My book ‘Marriage Built to Last; After the Promise; has celebrated years of positive, amazing global impact soon. Connecting with you on this forum has given me an opportunity to appreciate challenges of relationships in another level.
To God be the Glory for great things HE has done! I appreciate this has not been an easy journey but you the readers have made it worth the while by your continued encouragement, prayers and support.
The e-mails you write to let me know your relationships are doing great after reading the articles give me a reason to press on even when I feel faint-hearted. I have learnt so much from your interaction and I must admit that I have grown tremendously both personally and professionally.
I believe you too have continued to be inspired, encouraged, energised and equipped to live, love and thrive, because you deserve it. Through your feedback and interaction I have learnt valuable lessons on what makes a healthy happy relationship thrive:
It will save the most challenged of relationships. It is the willingness to do whatever it takes to build a strong marriage. There are many reasons why anyone should simply call it a day.
Commitment is about pressing on for the greater good of the entire family. It’s about seeing beyond the present circumstances and casting your vision beyond your children’s children. Commitment knows only patience, endurance, perseverance and goes against the norm pressing on until the best presents itself.
Communication is vital for the sustainability of a good healthy relationship. It is the fuel that keeps the relationship together. Without communication, there is instant breakdown and the relationship crumbles.
When partners don’t communicate, every other aspect of the intimacy is lost; physical, recreational, spiritual, social and intellectual intimacy becomes something of the past.
Communication is both verbal and non-verbal and the process involves respect for each other as well as active energy and enthusiasim on the part of both parties.
Respect has greater value to most than LOVE. How do you tell me you love me when you disrespect me? Is a question asked many times? To enjoy a thriving, fruitful and happy relationship, respect needs to be the number one among other top priorities. It’s worth noting that respect is earned.
Even when it is not deserved, respect and honour should be given because where respect thrives there is trust, love, and support for one another, freedom and a great intimacy. Before you can show respect to your partner, it is prudent to give yourself some respect. After all that is how you will teach others to treat you.
4. Quality time, not quantity
Spending time with your partner goes a long way in expressing your love, affection, affirmation and respect for them. Planning quality time together bring about bonding, trust, oneness and builds intimacy levels.
Quality time is a language of love. Garry Chapman would say give your partner undivided attention for it is a primary love language and if you don’t give them quality time, they will not feel loved.
5. Choose your words wisely
Words have the power for life and death and it is helpful to choose words wisely. Before choosing to use verbal abuse, think again because the words pierce through bone and marrow and the sting will last a long time.
There is the passive aggressive abuser who is subtle yet leaves the partner devastated, with a lot of pain, fear, frustration and to a large extent confusion constantly seeking to understand the abusive partner’s behaviour.
6. Boundaries should be respected
Understand and respect your partner’s boundaries at all times, and be willing to make significant sacrifices to give them room for the same.
7. Apologising doesn’t show weakness
Saying sorry, forgive me, excuse me, I was wrong, is a great strength and not a weakness. Apologise and seek the forgiveness of your partner. Make every effort to live in peace with one another.
The writer is a relationship coach and author of Marriage Built to Last. You can reach her on; www.jenniekarina.co.ke