Remember when you first met your spouse?
It may have been one of those fairy-tale moments.
Everything around you faded into the background and the only thing that existed was them. You mustered up the courage to introduce yourself and your relationship was born.
Or it may have been a friendship that eventually transitioned into a romance.
Regardless how it began, married life is different than dating.
And nothing can really prepare you for marriage, but marriage.
Marriage may be the most difficult thing in your life – it can also be the best thing in your life – likely both.
I’ll let you in on a secret – I believe it’s designed that way!
I believe marriage is designed to grow us up into better humans. Marriage is not about being happy, it’s about growing.
With this in mind, here’s a few simple points to consider that can make your marriage better, regardless how it began.
- Chemistry – There must be some sort of connection between the two people. Similar interests, goals, dreams, etc. While this is not a necessity, it does provide a foundation for many things in marriage, such as travel, vacations, hobbies and outside commitments both separately and together. Take heart and know that if you didn’t have chemistry, the relationship will be short lived – so those of you who think you now have nothing in common with your spouse after many years of marriage, look again because it’s probably there.
- Comedy – Humor is an outstanding reparative aspect for marriage, as well as a great connector. Having the ability to laugh with your spouse, whether this laughter is at something external or about yourself and your relationship, laughter really is good medicine.
- Communication – Here’s another little secret for marriage, communication occurs all the time. In fact, you can not not communicate (I realize English majors may cringe at the double negative, but the point is important). Everything you say and don’t say communicates something. Everything you do or don’t do says something as well. Communication problems in marriage don’t occur because you can’t communicate, they happen because you don’t like the message! In order to master this area of marriage shift your focus to learning how to handle the message.
- Commitment – A key ingredient to any marriage is commitment. Without it, it falls apart. Incidentally, want to know the secret to a lasting marriage? Two people who choose to stay married. That’s it. Make the choice to stick out through the rough spots. I once heard a guy say “My marriage isn’t worth fighting for.” The response I heard from his friend in return “That’s because you haven’t fought for it. Something’s only worth fighting for after you’ve fought for it.” Truer words are rarely spoken.
- Cycles of relationships – There are natural rhythms in every relationship. The simple fact is we as people ebb and flow – and we seldom do this in synchrony with those close to us, yet we seem to believe we should. Did you realize that the most synchronous human relationship, between mother and infant, is only in synchrony 1/3 of the time? Cut both of you some slack when things just seem “off” between you. Take the time to work on your contribution to the relationship rather than worrying about your partner’s contribution.
- Celestial connections – For myself this point speaks about God, but it applies to other spiritual aspects as well. I think most people believe there is a spiritual nature around us – an interconnectedness. Ignoring this idea in relationships can lead to missing out on a lot more in marriage. This connection often leads to serving one another and generally being kind to those around you.
When you increase your awareness of the “C’s” in marriage, you increase the potential of your relationship – both for you and your spouse.