The biggest problem in marriage these days is that people tend to only “work” on their relationship when it’s broken — or breaking. My issue with that is that marriage should always be priority — not just when you have something so serious you can’t ignore it anymore.
Why is it that so many couples don’t focus on their marriage in a direct sense unless something is going wrong in it? The thing is — NOT constantly working on your marriage is a good way to ensure that something will go wrong in it.
” … each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.” ~ 1 Corinthians 7:2-3
As a married couple, you have a commitment to one another — to fulfill the vows you made when you entered into the covenant of matrimony. All too often, husbands and wives give little consideration to those vows when the ceremony ends. When is the last time you stopped to think about what it means to have and to hold or to love AND to cherish? How does through sickness and health or for better — AND for worse — play into everyday life when your family starts to experience hardships and trials? You think your spouse should just assume that you love, cherish, and honor them? They are just supposed to remember that you promised and intend to obey and stay committed to them through sickness, health, feast, or famine? You’re supposed to share a life with them that is constantly reflective of that covenant — reflective through words, reflective through gestures, and reflective through your actions — even when you’re not in the presence of your spouse.
Say, “I Love You…” every day, hug and kiss, and make sure your partner knows you appreciate them. ~ Erin: A Parenting Production
Statistics show that financial problems are among the top reasons for divorce. The implications there are that when couples experience trials that they can’t control, they end up turning on one another. Reality is that people take marital vows very lightly now and as soon as things take a turn from better toward worse, they begin playing the blame game and end up abandoning ship. Divorce rates are up to around half of all marriages in our country. The divorce rate in America for first marriage is 41% … second marriage, 60% … third marriage, an astonishing 73%! My question is WHY are people getting to a third marriage? I do realize that divorce happens. There are some situations that can’t be worked through. There are some marriages that simply won’t work. Some people aren’t compatible. I get it. But once you’ve been married three times and still aren’t in a committed, lifelong relationship with your spouse, you need to start considering what is going wrong prior to the wedding.
The main thing is being honest with your partner and keep the lines of communication open. This helps build a healthy relationship. I know too many marriages where there is dishonesty and trust issues. I can never imagine that. I trust my husband and if something is bothering us we feel comfortable to share with the other. He truly is my [best friend] :-) ~ Tina Creaney Seitzinger: Life Without Pink
Back when marriage was more stable and divorce was not so common, people courted. Men pursued women, they asked them out on dates, worked for her parents’ approval. Women expected to be respected… they carried themselves respectably. Family was important and was an integral part of a marriage between two people — men asked for a woman’s father’s permission to wed his daughter and the proposal was a memorable thing. Girls appreciated their mothers’ advice and looked forward to being courted by a boy who matched her daddy’s example. Couples got married and then started having children. Things are completely out of order now. Everything moves faster. Sex isn’t a precious thing — physical intimacy isn’t considered a gift. Families are so broken, they’re rarely integral in relationships. Trust isn’t established. Nothing is sacred or special. Too many young people are creating families with marriage being an afterthought, if it’s ever an option at all. Too many adults are careless sexually, form relationships, and get married for casual reasons — or no real reason at all.
HUG for at least a minute every day. It puts you back in focus on each other, and a hug feels great! ~ Dawn Sandomeno: Party Blue Prints
What I read into my observations is that the age of strong, indescribable love has seemingly passed away… but that is not to say that it can’t be revived. Love is not human; the beat of its heart can begin over and over because it is the one thing that can never truly be destroyed within a person. It can lie dormant and it can be lost but it can never die. It doesn’t follow the laws of logic or convenience… it doesn’t adhere to preference or compatibility. Some would argue that love is nothing more than a chemical reaction within the brain. I would rebut that it is a bleeding need within the heart to be connected to another without regard to time, space, or attraction. The problem with even the deepest undying love is that once it rests within the heart and isn’t exercised through interactions, conversations, considerations, and resolutions then it’s largely forgotten and stops influencing emotional transactions between couples… but what I’ve seen continuously influence happenings in marriages are people outside the covenant. Giving anyone else the power or authority to assist you in marital decisions is dangerous and often detrimental.
My marriage is something that is constantly on my mind. Every time I take time to work in the evenings, clean, or even if I rest, I second guess how my time is spent and wonder if I should have spent that time with my husband. ~ Melanie Edwards: Modern Mami
Marriage can be rough. It’s definitely work, but it’s work that is worthwhile and the time you invest yields a higher return than anything else you could possibly devote personal resources to. It’s not easy merging two lives into one; trying to make every part of your existence compatible with every part of someone else’s existence… figuring out who you are in respect to who someone else is, learning how to respond to them and learning to adjust your expectations based on who they are in respect to who you are. It can be trying… and exhausting! But once you get the kinks worked out, you will be grateful that you overcame all of the things that you thought would completely wear you out with the whole concept of marriage because you will possess a love so strong that when you think about living a moment without the prospect of having the company of your spouse in the future, your eyes well up with tears.
