Ask Dr Maymunah: Tips On Building A Strong Relationship
Hello Dr Maymunah,
I recently got married to a wonderful man. He’s very sweet, loving and really cares for me. I don’t want this feeling to go away. I’m willing to do anything to make this relationship and marriage last forever. I’ve seen couples who are still in love even at old age; I wish that could happen to us and to have a happy marriage. I don’t want our love life to die. Please doctor, what are some habits we should cultivate as a couple to help strengthen our relationship?
– Sandra, Lagos.
Good day, Sandra. Congratulations and I wish you a really happy home. One thing I must let you know is that, as you work towards your desire to make your marriage happy, your happiness matters most and a happy marriage can only make you happier.
The following tips will help you to build a strong and lasting relationship.
One good habit you have to cultivate as a married couple is how to be a good listener. Listening helps you make better decisions because you have heard, seen and felt what your partner is going through. Do know that the goal is to resolve issues wisely, not a competition on who is better than the other.
Another good habit both of you have to cultivate is the ability to act out your feelings, not just saying and not meaning them. Talk is cheap. It’s okay to say, ‘I love you’ every second of the day. Ask yourself, can I cope with this for the next 20-50 years? What you really want is to feel that he cares and loves you just the way you will reciprocate. For example, going to bed together doesn’t necessarily mean having sex every night. Resist the temptation of going to bed at different times. There is nothing as important as a bedtime cuddle. This is very healthy for every relationship.
Though this depends on the severity of disagreement, it is important to trust and forgive your partner. Talk things over before you retire to bed for the day. Distrust and inability to forgive kills a relationship faster than cancer. A relationship built on trust has been shown to lead to healthier and happier people.
It is important for you two to have an activity that you both enjoy. If there is none at the present, you have to develop one. This is because the passion you have now may not always be there, so you need to make sure there’s some substance behind your relationship. This is a very good habit to cultivate.
Being positive and focusing on the things he does right is very vital to any relationship. Positive reinforcement is an age-old concept, so always compliment one another when one of you does something right. Try not to look for what went wrong; always look for positive things.
Calling your partner or sending a text message to know how his/her day is going is very important. It also helps you to adjust your expectations. Knowing that he/she had a bad day will help you know how to deal with him/her after work.
In summary, for any relationship to thrive we must consciously, deliberately and continually strive to make it work. You are a couple and are unique in your ways. The marriage is to see the imperfections in both of you and make it perfect.