7 Marriage Tips
Seven secrets, just seven, not ten, just seven of the best all time marriage secrets. Ask couples who have been married for a long time, what are their top three secrets and they will find it hard to a. keep it to three or b. get to three. Yet, after asking several couples to share their secrets and then analyzing the results of all the couples definite patterns emerge. Here are the top seven secrets:
#1. Be Quick To Forgive
Don’t keep Score. Each person carries a load and they are equally as heavy.
#2. Be Friends Before Lovers
Do love your mate above all others and love him or her for who they are. Don’t expect that you will change the other person.
#3. Be Flexible
Understand and adapt to each other’s changes. You will change as you grow; both together and in some respects apart. Keep what drew you to each other at the core of your relationship, but maintain flexibility to allow for the inevitable changes.
#4. Be Selfless
Remember it’s not what you can get from your spouse, rather what you can give to your spouse. Maintain both separate and joint interests – support each other’s individual interests. Treat each other like a precious gift. Here more than anywhere the Golden Rule applies.
#5. Be Respectful
Disagreement and conflict will occur, pick your battles, know when to compromise and have a method to resolve your conflicts that does not involve dredging up the past or accusations.
Be sure to allow each person to voice their opinion in a non-threatening way – and give each other the opportunity to truly understand how each feels and why. For example, hold hands while discussing something difficult, be face to face when discussing, sit down across from each other.
#6. Be Fun
Laugh often and a LOT. Make time to share good times and to make your relationship a priority.
#7. Above All – Be Honest!
There are times when you should hold your tongue, realize not everything needs to be said, just be honest and true when you share.
Male Love Vs. Female Love
It is also very important to understand the basics of male and female love. Most people entering into marriage do so because they are in love, but few truly understand how men and women love – it is very different. This can be one of the most difficult elements of understanding the metamorphosis in relationships.
When people first meet and fall in love with each other, it is because of their similarities or common threads. And of course there is attraction which can be very powerful. As a relationship matures, the differences become exposed.
Unless you have lived in a cave you have probably heard the cliché “Love is blind”. Time has a way of removing the blindfold in a relationship. Once this happens, it is extremely important to understand the nature of long term relationships through the male and female ‘lens’.
Emerson Eggerich describes this best in his best-selling book: Love & Respect. Men feel loved through the expression of respect, whereas women feel loved when there is an emotional connection. Eggerich puts it simply: “…without love she reacts without respect, and without respect he reacts without love….”
In the beginning, both men and women feel an emotional connection, the euphoria of attraction and love. He may bring her flowers, she may make his favorite dish – either way they are speaking a common language. Once the euphoric feelings begin to fade and the companionship phase begins, the common language is lost and is replaced by the individual’s own love language.
There are many popular books and teachings on this topic, but probably the best explanation is that of Dr. Gary Chapman. This line of teaching supports that there are differences in the way men love (respect) versus women (emotional connection).
In addition, each person has a love language whereby they will feel more loved by certain acts or behaviors than by others. These love languages align to 5 basics: Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, and Quality Time.
Marriage relationships are complex. To stand the test of time marriage requires patience, honesty, respect, and most of all understanding. To truly be successful in a long term relationship, as with most success, it requires work.
The longest standing happy marriages, and couples in them, stay strong because they take the time to figure out that love is the catalyst that brings them together, but staying together requires more than just love.