What comes to your mind whenever you hear couples recite the phrases ‘for better or for worse’ and ’till death do us apart’? Do you consider the phrases unconscious recitations or powerful vows and strong statements of commitment thus one of the secrets of a happy relationship? Well, some do it for the cameras. To some, the vows are mere public relations pranks that have little to nothing to do with how they’ll run their relationship (i.e. courtship or marriage).
On the other hand, there are true believers in the vows as a testimony to just how far they are willing to go to realize a happy marriage. Sadly, the former group are the majority hence the millions of unhappy marriages. The big question is; what to do if things were to go wrong in your marriage? I mean, are there uncomplicated solutions out there? You guessed right, there is help (secrets of a happy relationship) and it doesn’t cost a penny maybe your ego 🙂
To help you benefit the most from this article, I’ll share some of my unwavering beliefs on relationships with specificity to marriage. I believe that:
- Marriage is between a man and a woman (male and female only) I don’t recognize or sympathize with anything more or less
- Marriage is never outdated or untrendy as some may put it
- Marriage demands concession from both partners and takes concerted effort to build
- Divorce shouldn’t be the first option whenever there are misunderstandings in a marriage
- Couples should be free to seek attention from professionals if internal conflict resolution mechanisms aren’t yielding desired results
I hope my personal beliefs are not too off-putting to bar you from moving to the gist. The above beliefs aren’t also meant to discourage you from reading but to give a background to the tips I’m going to share here.
For Better or For Worse
Now that you know my stance, let’s revisit the meaning of ‘for better or for worse’. Outwardly, this means you will stand by your partner irrespective of the circumstances they will be facing. In fact, it wouldn’t matter if the other partner was to become terminally ill or greatly incapacitated.
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Inwardly, this vow means sacrificing all your pride and selfish plans at the altar of love for the sake of your partner. It is not one of those statements you say on ‘a light note’. This is a serious business; a life-changing pronouncement that demands you be sober, careful and fully persuaded before you say it to anyone. All the secrets of a happy relationship are pegged on such understanding. Here are the 10 tips you will find very helpful:
1. Love your partner
Understand that you have different needs when it comes to love. For instance, while romantic expressions and acts promote self-worth in a woman, a man gets motivated to pursue, invest or plan better when they feel loved.
In other words, a woman’s love is emotional as a man’s love is physical. That is why the latter express their love through supporting and protecting his family. It is important that you practice unconditional, selfless and permanent love as that is the only definition of genuine love.
2. Communicate with your spouse
Almost all marriage conflicts could be avoided if only the partners could talk openly over issues affecting them. Isn’t it sad that most couples don’t have freedom of expression or discourse? To alleviate this, learn to treat each other as an important pillar of your relationship and who has an equal right to express their feelings on all matters.
This shouldn’t , however, be taken out of control and turned in arrogant exchange of words whenever one has a dissenting opinion(s). Simply, communicate respectfully and find solutions to your differences based on facts and not emotions.
3. Understand your companion
There are certain needs that neither the man nor the woman can substitute. Understanding these special needs is key to a successful marriage. For instance, while mood changes and the desire for undivided attention is very normal in women, most men will find these changes and demands offending.
On the other hand, men are obsessed with societal status and position which might not go well with some ladies. Therefore, reaching a compromise and understanding that these special needs are not going to vanish any sooner is the antidote to endless strife we often see in marriages today.
4. Appreciate you mate
The need to be appreciated is universal. No one wants to go unnoticed and feeling unappreciated, especially in marriage. If you are not going to appreciate your partner’s achievement(s) however minimal, that marriage is a recipe for unending but unnecessary conflicts.
I’m not in any way promoting half-backed appreciations or flatter. No, such will backfire and destroy your marriage. The idea is putting yourself in your partner’s shoes and appreciating the effort they put to achieve a given goal. Learn to give gifts to show these appreciations.