My husband, Barry, and I went through almost three years of taking turns being distant and discontent, not wanting to communicate, not making any mutual attempts to reconnect with one another. Just being around each other for too long would cause us to argue. In spite of our emotional disconnect, we kept pushing forward together knowing there had to be something better than what we were sharing at that point. ~ Kat Robertson: iHeart7
The key is to constantly be aware of how healthy your marriage is and make sure that you are feeding and nourishing it daily. Consider right now if there may be something your marriage that is missing and start providing it… Consider right now if there could be something you aren’t doing and start doing it. Consider right now if there might possibly be a weak aspect to your marriage and begin to strengthen it. For most, it is COMMUNICATION. Consideration. Understanding. Once two people make a genuine commitment to get THOSE things under control, things naturally fall into the right places around them. Getting from the vows to a place in where there is a true sense of HAPPINESS, contentment, comfort, and security could take some time but when you ensure that you and your spouse are on the same page, you will experience a marriage that is lovingly blissful — unequivocally and without exception.
Every time my husband impresses me, or does something I appreciate, I show my gratitude. Just today it was a silly thing, like finding a good parking spot close to the store and I gave him a praise. But being appreciative, grateful and saying thank you for small things too is as important as being grateful for the big things. Plus men live for compliments :) ~ Katja Presnal: Skimbaco Lifestyle
My husband and I can spend a month together and just APPRECIATE each other’s presence and contact. We can be apart for a month and just APPRECIATE the conversation and anticipation. It took both of us reaching in and pulling out things that we hadn’t used before — getting deep, up close, and personal… and giving up on our inhibitions, not being apprehensive about anything in our relationship. While physical intimacy is a precious part of the gift of marriage, what I’m talking about is an emotional intimacy that sex simply cannot rival. It’s a connection that allows you to speak volumes with a glance, calm troubled waters with a touch, and revel in each moment without any regard for the next. These things do not develop without work, effort, and commitment. Some couples spend their entire marriages never truly being happy together. Work to make sure that isn’t you. Study your spouse incessantly and know their needs and desires. Create a mutual pact to make those things priority in your life, agreeing to each cheerfully and ungrudgingly give sacrificially of yourself in order to fulfill one another.
We always try to hug & kiss in front of the kids. My parents never did this, and I think it’s important :-) ~ Tina Creaney Seitzinger: Life Without Pink
I once heard someone to say that the best gift parents can give to their kids is to love each other, and I truly believe it. ~ Katja Presnal: Skimbaco Lifestyle
The example of marriage that a child experiences with his or her parents will determine a large part of the success of their marriage in the future. Over time, a contribution is made to the increase in the nation’s divorce rate by one very important mishap: Children see failing marriages and they believe marriages are destined to fail. They see their parents bicker, argue, and separate and they believe marriage isn’t something you work to save but rather that it is something you quickly abandon when things become unpleasant. It is a cycle that is unnecessary when so many marriages that are thrown away are salvageable and had potential to be very strong, healthy, GREAT marriages but never were given the chance. People simply walk away when it gets to be too much work and not enough fun… Why? Because they’ve made divorce an option and it never should have been.
When you sign an employment contract, you make a commitment. You agree to fulfill every requirement to ensure that your position is stable, that your responsibilities are handled appropriately and within the company’s policies and standards, that your ethics are intact as you operate with a consistent level of integrity and professionalism, and that your productivity proves to be lucrative for the people who reward/compensate you for occupying your role. Why is marriage generally not afforded those same efforts?
A marriage license is the most important document you will ever sign yet all too often, we don’t place as high regard to the requirements needed to fulfill the expectations that come with the responsibility of the roles of husband and wife. From this point forward, consider your marriage as you would your primary source of income. Wake up each morning and make a task list so that you don’t forget anything you need to do to ensure your marital stability that day. At the end of the week, create a report and analyze your performance. When you address your spouse, do so with the same integrity, honesty, and respect you would show your boss even if you were getting reamed over making a costly mistake. Make a habit of placing more importance on the success of your marriage which should be considered irreplaceable than on your current employer which could dispose of you at any moment.
RESOLVE TO STAY TOGETHER
Through our nearly 15 year relationship and 11 years of marriage, parenting five children, and struggling our way out of the poverty we experienced as teen parents three-times-over, my husband and I have seen some major storms. We’ve thought about and even threatened divorce several times. For the first few years, we had no idea how we would ever become a happily married couple and we honestly had no idea why we were still even making an attempt. What kept us together was God’s grace and one simple thing: commitment. We were committed to keeping our family together and were willing to do everything humanly possibly to make that happen. Sit down with your spouse and write down a list of things that will help you maintain focus on the goal of togetherness. Take a look at all of them individually. Discuss them. Then take a look at the general idea of the list as a whole and condense them into one memorable declaration.
Ours has always been: “We are going to do this and we are going to do it together.” The “this” in our statement applies to anything — everything. No matter what it is, we’re going to do it — we’re going to get through it, we’re going to overcome it, we’re going to conquer it, but no matter what we have to do, it will be done as a team and we will come out on the other side equal in responsibility and accountability for whatever happened along the way, without pointing fingers or placing blame. We will deal with whatever fallout occurs. Likewise, we will equally share in the credit for the good that comes as a result of our labor of togetherness. We will present ourselves to one another with no holds barred and only one rule of conduct: Mutual respect. What is your declaration?