After you say I do and he puts the ring on your finger, the reality of marriage kicks in. In fact, the honeymoon is the beginning of the rest of your life together. So, put on your shield and prepare for any challenges on your marriage journey.
Marriage is wonderful. Although, you have to put love, time and energy into making it work. Here are some of the things you can do for a long, happy and fulfilling one …
- Do the housework together
“What?” I hear you asking. Well, this way there won’t be any complaining about he didn’t wash up, she didn’t cook dinner or other household complaints. Take turns to cook and wash up. On the other hand, you do the cooking and he washes up. Also, clean the house as a team. If you both work, weekends are the perfect time to sort out the housework. Moreover, did you know that paying the bills together also makes your relationship stronger? Teamwork is the keyword for beautiful unity.
- Put on your trainers and go for walks together
According to research, walking together is great for your marriage. Use it as a time to catch up. Life is busy and work takes up most of your daytime. When you come home, there’s more work to do at home. So, it’s not always possible to catch up on stuff you need to share with each other. Nevertheless, taking leisurely walks is one of the best times to unload. It’s also a proven stress buster. Make use of this time to get anything that’s bothering you off your chest.
- Be quick to listen and slow to speak
One of the biggest marriage splitters is a lack of communication or misjudging communication. That’s because you hear, but that doesn’t mean you are listening. When you listen properly, you will understand what is being said. But, if you interrupt you’re likely to change the meaning of words with your (silent or spoken) opinions.
Try this exercise. Listen to him speak for five minutes without interrupting. Then you take turns to do the same. This will sharpen both your listening skills. And so, there won’t be much room for misunderstandings during conversations. A word of warning… a woman who does not listen and talk constantly will turn into a nagging wife. This is a man’s worst nightmare.
- Have regular date nights
Date nights shouldn’t stop just because you’re married. Do you remember how excited you were, when it was time to meet for a date? You went to the hairdressers, got your nails done, bought a new outfit and looked like a queen for your king. Now that you’re married, even more reason to keep doing that.
Date nights are simply ways for both of you to spend quality time together. Visit the places you went before you were married. Also, why not spontaneously book into a hotel for a romantic night of love. Recapture the magic of the past and keep the love fire flowing between you. It’s worth the effort.
- Treat your husband with love and respect
Love is an action word. Love is more than just feelings. If you base your marriage on feelings for him, those emotions will fade one day. On top of that, this will leave your marriage wide for problems to creep in. So, actively love to make your relationship grow stronger. The love quote mentioned below is a useful guide…
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4–8a
Although it’s taken from the Bible, it’s not a religious passage. Love is universal and these words are meaningful and practical. And true love naturally moves on to respect.
Lack of respect produces arguments, abuse, constant friction and more negativity in a marriage. Slowly but surely, it will kill your relationship.
Talk through your differences, together. Don’t roll your eyes or frown when he’s speaking. Swearing and shouting will not solve disagreements either. In addition, nursing anger and resentment in your marriage will support disrespect between you.
Don’t just respect him for what he does, but for who he is. Think back to the man you said, “I do” to before you got married.
Finally, it’s dangerous to become sloppy and let yourself go. Put energy into looking after yourself, including maintaining your figure and keeping your health in check. Stay fresh and beautiful for him. This will bring a smile to his lips when he sees you. And, he will always remember the woman he fell in love with. Surely, you enjoy hearing him say, “Wow! Babe, you’re looking gorgeous.”
To successfully bulletproof your marriage you’ll have to put in lots of effort and work. However, hard work always pays off, even in marriages. Add these to the list… a sense of humour, give each other space, forgive and forget, be true to one another, laugh together, never go to bed angry and share your problems.
Photo credit: Samantha Ong Photography