindness, showing patience and tolerance when you most feel like exploding in rage, and learning the art of managing quirky human behavior can yield long-term rewards.

When your health or wealth suffers, when you develop a serious illness or lose your job, you don’t have to handle the crisis on your own. You have someone at your side, helping as best they can, and together you can put the bad times behind you.

Conversely, a great relationship can make good times even better. Vacations are fun, but they’re a lot more fun with someone to share them with. Getting a promotion at work, celebrating record sales in your new business, or publishing your first book is thrilling, but it becomes even sweeter with someone to celebrate with.

In conclusion, developing a deep sense of friendship is the ultimate reward for a good marriage. It’s not easy, of course. It takes considerable work, but it’s definitely worth the time and effort over the years.