I'm always looking around me, and I see people who are happy with their spouse/SO and people who are on the verge of breaking up or getting a divorce.
I'm getting less and less convinced that people actually try to make their marriage work, rather they just give up and take the easy way out : Divorce.
How can 2 people make a marriage work?
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The solution to avoiding a divorce does not solely rest upon the effort couple's puts into making their marriage work. The fact is, many people change over the course of a marriage. Significant changes in one's personal taste, eating habits, standards, wants and needs, etc. can negatively alter a couple's bond and compatibility with their spouse. In some instances, the change is too much to overcome, which leads couples to falling and staying out of love. Would you stay in a loveless marriage?
To answer your question, I don't think there is guaranteed formula of success that will make all marriages work. In my experiences, people sustained their marriages by communicating, showing affection, compromising and respecting each other. They also remained fond of each other and shared common goals. It all seemed to come natural to them, without much work.
Again, the answer is not a generic one, as everyone is different.