Marriage can either be the best or worst thing to ever happen to you, depending on how you go about it. Successful marriages have always been a result of honest efforts by couples towards making it work. No marriage is destined for failure and none is destined for success; what you get out of it is a product of how much effort you invest into it.
The reason why most marriages crumble is simply because people get married, have children and forget to actually maintain the romance and friendship that they had before marriage, but it doesn’t work that way. To make the most of a marriage, you must not treat it differently from an ordinary relationship.
Being married should never stop you from treating your partner as you did them before you were married. This is the major problem with most marriages today; no relationship, no friendship, just two people who share a last name and children. If you are guilty of this stereotype, you must break away from it, so things can work out better for you and your spouse. And to do that, you must start by doing the following…
1. LISTEN AND COMMUNICATE
People just get married, and suddenly, it’s all about making enough money to cater for the family’s needs, forgetting that there is more to marriage than just feeding, providing for the kids and setting financial goals. This is a union that needs protecting and nurturing, and you cannot do that without taking note of each other. As a married couple, you must pay attention to each other so you would know when one person is trying to pass a message to the other. Listening goes beyond just giving your spouse your ears, it also involves studying them, so you know how their temperament works. A couple who listen to each other understand each other, and once there is understanding, there is better communication.
It is also important that couples find time to discuss on issues pertaining to not just their families, but to also their selves, as that is a very strong way of communicating each other’s emotions.
2. RESPECT YOUR SPOUSE
One of the reasons why many marriages crash is because of the loss of respect. The same people who were happy as lovers, get married and things begin to go awry, because someone stopped being respectful. It is very wrong for you to stop respecting your partner for any reason; a relationship (marriage) without it can never last long. Everybody deserves some respect and you shouldn’t deny your partner theirs for any reason. Know what they hate and avoid those things. Talk to your partner in such a way as not to hurt their feelings. Mutual respect is very important for the survival of any relationship.
3. ALWAYS BE READY TO FORGIVE OR APOLOGIZE
There is a reason why they say that mental maturity is the most important ingredient for the success of any marriage, and that is because it is only with it that you can tackle every challenge that comes along the way. Only a mentally mature person would understand that in the event of a disagreement or a quarrel, the best thing to do is to apologise (especially if you’re the erring party), forgive it all and move on. Sometimes, if doesn’t even have to matter who was (is) wrong. Marriage is not a contest, it is not a match, it is a union of two people; therefore, for it to work, there must be a willingness to compromise at all times. And you don’t always have to wait for an apology to come sometimes, just move on.
4. HANG OUT OFTEN
I don’t know if you noticed, but the thing about couples who hang out often is that they generally tend to have a stronger bond or union than those who do not. Hanging out offers couples a chance to spend quality time together, away from the stress and distractions of work (hustle). Plan weekend getaways with your spouse as regularly as possible and take them out on special dates. It helps liven up a relationship and also gives you the opportunity to tell them those things you might have been itching to tell them.
5. LEARN TO SHARE GIFTS
Nothing spells ‘romance’ more than a nicely packaged gift with a special note or card attached to it and addressed to one’s spouse. It makes them feel loved, and appreciated, and once they feel this way, they’ll feel obliged to reciprocate the love. Sharing gifts isn’t only reserved for unmarried and dating folks, it is for anybody who has someone they care about. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive gift item; it can be very cheap yet powerful. It all depends on the message and motive attached to it. One of the secrets to perfect gifting is making sure that the gift fulfils a pressing need (as long as you can afford it).
6. DON’T STOP LOOKING GOOD
Most people tend to care less about their looks a few years after they’re married, forgetting that they still have a partner to please. Looking good isn’t something you do only during courtship or while you’re young – you can look good even while you’re married, and irrespective of your age. Your partner didn’t just get attracted to you just for your personality; they also fell in love with your looks. How do you think they’ll feel if you start caring less about those looks? You don’t suppose the attraction may fade? Don’t change anything about your looks as long as it is okay with your partner. Dress well, and stay clean always to stay attractive.
Like I said, successful marriages aren’t gifted, they’re built. As long as you continue to make honest efforts towards building yours, you will reap the dividends eventually.