HAVING been married for seven years now, I have had both positive and unpleasant experiences.
I have since learnt that sweetness is created by two individuals that want to make a great marriage.
Marriage is for the resilient, mentally mature, patient and strong people.
Today, some people regret being married, they have all the money they need, property and children, but it seems there is something that doesn’t work well.
This has brought nightmarish experiences.
I have been a learner for those seven years, as every day comes with lessons.
I have spoken to many people about this subject.
Some have told me that the green you see on the other side is maintained.
Some, have said, the other side may seem greener, but it might not be.
Most married people wish their marriages were like when they were still dating.
In marriages, days can go by without one person smiling at the other, yet they share the same bed.
This eventually leads to sourness, ruthlessness, rudeness and even divorce.
Let’s explore some seven points that could make your marriage a mini-paradise.
Your partner was never and will never be perfect
In the book, The Big You, I have clearly pointed out that “difference does not mean enmity, but diversity”.
Most people in marriage want the other partner to act and live up to their expectations, which in most cases does not work.
We all come in with our differences.
Leland Foster in his book, Growing together in the Family, says “success in marriage is much more than a matter of finding the right person; it is also a matter of being the right person”.
Remember, you have your peculiar ways of being happy and so does your partner, so allow and help them to leave up to that.
This other day, a man said: “I can’t face my wife sober, so I have to have a pint or two.”
Some people are so nagging, that you wish you could quit their presence.
Have you ever asked yourselves why some men or women would choose to knock off late from work and spend less time with their spouses?
Have you really asked yourself why most people would choose to waste their night away in a pub, club, church, etc?
They are so tired of their talkative, jealous, nagging spouses.
The backbone of a great marriage is not when you constantly want to contribute your words, but be willing to be listening to the other.
Hawkins and Smith (2006) expose us to levels of listening.
1) Attending: this is when a person gives another full and undivided attention.
You will notice that at times the husband is reading a newspaper and the wife is trying to express their thoughts; that is divided attention.
2) Accurate listening: a person should not only be fully attentive, but also be able to reflect back the content of what has been said.
At times, we get into marriages to become crooks.
For example, one could pretend to be nodding and listening, when in reality they have heard nothing.
3) Empathic listening: This level builds on the previous two levels.
Here, you don’t only listen to what has been said, but to feelings conveyed.
4) Generative empathic listening: This is the highest level of listening.
Here, the spouse is able to “play back the thoughts and feelings that are on the on the periphery”.
At this level, the spouse picks sense, feeling or thought that the other person might not be fully aware of.
Learn to say a hearty “thank you”
As a married man, how would you feel if your wife tells you that a colleague told her how well they are dressed and yet you did not?
Learn to appreciate your wife.
Don’t be hesitant to tell your spouse how important they are in your marriage and to your happiness.
Appreciate your wife’s beauty and tell her that you love her.
From experience, what men are looking for in a woman is someone that will make them feel superior.
Little things do matter
Pay close attention to little things.
At all times, show your partner that you are thinking of them.
Give them a call or send a text message.
Buy her flowers and surprise her with small things like chocolate.
Try it it works!
Your wife will feel like an angel.
Women are particular about their birthdays and anniversaries.
A year or so ago, my wife, just out of the blue, asked if I knew when her birthday was.
I was literally stuck and blank and I think I am not the only man to be in this situation.
That led me to know all important dates in our lives and that has added a dose of honey to the whole picture of our marriage.
Most married people are good at picking the bad things about their spouses.
They even go to an extent of reprimanding, criticising or calling them names.
This changes nothing, but makes the other partner more defensive and even offensive too.
Stop fault finding and try to measure your wife or husband with your own experience or expectations.
Courtesy brings warmth
A story is told of a church woman, who does her best when she received a clergy entourage at her home.
She knelt down when handing food to the pastor, washed their hands with warm water and gave them a towel.
However, to her husband, she was a different person all together, all those niceties were not done and he began to resent the sight of pastors at his home.
Wives, learn to be courteous to your husbands, as you would be to strangers.
Shun rudeness, insults and hurtful words.
Stop being demanding, most men just love peace and love at home.
To every man, if you start barking to your wives and children, you become a monster to them instead of being a great father and husband.
One young lady told me that when her father arrived home from work in the evening, all children stop watching TV and they retire to bed.
Sex is the chocolate coating to the whole marriage institute
Sex is the greatest thrill that God created for married people.
Depriving your partner of it can eventually lead your spouse hunting it from elsewhere.
Learn how best you could satisfy your partner.
Parting Point: Don’t leave everything to chance
Don’t leave your marriage to chance by thinking that everything will work automatically, but make an intentional effort to make it work.
Never undervalue the significance of small things or actions.
The so-called “small trivialities” are at the bottom of most marital unhappiness.
Work on it now.