Making Marriage Work: 8 Things You Can Do To Have an Enjoyable Marriage
Making Marriage Work
Yaw and Ama met and fell in love twenty years ago. They started dating, and ended up marrying each other. Many years down the line, their marriage is very strong, they are happy with each other, and feel things will only get better with time.
Making a marriage work, so that it will be like the one described above, takes a lot of effort and determination. What are some of the keys to making your marriage work, so that you will find fulfillment in it?
The Husband Must Be Considerate
Some husbands seem to enjoy making life hard and miserable for their wives. They become a dictator who barks out orders and expects his wife to come running to him whenever he calls. Women need to feel loved, needed, respected, and important to their husbands. As a husband, you must be sensitive, understanding, and considerate, for these things contribute to making a marriage work.
A husband should not take his license as a leader in the home to become rude to his wife. He should also not act as a selfish dictator. You should be loving in the way you treat your wife. Love her as if she were your own body. Do not be harsh with her. After all, the woman who is now your wife took your name; she left the love and security of her home to come and live with you; she pledged to share the joys and sorrows of life together with you. If you treat her harshly, you are being cruel to her.
One way you can show consideration for her is to respond to her requests with joy. Do not respond to her requests with cold indifference. Do not answer her with sarcasm in your voice. Answer her honestly. This is one way of making your marriage work.
The husband is to honor and respect his wife. Seek to understand your wife. Make conscious efforts to avoid doing the things that disturb her. Hear the concerns of your wife. Listen to her advice. Consider her feelings. When she cooks a meal and you like it, express appreciation. When she dresses and looks pretty, compliment her for looking beautiful. When you are happy with the way she is bringing your children up, tell her you appreciate it. Thank her for the way she plays hostess to your friends who visit you.
The Wife Must Respect Her Husband
The wife should form a partnership with her husband. Plan things together with your husband. Discuss matters of concern with him. This will show him that you respect him, you regard his opinions, and it will give him honor as the head of the house. He will be esteemed.
Admire your husband exceedingly. Let him know that to you, he is the greatest man in the world. You can say something like, “Honey, I think that you are the sweetest ‘honey’ in the world. You are an absolutely great man because of the hard work you put in to take care of our needs, and the support you give me in caring for the children. I am so proud to be your wife.” Admiring your husband by saying nice things to him will contribute to making your marriage work.
Carefully try to avoid saying things that will hurt his pride. Do not use sarcasm, bitterness, and verbal attacks when you are communicating with him. Remember that nothing breaks the spirit of a man more than a nagging wife. Try to curb that habit.
Instead of nagging:
- Put a love-note in your husband’s coat pocket or his lunch bag, even when you are not happy with him. It will tell him you want to reconcile.
- Leave a love messages on his laptop, or send him text messages of love during lunch break.
- Kiss and hug him when he is going for work. Follow it up with a squeeze of his hand to show you care. Then tell him you will miss him for the period that you will both be at work, and say you hope to see him again in the evening. Take a moment, look at him, and then smile. Do not forget that some couples have parted in the morning, and never seen each other again in this life. Therefore make each parting a special moment that your spouse will not forget.
- Smile at him when he returns from work. Encourage him to tell you what happened at work, and share his worries and concerns. Thank God together with him that he has returned safely. Make the homecoming too a special moment.
- Create something funny out of the things that annoy you. Turn it into a joke and make both of you laugh.
This strengthens the marriage bond and increases the chances of making a marriage work.
There is no way of making marriage work without love. Marriage is a precious relationship that needs much tender, self-sacrificing care. A wife needs to be told by her husband that he loves her. Therefore the husband should tell his wife that he loves her. Say it once every day of the week. It will make her positively predisposed to you, make her want to also make you happy, which will in the end strengthen the marriage bond and make you happy with each other.
In addition to telling your wife that you love her with words, also say it in other ways. You can:
- Say it with flowers. Give her a gift of flowers, say every weekend or at the end of every month, to show that you love her.
- Remember her birthday and do something special for her that day. You might decide to cook the evening meal that day after work, or spend that night in a hotel, just to experience something different for once.
- You can also say it with a squeeze of her hand or a squeeze of her buttocks. That shows intimacy.
- Go along with her to buy some groceries. If you live in a country where there are open markets, go along with her to the market. Hold the basket as she buys the goods, carry it lovingly to the house to save her the trouble of carrying that load, and converse with her as she cooks the meal in the kitchen. Do not leave her to cook alone in the kitchen whilst you go off to watch Chelsea versus Barcelona! Keep her company.
- Take her out for a meal at a restaurant sometimes, especially on the days when you see she is very tired, so that she will be free from the chores of cooking the food and cleaning up the dishes.
To show selfless love, you may have to make extreme sacrifices that may cost you. You have to show selflessness, though, if you want to enjoy your husband or wife. You should not forget that only by death comes life. A grain of wheat, for example, is ineffective and unfruitful so long as it is preserved, as it were, in safety and security. It is when it is thrown into the ground, and buried there, as if it is in the grave of a dead person, that it bears fruit.
In just the same way, it is by the death of your selfishness that your love for your spouse will grow. When you show a selfless attitude you re-invigorate the love in the marriage and make it a living love. A living love will keep you attached to each other, make you continue to care for each other, making love last and helping the marriage to work.
It is a fact of life that because some men have been prepared to die is what has made some great things to live. It is sometimes only when a man buries his personal aims and ambitions that he begins to be of real use to his fellow man.
In much the same way, it is when a wife or a husband is prepared to kill some bad attitudes or bad habits in their lives that their marriage has a greater chance of working.
