Relationships are never perfect. Even the ones you see and make you think to yourself  ‘What a happy couple,’ have had times where they wanted to call it quits. The ones that manage to stick together acknowledge the fact that isn’t always perfect and are therefore prepared for when they hit that bump in the road. But what’s that secret component missing for a lasting love?

In the span of your relationship you’ll have different issues at different stages of your life whether it be children, career, health and aging problems. Granted you will probably go through many relationships in your life that aren’t worth staying in but when you do find that one you want to be with then you can use these five ways to keep your marriage happy:

1. Don’t Let Go of Yourself Just Cause You’re Married

Ways-to-Keep-Your-Marriage-Happy-At-Any-Age-3You may have had a friend or relative that let themselves go as soon as they tied the knot. While one hopes that love is unconditional, the reality is physical attraction is one piece of the tremendously complex puzzle that makes up a happy couple. This isn’t a time to get overly comfortable with your partner. Adding inches to your waistline may create sexual attraction issues as well as health problems. If your spouse ends up becoming obese there is a 37% chance that you may follow his or her steps, said a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

It is vital to your relationship and overall health to create healthy eating habits with you and your spouse for the long run. This will prevent chronic health issues such as heart disease & diabetes. Try getting involved in routine exercise activities together and stop by your local farmer’s market to prevent over consuming high-calories from foods filled with health altering risks.

2. Make Financial Plans

Spouses are often found to lie to one another about big financial purchases. When you’re lying about having financial issues this may send your relationship into a web of lies that can’t be untangled. It’s always best to create some ground rules prior to getting married. It’s best to be on the same page even if each partner has his or her own (bad) spending habits. Tackling this issue before you walk down the aisle will mean avoiding a possibly relationship ending scenario.

Keeping track of spending and deciding who is going to handle the bills will save you future headaches, arguments and divorce.

3. Family Rules

Ways-to-Keep-Your-Marriage-Happy-At-Any-Age-2When you and your partner are on opposite ends of a spectrum when it comes to dealing with your children or general house rules, that can cause tension to arise and many couples will clash when it comes to setting ground rules. Each person has had their own unique upbringing so they may feel their way is better than their partners. These may appear as little harmless habits at the beginning of a relationship but once kids enter the picture you will want to be clear with each other about how the household should be run. Setting a clear picture for you and your partners is a great way to start off your marriage.

4. Flexibility

Sometimes the plans you made with your partner in your 20’s and 30’s fall through. Circumstances change and when your financial arrangements are compromised you may have to make some sacrifices as a couple. If one partner ends up getting laid off, and the other partner is a stay-at-home they may have to get back in the workforce to make up for the lack of income. The person in charge of house chores may have to adjust to those as well. It’s better to not always be stuck in specific roles and understand every situation may require changes depending on unforeseen hiccups throughout your lives as a couple together.

5. Rediscover Each Other

If you and your partner have kids, the moment the children move out of the house is where you get time to restart your relationship. Child rearing stages can cause you to forget to show affection to one another. The routine of scheduling your lives around your kids change once they move out and you get more quality time with your partner. Your sense of responsibility around your children changes once their out the house. Use this time to rediscover each other and be selfish together on the way.