A Good Marriage: Happily EVEN After!

Written by on July 11, 2013 in Relationships - No comments | Print this page

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holding hands in marriage

The natural course of marriage follows a natural sequence and it’s important to understand that the ‘honeymoon phase’ doesn’t, and can’t, last forever.

That, however, by no means translates into a marriage going sour; in fact, it should mean just the opposite.  Realizing the ‘honeymoon high’ is a more superficial first-step towards a deeper, more meaningful relationship should cause one to pause and realize the best should be yet to come.

Get Grounded:

We have been created us embrace our relationships with true love, an agape love, not just that honeymoon feeling which, in-spite of its inherent joy, is pale in comparison to the type of enduring love, which, in-spite of cancer, thinning hair, extended waistlines and wrinkles keeps two people holding hands and kissing each other ‘good-night’.

Unfortunately, spousal love can be vulnerable to crumbling since in many marriages, it’s conditional–I’ll love you as long as _________.  With the divorce rate hovering at around 50%; it begs the question:  What is going on? The fact is, we are all, inherently, selfish.

Am I Loving You or Am I Loving Me?

A marriage focused on what can make one happy is in for a very bumpy ride.  Being able to recognize any selfish motives behind our words and actions can reveal a lot about the condition of one’s marriage.

If you’re looking for ways to reconnect to your spouse, then you must let go of the ego!

Selfishness is a relationship killer.  “How can you meet my needs—financially, emotionally, physically?” or “I need things done my way!” etc.

Even in your marriage you might be searching for the right person (for your sake) which means you need to replace that notion with: I need to be the right person (for my marriage’s sake).   The kicker, though, is that both parties have to be fully willing to let go of their egos, insecurities and unrealistic expectations.

If one person is self-less and the other person remains a chronic taker, the challenges will continue to thrive while the relationship continues to sink into an emotional abyss. If seeking professional help is not an option—

1: Take A Written Inventory:

Take a written inventory of things you have expected or said to your spouse that have resulted in conflict and ask yourself: “Was what I wanted/expected/asked from my wife or husband designed for me or did I desire something to benefit my spouse, or both?

Both husband and wife should craft their own written inventory to address past conflicts that still plague the marriage and then begin to assess what the true motive was for each situation that morphed into a battle.

Sit down, calmly, as a couple, and treat this assignment seriously and thoughtfully and be willing to embrace open communication.  This is such an effective tool that nearly every marriage counseling dynamic incorporates its usefulness.

2: Demand Honesty and Communication!

As you discuss the written inventories, you’ll need to be honest with yourself and your spouse; no denials allowed!  Communication is the most important aspect of any relationship!

Being a patient listener and validating each other’s feelings is paramount with no interrupting or yelling.

3: Analyze:  Is It Revolution or Resolution?

When discussing past struggles, both spouses need to ask themselves:  was my motive in the confrontation to win or was it to resolve?

If winning the battle (revolution) is your goal, you and your ego have already lost the fight—even if you feel you “win” in the end, you’ve accomplished nothing, except a more strained marriage.  The true condition of your heart will emerge when you desire resolution over victory.

4: Humble Yourself!

Never be too proud to say, “I’m sorry!”  Mature love will offer apologies and will work on increased healing and fewer reasons to apologize!

Ultimately, a spouse needs to not just talk about what healing needs to take place, but demonstrate it with sincerity, patience, conviction and unconditional love.

Karen devotes much of her retirement from teaching to support organizations like Cornerstone Marriage & Family Ministries through her writing.

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