Compatibility alone is not enough to make a marriage successful. For a relationship to work, couples need to work together to iron out their differences so they can work towards a common goal. In reality, happy ever after only comes when couples have already learned how to make the most out of an imperfect situation.

In marriage, couples are bound to encounter trials and difficult times. But the beauty of a relationship can best be appreciated, when couples go through these challenges hand in hand. In working to make your marriage successful, there are actually a few tips that you can apply to make the marriage healthy.

1. Maintain open communication lines. Openly discuss your problems, fears, and hopes without any inhibitions. If you can talk to your partner about anything, you are guaranteed that you will not be alone in handling life’s many challenges.

2. Don’t grow tired of doing small gestures for your partner. You can prepare his morning coffee, cook his favorite meal, or organize his stuff in the car. These may seem like small little acts but they do count a lot. Your small gestures can mean that even if you are busy, you are still able to go out of your way and look after his welfare.

3. Don’t try to solve issues that simply can’t be settled. When couples have opposing views on a sensitive matter, it can be difficult to agree on a resolution. When no amount of explaining and debating can resolve an issue, learn how to live with. Instead of getting on each other’s nerves, learn how to respect each other’s individuality.

4. Choose your battles wisely. Conflict is inevitable in a relationship but when you make big things out of small details, you are probably waging a worthless battle. Spare your heart from aches caused by senseless matters. When you find that your partner has again forgotten to put his dirty clothes in the laundry bin, respond positively and forget about brewing a fight over it.

5. Learn how to forgive and forget. It can be tempting to dwell on old wounds when a similar situation crops up. Life should never be about replays. Remember that we are imperfect beings, and we are all entitled to commit mistakes. After you have discussed things, learn to let go of all anger and resentment.

6. Make time for couple’s time. Couples should work hard on keeping the fire burning. When the kids are with their grandparents or relatives, you have the opportunity to give each other undivided attention. Pursue new endeavors, and just have fun together. Like most things, relationships need maintenance too.

7. Appreciate each other. With busy schedules, it can be easy to take each other for granted. Try to appreciate each other even for the smallest of things. Even if you wake up to the smell of brewed coffee everyday, it makes a difference if your partner knows that you appreciate the effort.

8. Take a breather when you can’t seem to respond rationally during a conflict. There are instances when in the heat of an argument you will end up saying things that you don’t really mean. If you feel that you are too frustrated and angry to resolve something, it may be best to let your temper subside first. It is always best to settle your issues when you are both able to think with clear heads.

It can be difficult to stay positive each time you are bothered by your partner’s weird habits, or his unreasonable temperament. But you both need to take each day as an opportunity to become better partners for each other. Remember that marriage is no walk in the park. And successful marriages will never exist without challenges and trials.