Anyone who is married or has been married can tell you that marriage is not always peachy. It is not an easy road to tread. It takes work, a stick-to-it attitude, and a decision to work together no matter how hard the other person may be to deal with. When couples do actually work together not just in word, but in deed, and when they view their roles as members of a team instead of opposing forces, therein is half the battle. There are many ideas and philosophies of how marriage should go. Some may be very effective for your relationship and others may not help at all. The important thing is to find a method that works for your relationship and you and your mate’s individual personalities.
Now this does not mean to sweep things under the rug, tolerate abuse of any kind, be complacent, or not deal with the real issues. It means to determine and agree upon the best method or practice for your particular relationship and be consistent with the execution of what you decide upon. However, again the key is working together.
There are many psychologists, marriage counselors, and relationship coaches out there who have great advice. Couples who utilize their services can be the better for it if they in fact take the prescription. However, honestly, how many actually do? If they do, how many actually continue using the principles? So my question is, if you are looking for ways to make your relationship better, no matter how many great people are out there to support you and help you to succeed, it boils right down to you and your mate. That is the bottom line.
There are many people who have difficulty being married or they anticipated marriage being different than what they perhaps might be experiencing. While this is not unusual, it does lead to disappointment in the relationship or the feeling that maybe the grass is greener on the other side. The truth is sometimes it is, but most of the time it is not. Grass that is greener is grass that is being watered. So before you start watering your neighbor’s grass, try giving your own grass what it needs and you will find that you have just as beautiful of a lawn as the one you are envying.
You cannot neglect, abuse, or misuse what you have and expect it to perform at its best. A car needs to be tuned up. A house needs maintenance and repairs. A plant needs sunlight and watering. Likewise, a marriage needs adequate attention for it to thrive. Don’t expect to build a happy home, yet refuse to get your hands dirty and get in there and work at it. It just doesn’t happen that way. A car does not drive itself. It takes a driver and that driver must take action in order to move the car. If the driver is reckless, the car can veer out of control. If a house is not properly built or the foundation is not stable, the house will not be able to withstand the various weather conditions and the changing seasons.
At the end of the day, it is not your therapist’s responsibility to keep your marriage together. It’s not your pastor’s, your friend’s or your parents’ job to make your marriage work. It is yours and your mate’s job. No ifs ands about it, point blank! Yes, it can be very frustrating when negotiating with your spouse to respond to your needs and respond the way you want and need them to respond. Again, at the end of the day, the responsibility belongs to the two of you. Believe you me; running is not always the answer.
Now, there are many views on marriage. However, here are ten basic marriage tips that will help couples get through some common problems in their marriage.
1. Make Your Spouse Your Number One Priority After the Creator. The Leave and Cleave principle is worth its weight in gold to a healthy and happy marriage if you but understand. The truth of the matter is if the couple do not cleave, someone is bound to leave.
2. Communicate With Your Spouse and Consult With Them. Remove the “I” and replace it with the “WE.” Nothing destroys loving communication faster than feeling like you don’t matter or are not a part of the plan. When you got married, you chose to exchange the singleness with the togetherness. Don’t be surprised if you try to do the single thing in a together situation and it does not work out well. Two opposing ideas cannot occupy the same space at the same time and there be harmony.
3. Fight Fair. No stonewalling, name-calling, playing the dozens, verbal abuse, going to bed not speaking to one another, or withholding intimacy out of frustration or anger. These are games people play because they lack self-control, but they are the very games that chip at the core of a marriage. This is a game that both players lose.
4. Practice Self Control and Maturity. People get upset and angry. Yet how you handle anger is key. Don’t lock yourself in a room and your spouse out of one. The only thing that should be between you and your spouse is loving kindness. It is emotionally abusive to lock your spouse out of a room absent of physical danger. Nothing breeds distrust faster than locked doors between couples with the refusals of opening them. In truth, you are locking more than doors in regards to your marriage, and you might find that when you are ready to open them, the door is jammed.
5. Be Patient With One Another. It’s amazing how patience and forbearing couples are with one another when they are trying to “get” the other. Somehow that forbearance goes out the window, when the “I do’s” happen. Patience is a demonstration of maturity and the willingness to do what is necessary to work things out.
6. Make Time For Intimacy. There is no such thing as “I don’t have time” when it comes to a healthy marriage. People do what is important to them. That is the bottom line. Couples, who make their marriage an important part of their life, make the time to nurture it and give it what it needs to thrive. They are happier and get the most out of their marriage. If you can make time to go to the barbers or salon, dentist and doctor’s appointments, surf the web, tweet your daily tweets or make your Facebook posts, or the other things you deem necessary, how important is your spouse and making the time to nurture that relationship?
7. Balance Me Time With We Time. It is important for couples to have individual time and space for their own personal development. Yet when the “Me” time far outweighs the “We” time then something is wrong with that picture. If you find you much rather do things alone or without your spouse, then perhaps you need to reconsider some things. Marriage is about togetherness, not singleness. If you prefer the “Me” over the “We” more, then you might want to ask yourself if you are in the right life situation.
8. Share Household Responsibility. Nothing puts a damper on morale in marriage faster than the feelings that your spouse is not pulling their fair share around the house or is not being a team player. Household maintenance and upkeep is not a gender responsibility it’s a team effort. One of the worst feelings is to be taken for granted and nothing drives that point home faster than a spouse who does not help.
9. Pray Together. The old familiar tune, “A family that prays together stays together…” I have a feeling that this is actually very true. It takes humility to pray with your mate, especially when they are getting on your nerves or you just do not want to be around them. In truth, that is when you should be more apt to pray together. When both husband and wife realize or believe that there is a power greater than them both, they tend to honor and respect one another more. However mere belief counts for nothing unless carried into practice.
10. Be Loyal and Faithful Friends. Some couples act as if they are mortal enemies. This is a ridiculous disposition to take. If you want a war and desire to be on a battlefield, go to war with anything or anyone who causes a division or sows seeds of dissension in your marriage and get on the battlefield to make your marriage work. There’s enough unrest in the world. Who wants to come home to it? If you intentionally pick fights or “stir the pot” with your mate just to get them going or hear their mouth, you might take a closer look at what you might be cooking up. Know when fun has turned foul.