It is only by spending life that you retain life. The man who loves his life is moved by two aims. He is moved by selfishness and he is moved by the desire for security. His own advancement and his own safety are two things which are the driving force of his life. If you hoard life by being selfish, you will lose it in the end in the sense that you will not make your spouse happy; a discontented spouse is prone to seek that happiness outside the marriage, and the marriage can break down, and not work.
Forget about your personal safety. Forget about your security. Forget about selfish gain and selfish advancement if you want your marriage to work. Show selflessness love and your marriage will become a happy and living marriage.
Eschewing selfishness is one of the ways of making marriage work.
Serve Your Spouse
It is only by service that greatness comes. The people whom the world remembers with love are the people who serve others. The spouse who will be remembered by his partner and whose partner will be prepared to make happy is the spouse who serves.
It is all too true that in this modern world the idea of service is in danger of getting lost. There are so many people who are in marriage for nothing else than for what they can get out of it. They may well get what they want at the expense of their spouse, but one thing is certain—they will never be loved, and love is the true wealth of life.
If you enter your marriage with the attitude that you are going to make the most out of the relationship without putting anything into the relationship, if your mentality is that it is your spouse who should serve you because you feel so important, you will not experience true love because a physically and mentally drained spouse will find it difficult to love a spouse who does not contribute enough to the marriage.
So focus on what you can put into the marriage to make the marriage work and you are more likely to be happy.
Serving your spouse involves:
- Doing the household chores diligently.
- Taking good care of him or her when they fall sick.
- Praying for the spiritual well-being of your spouse.
- Satisfying him or her in the bedroom.
- Cheering him or her up when they are down.
- Playing your role well as a husband or wife.
- Fulfilling the promises you make to your spouse.
- Being so committed to the relationship that you are prepared to make peace when there is a conflict.
Be An Excellent Spouse
Often when we plan for marriage, all our focus is on an excellent husband or wife who would meet all our needs. But equally important is the fact that you must also develop the qualities to be an excellent husband or wife because it takes two people to make a marriage work.
Marriage, at the start, can be seen as an empty box. You must put something into it before you can take something out. There is no love in marriage; the love is in you, and you must put it into the marriage. There is no romance in marriage; the romance is in you and you have to infuse it into your marriage. Making a marriage work requires that YOU put something which is not there into the relationship.
Being an excellent spouse means you find out the things that your spouse likes, and you identify the things that your spouse does not like. Then for the rest of your marriage, you make it your goal to do the things your spouse likes so that he or she will be pleased, and you deliberately avoid doing the things that your spouse hates so that he or she will be happy.
Show a Meek Spirit
Making a marriage work involves showing a meek spirit, a quiet and gentle spirit. You must be ready to submit to your spouse so that there can be peace in the relationship.
Showing a meek spirit speaks of showing a submissive and teachable spirit. The meek person is one who is ready to listen and to learn. It is a tenderness of spirit that enables you to discipline others properly, to endure irritations and inconveniences graciously without becoming irritated and angry, and to talk to others with sensitivity.
Meekness is the quality that makes one submissive rather than arrogant and haughty and rebellious. The meek spouse has such a humble view of his own capabilities that he is ready to listen to his better- half, and put pride aside, with the ultimate aim of making the marriage work.
So, if you come from a home where you were taught that a man should not do household chores and your wife asks you politely to help her with the household chores because she is finding it difficult to combine that with her work, you should be ready to listen so that you can lessen her burden. You should be prepared to learn what you do not know, so that you can help your wife.
If your husband is not happy with your lovemaking skills and wants to teach you new skills so that your romance life will be enhanced, do not get angry as a wife and tell him that he has disgraced you because he thinks you are not good in bed. Humbly co-operate with him so that you can both enjoy your romance.
Showing a meek spirit is one of the principles you must apply to your marriage if you want to make it work.
Self-control on your part can help in making your marriage work. It is the quality that leads you to master your evil inclination to insult your spouse when he makes you angry, or to refrain from throwing your hand when your wife annoys you.
The self-controlled person says “No” to anything that would dim his vision of the family, and distract him from achieving the purposes he has for the family as a whole, or which will take away his desire to make his mate happy. The self-controlled husband or wife will refuse to get involved with another person’s spouse and have an affair, so that he or she can concentrate on his or her spouse and work at making the marriage work.
Self-control is not an easy thing to do. It is never easy because personal discipline runs contrary to human nature. But discipline can be achieved when you decide to submit to God and allow Him, through His Holy Spirit, to lead you.
Seek to live each day under God’s control, and the best way to do that is to become more and more familiar with His message in the Bible. As you learn to love God, He will teach you how to control yourself, especially when you are very angry with your spouse for hurting you, and that self-control will go a long way to prevent nasty fights, ultimately making your marriage work.
Faithfulness is the quality of reliability and trustworthiness which makes a person’s word become his bond. Faithfulness speaks of loyalty, dependability, and stability. You must learn to keep your promises. When you say “Yes” you must mean “Yes.” When you say “I will spend time with you this weekend” try to squeeze out some other commitments during the week so that you can make time for your spouse. . Faithful spouses are conscientious about performing the duties that are assigned to them. They stand by the commitments they make.
When you are faithful, it means you are showing commitment to the relationship, and this creates a conducive atmosphere at home which will make the two of you happy, making your marriage work. It is not unusual for someone to promise to do an important task for you, but then never follow through with it. A faithful spouse will take seriously what he or she tells his or her spouse that they will do for them.
Be careful to follow through with your promises and there will be peace in the home.
These are some of the guidelines for making a marriage work. If you persevere in using these guidelines, you will see an improvement in the marriage relationship, and like Yaw and Ama, enjoy your marriage.