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How to Make a Marriage Work

wedding ringsMarriage should be a life-long union, a source of encouragement and support.   Unfortunately, in today’s society, that seems rarely ever to be the case.  There is nagging, disloyalty, harsh words, bitterness, yelling, and divorce.  Whatever happened to love?

Problems that Plague Marriages

Lack of time together damages marriages. Work, children, hobbies, and social obligations can take away from spending quality time with your spouse.

Devaluing your spouse is commonplace. Words or action directed at your spouse can convey the message to your partner that he/she is not important.  You should never call your spouse mean names, even in jest.  Don’t criticize them to others.  Be punctual when picking them up or meeting with them.  Being late says I don’t care enough about you to bother being on time.  You wouldn’t feel okay about going late to a job interview, would you?

Spending alone-time with other members of the opposite sex can lead to problems. When someone spends time alone with someone of the opposite sex, it is not uncommon for emotional bonding and/or physical attraction to develop.  Work friends and others of the opposite sex are fine as long as social outings are group excursions.  A married person should never go out alone with someone of the opposite sex unless that person is a near relative (father, mother, sister, brother).   Some people may not agree with this advice but many marriages have been ruined when a friendship with a member of the opposite sex developed into love.

Spending excessive time watching the television or going online can be detrimental to a marriage. When someone chooses to spend time with an inanimate object instead of with a partner, it can feel very hurtful.  Also, social networking or chat sites online have the potential to lead to marital unfaithfulness.

Being in-dept puts stress on a marriage. Many North Americans are significantly in dept.  Money problems are often the cause of arguments in a marriage.

The Way to A Happy Marriage

Make time for your spouse each week. Set a weekly date night set aside and keep it!

Use your words to encourage. Whenever you think of something positive about your spouse, be sure to tell them, using specific language.  Sometimes, to change things up, write them a note or an email as well as telling them!

Get your finances under control. Make more than you spend.  Reduce expenses.  Don’t gamble.  Cut up credit cards.

Find things to do that you both enjoy. Take up a hobby together.  Work out together.  You need to find positive things to do together.  Throw that television or computer out the door if it is harming your marriage.  Seriously, what is more important?

Provide intimacy. Renew your physical love with your partner.  It is good to partake together as often as the more eager partner wishes.  If you don’t really feel like it, try to think your way there and enjoy the experience through the eyes of your spouse.

A marriage, like any important venture, takes work.  Each partner must give between   60 % and 90% for the marriage to survive.  Honour your spouse, seek to bring them joy, and ensure that they feel loved.  All you can do is your part.  Chiding your partner into loving you more simply won’t work.  As your spouse feels more loved, they will begin to reciprocate.  Don’t give up.  Love is well worth the effort!

© 2009 Celesta Thiessen

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