We have all heard how it’s not easy to maintain a good marriage, how it takes a large level of effort and how both individuals have to work at it. It’s sad that what you most often hear about marriage are the difficulties that seem to plague many of these sacred bonds. Admittedly, there are some intricacies associated with maintaining a marriage, but it is really all about remembering the relationship qualities that lead us to marriage in the first place. It seems that we merely need to ask ourselves “why and how did we fall in love?”
It is certainly true that our relationships change as the years pass by, as we experience a variety career pressures, take-on a mortgage, raise children and cope with other life stressors. However, these things do not have to negatively affect the fundamental bases of our relationship; those characteristics that made our relationship strong in the first place. If we are not cognizant of these, we can become one of those couples working too hard to maintain a marriage because we forgot about its history. Among these married people, it seems that there are some simple principles that are commonly lost on couples who have been in a relationship for any extended period.
Most notably, married individuals seem to become more of individuals over time. We forget that marriage is about two people sharing a common bond. A marriage is about unity; about two becoming one. It is integral that we, as partners, eliminate selfishness from our existence and make every decision with the consideration of our partner. Here, we can recall those date nights that we compromised when choosing a restaurant or finding entertainment that we would both enjoy.
Similarly, there are too many couples whose selfishness and individuality have completely severed our communication. A number of us can reminisce about the days when we and our partner stayed up all night just talking; talking about nothing in particular. But, as the years pass on, it seems that we have forgotten not only the intimacy that such conversation can bring, but we also neglect the practicality of communication. As a couple, we must remember that we always have something to say.
Finally, we forget about those little nuances that we found so unique and attractive in our partner and start pointing-out every oddity and mistake. The tendency to “err is human”. We all know this. Yet, we start holding our partner to some unreachable standard and eliminate the opportunity to give and receive happiness. We take our partner’s mistakes personally, rather than recognizing that no human being is perfect. We need to love our partner for all of those little character flaws that attracted us to them in the first place and to forgive them when they make a mistake. Even if they make a thousand mistakes!
To maintain a positive and enjoyable marital relationship, we must not forget where the marriage originated. It came out of an atmosphere of love and acceptance and of a genuine interest in one another. Considering our partner distinctive and one-of-a-kind, rather than looking upon them as faulted, is of great importance to our relationship stability. Most importantly, we must not forget the vows we took on our wedding day, which are irrevocable and everlasting promises made before God.