Marriage is beautiful, a partnership of two unique individuals who ought to bring out the very best in each other and who know that even though they are wonderful as individuals, they are even better together in their union. God intended that a man and a woman come together in a divine union, not only for fellowship with Him but also that they would have pleasure and bring forth a Godly offspring.
While many individuals seek the perfect marriage, the marriage bliss seems fleeting, particularly after the honeymoon stage. The idealistic concept of marriage doesn’t exist. Surely, how do two people who begin a life together from different backgrounds expect a flawless relationship? Here are some tips to enhance your relationship live, love and thrive.
1. Commitment is your only option
Marriage is about total commitment, its success does not depend on feelings neither does it depend on circumstances but on two consenting adults loyal to each other. Marriage involves hard work, patience, forgiveness and unconditional love, accepting each other’s faults and simply being willing to give and take. The marriage relationship will also bring about conflict, disagreements, misunderstandings, and sometimes frustration and even resentment. Regardless of the feelings, it is important to acknowledge them yet recognise that the commitment overrides the feelings.
2. How can I know what you need if you don’t communicate?
Communicate thoughts, ideas, plans, and opinions on a regular basis and keep communication channels open even in conflict. What’s key is to understand each other and intentionally work towards openness avoiding being critical and judgmental. Whatever happens, keep your communication lines open. Are you saying one thing and acting another? Listening objectively, and paying attention to nonverbal communication is valuable to the relationship.
3. Accept that you cannot control your spouse’s actions
Your partner has his/her own mind and no matter how much you love them you cannot control their actions. Allow them room to take responsibility and perhaps also learn from their own mistakes. If you desire a caring, responsible partner, play your part and become just that partner. There is a simple rule that says, “one reaps what they sow”, the law of reciprocating. Allow room for creativity, me time and a level of personal responsibility and freedom.
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4. Keep growing
The union of marriage is one which the two individuals learn from their mistakes, acknowledging one another’s strengths and weakness and willingness to adjust behaviours that need to be worked on. Individuals continue to grow through their conflicts and mistakes. Choose to resolve every conflict, without avoidance. As you grow in your union you too need to grow as an individual. Pursue personal development and refresh yourself continually.
5. Nurture relationships with significant others
The relationship goes beyond your man and for it to succeed you will need to invest in relationships with significant other, colleagues, families, friends, neighbours and other important persons in the relationship. Expand your networks and have mentors who you learn the ropes of the game from.
6. Complement work and play
God intended marriage to be pleasurable, enjoy the season. Don’t take things too seriously, purpose to enjoy one another, have lots of fun, enjoy recreational intimacy, enjoy some humour and laugh together, after all, laughter is the tonic you need to escape from the daily tensions of life.
The writer is a life coach and author of Marriage Built to Last.
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