Meeting the man or woman of your dreams and having a beautiful marriage is a blessing. Proverbs 18:22 talks about the goodness and favor a man receives when God gives him a wife. This scripture proves that getting married should bring happiness and joy to your life, but staying content in marriage is the most important thing.
Many marriages began fabulously but today are in crisis. The relationship was damaged somewhere along the line, and the couple has been trying to patch things up, but to no avail. This is one of the reasons why many people say marriage is hard, and many have vowed not to get married because of this seemingly gloomy feat.
You might be married to the right person but not enjoy the marriage, and you might marry at the right time and still not be content with your spouse. A content marriage is one in which you are genuinely pleased with whom you are married and in which you are satisfied with the way you and your spouse live every day of your lives. You are happily married when you realize that, and despite your imperfections, you are still genuinely and eternally grateful to be in each other’s life.
A happy marriage does not mean a perfect one, but it can feel magical in the eyes and minds of the couple. It is not because the marriage meets all societal standards but because the husband and wife have agreed to make it sustainable and thrive against all odds.
Here are five ways we can keep a happy marriage:
1. Communication is key
Communication is the foundation of any relationship.
The quality of communication between the couple will determine the overall integrity of the relationship. This is why it is advisable to have healthy communication.
Healthy communication is godly, kind, and always has a loving tone. When you have healthy communication with your spouse, they will always feel loved. Healthy communication also helps to neutralize any quarrels and arguments. It reflects in the tone and choice of words you use to tell your spouse you disapprove of their actions or bad attitudes, but not of who they are. Healthy communication is devoid of hate and aggression, no matter how hurt or angry you are.
Clear communication is also vital in keeping a happy marriage. Clear communication helps your spouse understand what you stand for and what you truly want. It is of utmost importance that you communicate your opinions or counter opinions to your spouse in a way they would clearly understand. Avoid speaking in parables during arguments or misunderstandings, and do not use words that will keep them guessing or misinterpreting your point.
If you are mad because your spouse did not take out the trash this morning as promised, then tell him you are not happy that he did not take out the trash this morning as he promised. Be specific in your complaint and avoid generalizing or making references to the past or other things that are completely unrelated to the current issue. This way, you two will have a healthy understanding of each other at all times.
2. Don’t have unrealistic expectations for your partner
This doesn’t mean you should lower your standards, allowing sin and abusive communication into your life. However, you will be disappointed if you always expect too much from people. The same applies to your romantic relationship; do not expect too much from your partner. You are not perfect, neither is your spouse, and you can’t always get it right.
Marriage is not as it seems when depicted in movies or novels, and things are always imperfect in the real world. Having unrealistic expectations from your partner will put too much pressure on them and ultimately put too much tension and stress on your marriage. Marriage is not about giving or getting one-hundred-percent perfection at all times, but it is about putting in your best effort and being content and appreciative of how things turn out because of that.
You should always think and make an effort to please your spouse as indicated in Proverbs 5:18-19. But do not get yourself too worked up about it, and neither should you expect your spouse to go beyond their threshold to please you. That is why many couples see marriage as too demanding, stressful, and boring. The more realistic your expectations are from your partner, the easier it is for you to appreciate their efforts and the happier your marriage will be.
The little things matter, but you will not notice them, much less appreciate them, when your expectations are too high. This will make your spouse feel unappreciated and eventually lose interest in even trying another time, so pay attention and enjoy the little things.
3. Be supportive of your spouse
You are supposed to be your spouse’s best friend. This position in their life is reserved strictly for you and you alone. As men, you should be the shoulder she can lean on, and wives should be the woman supporting their husband’s success.
Always support each other’s dreams and ambitions, even if you do not share the same passion. As long as it is a God-honoring goal that makes your spouse happy, you must be their cheerleader till they achieve success. If your spouse is happy, you will be too. It’s a win-win.
Also, support your spouse when going through a difficult phase or a transformation. You must always give them your support as it shows how much you love them and care about them. And as a Christian, it is also necessary to give your spouse spiritual support; pray for them, study the Bible with them, and encourage them with the Word of God when they are feeling down.
4. Learn to compromise
Quite frankly, marriage is all about compromise, and a lot of it.
If you cannot compromise with your spouse, you will always be at loggerheads and soon get fed up with each other. Compromise is never a sign of weakness. Rather, it is a sign of maturity and the determination to make the relationship work.
During arguments or discussions, remember that your spouse is a rational being and has his/her own opinions. Your partner’s opinion might not bode well with you all the time, but it wouldn’t hurt to let them have things their way once in a while. This way, if things do not turn out well, they would learn to listen and be more open to your thoughts next time.
5. Be spontaneous in your marriage
Now that you are married to the man or woman of your dreams, you have a very long journey ahead of you.
This is the person you will spend so many years with, both day and night. Things can get boring quickly between you two if you do not step up your game, and this is where spontaneity comes in. Try to be spontaneous in every aspect of your relationship. Spice things up in your love life and spiritual life. Live like the good old times when you started dating; go on dates, give your partner a surprise, and do other things that will rekindle the flame of love in your marriage.
Doing the same things over and over makes you so predictable. You must make time out of your busy schedules to think and plan surprise romantic events or trips with your spouse. Men, take the time to find out a particular piece of clothing or home decor item she constantly talks about and get it for her as a surprise gift. Ladies, something as simple as surprising your husband with a fresh pot of coffee before he heads off for a long workday can do wonders.
These gestures will keep your love stronger. It will sustain your relationship and make your marriage a happy one through the years. Marriage should be eventful, mutually progressive, and fun. A happy, content marriage does not happen by chance. You both have a role to play to make it happen.
Your marriage will certainly experience so many ups and downs, but in the end, its survival will be determined by how much commitment both of you put in to make things work.
Keeping a happy marriage requires mutual efforts. A husband must show as much commitment as the wife. This way, the two of them can achieve their goals, and their marriage will flourish.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Joshua Adam Nolette
Emmanuel Abimbola is a creative freelance writer, blogger, and web designer. He is a devout Christian with an uncompromising faith who hails from Ondo State in Nigeria, West Africa. As a lover of kids, Emmanuel runs a small elementary school in Arigidi, Nigeria.