The marriage institution – Part 19
Married life is a daily commitment in servanthood, friendship, and lifetime loyalty to the family unit. Marriage is a refining process with no conditional clauses attached. It is risky yet rewarding in strength and growth, when we apply ourselves to the principles inherent in God, which can make life fulfilling. Whenever couples become oblivious of their individual growth process, they tend to exhibit insecurities, which can gradually evolve into irreconcilable differences or crisis in their marriage. Only people who are dead to their personal egos can birth thriving marriages. A growing marriage is like a well-watered garden, and each family has the singular responsibility to tender theirs and not compare with the “greener pasture” at someone’s garden. We’ll continue our discourse today on virtues we can embrace to strengthen our relationships in marriage:
Evolve your family’s sense of humor: Don’t become uptight or overly sensitive, making it impossible for your family members to playfully tease you, if you do something silly. If you are always a raw nerve, everyone may feel like they are walking on eggshells, which can turn even fun time into a chore. Learn to laugh off a joke with your family, allow them to feel free around you. No family member should be nervous or feel unsafe around the home.
Train yourself to be a listener: In communication, listening is a skill that all couples must cultivate in their marriage. More than often, people in communication generally listen to respond rather than understanding what is being said to inform their response. We must become skilful to master both verbal and non-verbal communications. Sometimes, your partner just want to be heard and comforted, so don’t go into crisis intervention mode. Listening can be a strong tool of understanding in your marriage.
Carve out individual quiet moments to unwind: Make it a point to decompress each evening. Avoid following your spouse around like a puppy as soon as they get home from outings, reminding them about things you need them to do, fix, or attend to. Your spouse understands that you just miss them, but they may feel bad telling you to excuse them for a while and allow them unwind. Be open and honest whenever you need some alone time, whether it’s 15 minutes or an hour, and vice versa. You’re not saying, “Don’t bother me,” you’re communicating clearly about an important need you have that both of you should respect.
Be financially literate and responsible: Money is one of the top marriage stressors, especially in these times. You both need the security of knowing that you are paying bills on time, and not making unnecessary purchases. It is possible to create a joint account for bills, but also agree to keep separate accounts for your own play money, and of course, make sure you are both saving, so you can contribute towards your shared future goals. Be financially honest with one another, without secret spending from your spouse.
Be sure to speak well of each other: If you vent to your friends and families about your challenges in marriage, they may not forgive your spouse, after you have forgiven and forgotten. It is betrayal to trash-talk your spouse to others. Your personal issues must stay personal, except in cases of abuse and violence in the marriage; otherwise you can create problems in your social and family circle that will only grow worse over time.
To Be Continued …
Ayo Daniels is a healthy family practitioner and will love to hear your questions, testimonies and attend to your counseling need: firstname.lastname@example.org.