You may have promised that, for better or for worse, you'd stick by each other's sides, but when it comes to the reality of marriage, there are some serious milestones that can either make or break the forever bond you and your partner have created.
Perhaps we should just get this one out of the way. When you're with someone for long enough, temptations can take hold of you. If you step out on the relationship and your partner finds out, they may either use it as a reason to leave, feel completely betrayed and never forgive you, or the entire mess will bring about a breakthrough that will bring the two of you closer than ever.
"Betrayal never happens in a vacuum," says relationship expert April Masini
. "Once you get over feeling like a victim or a perpetrator, you can try to understand, together, how this happened. When you get to the point where you see how you both contributed to the situation, you can grow and become stronger together."
2. Having a child
While it may have initially seemed like a great idea, based off of love and the natural instinct to reproduce, having a child can change people, especially couples. You may disagree on parenting styles and you may even end up using your child as a barrier that keeps you and your beau apart. Others, however, find that they are brought closer because of their offspring. They see their love for one another reflected in their child's eyes, and are constantly reminded that they have created a life together.
"It's important to talk about the changes happening in your relationship, from lack of sleep to lack of sex," says psychologist Lauren Napolitano
3. A serious illness
A lot of emotions come to the surface due to sickness, including resentment. Why do they get to feel so good when I feel like this? Why do I have to feel so hindered by my partner's ailments? They're valid, yet selfish questions. Coming together, finding a new realm of support, love and understanding during these trying times is just as important as when you're both at your best.
"A serious illness can allow you to see that a spouse really has your back in ways that you may not realize in a healthy, day-to-day existence," says Masini. "Whether it’s a hospitalization after a car accident or a bout with cancer, you and your spouse can show each other what you don’t usually get to—that you’re there through thick and thin."
What other milestones do you think make or break a marriage?
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