What did you envision marriage to be like before you said, “I do”? I recall expecting my marriage to be a day of bliss for the rest of my life here on Earth. However, after thirty years of marriage, my reality differs from my original expectations. Don’t get me wrong, marriage CAN have blissful days, but there will be those days that you may not feel joyful. That is O.K. because your marriage will have ups and downs. The key point here is that it is normal not to feel content in your relationship every day, but as long as you have more positive experiences in your marriage, it will be long-lasting.
From my personal and professional experiences, I have concluded that it is healthy for relationships to endure challenging roadblocks but using effective communication and willingness to compromise, your marriage will survive. Just think about this for a second…you finally get the job of your dreams and cannot wait for the opportunity to grow with the organization and maybe one day become CEO. Then it happens, you begin to dislike your supervisor and find faults with your co-workers. You reflect and think about what you got yourself into and want to quit. However, because you have bills to pay, you decide to stick it out and work through the issues with those around you. Finally, you find joy in your job and cannot wait for future opportunities and are happy that you did not give up when things got rough. That’s just like marriage! If you are willing to stick out the difficult times, there will be many years of joy that you envisioned on your wedding day. They can come back and here’s how:
Ø Pray these words: “God, please help me be the spouse my husband/wife needs me to be
Ø Praise your spouse on things you see him/her doing
Ø Use words of appreciation
Ø Express your love verbally (I Love You) and non-verbally (physical touch)
Ø Spend quality time together without the kids…weekly date nights, vacations, weekend getaways etc.
Ø No Occasion Surprise: flowers or bake a cake that says “I Love You”
Ø Caring behaviors such as doing a chore that your spouse normally does
The above are just some examples to keep your marriage solid. Keep in mind that marriage is like a garden…if you pay attention to your plants/flowers, they will look healthy and bring you joy. Nurture your marriage as you do for your children by paying attention to your partner and making him/her feel important. Get through those difficult days by praying together and asking God for His guidance. Your marriage can be as solid as a rock with no chance of anyone or anything breaking it apart!