Again, gifts are not a compulsory part of a healthy relationship but rather a voluntary expression of gratitude. So, you don’t have to go out of your way to buy things you cannot comfortably pay for and certainly not when it doesn’t come from deep within your heart.
5. Accept your partner
Where communication exists, acceptance will naturally set in. You just need to ask God to give you the serenity to accept all those things you cannot change in your partner as well as the courage to change what can be changed.
Most importantly, ask for the wisdom to know what things you can change in your partner and those that you must accept and live with. If you are wondering how on earth are you going to accept your partner’s weaknesses then just give yourself review and you’ll find out that you are neither perfect. Accepting your partner is a powerful secret of a happy marriage.
6. Support your mate
Did you know that power struggle and the non-mutual submission in marriage are the root cause of most marital problems? Now, while this assertion might be subject to debate, the truth is that power struggle and the indecisiveness in choosing roles in a marriage/relationship have contributed to a considerable percentage of divorce today.
If you want to support your mate then agree on a mutual submission where both partners agree to recognize individual competencies. Adapting a ‘give and take’ kind of leadership in marriage may be the miracle you’ve been waiting for. Just remember that neither of the partners wants to be dictated to and that submission is the willingness to adapt one’s rights to those of another.
7. Have fun with your spouse
Having fun isn’t the preserve of the movies and the dating period. It is a way of life for lovers as they always find solace and happiness in the company of each other. Having fun must not only be a paid-up vacation at a private beach in the Caribbean but can be as simple as reading a comic book together, playing video games or just riding a bicycle together.
It is advisable that you find a fun activity that you and your partner have a passion for then enjoy it as much as you can.
8. Sexually fulfill you partner
As weird as this may sound, this point overrides all the secrets of a happy relationship. In short, if either partner isn’t sexually satisfied in marriage, they will never be happy even if you practiced the former and the latter tips. So, communicate with your partner and openly discuss what you would term successful coitus. The word is ‘openly discuss’.
There is no need to be shy about it considering it is the key to a happy marriage. In fact, all infidelities have something to do with sexual deprivation. Therefore, rise up and protect your marriage by sexually satisfying your mate.
9. Set boundaries
As alluded to under the ‘support your mate’ tip, roles are important. However, it is even better if partners voluntarily took responsibilities and executed them. Loving couples are always open about their finances and practice effective budgeting and management of finances. Therefore, sit down as a family and assign each other responsibility based on their ability and willingness.
No partner should appear to be overdependent as this will promote a feeling of superiority in the ‘providing partner’. Interestingly, you mustn’t have a job to take responsibility for. There are simple roles such as washing the dishes which don’t need money to execute.
What about personal time and privacy issues? While openness is encouraged in any relationship, it should not deny one the right to privacy. Sometimes you may get to ‘open’ that you forget that privacy is such an important secret of a happy marriage. So, scouring your partner’s phone, mails and all manner of stalking can only mean a lack of trust.
You ought to agree on things that are off-limit (for example there are times when your partner requests for a ‘time alone’). You should know better than to intrude at such times. Setting clear boundaries will help you stay with each other as equals, and boost your self-esteem. to paying house mortgage.
10. Worship with your mate
Most of the married couples do wrong being insisting on this point while neglecting the others discussed before. Worshiping together is never to be discussed if the partners above tips are practiced; it will come automatically. Just learn to honestly pray for the success of your partner and of your marriage. You should also avoid any denominational or religious differences and be members of one congregation.
Now, go ahead and honestly evaluate your marriage against the 10 points and adjust where necessary. It is never advisable to ask for separation or file for divorce just because things don’t seem to work out between you. Always ask why the two of you came together and if it was worth it before you even think of divorce.
In addition, find out the reason why you’ve held for that long, and whether that reason is no longer as important before you quit your marriage. However, this should not be misunderstood to mean that you must stay in a relationship with an unrepentant, unfaithful and or abusive partner.
It is just a simple reminder that there is always a solution to every problem and just because you can’t see the solution yet doesn’t mean it isn’t available.
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