After a hectic schedule of planning for the wedding, you will soon find out that living happily ever after isn’t quite as easy as expected. The guests have said their goodbyes, the decors and flowers are taken down, the chairs are packed up and you can’t believe how much you spent on your wedding as all that is left is the pictures. Getting married happens in a day or several days (if your wedding was celebrated in New York, London, and Lagos) but staying married will be for a lifetime.
Where did all that excitement and energy go, how did your marriage become such a humdrum overnight with nothing to look forward to?
Just because you live under the same roof for so many years doesn’t mean you are happily married.
Being married is an active verb and this includes doing all the things married people should do. Why did you get married? For companionship. So why do you live separate lives with no common interests? Many marriages are in trouble because there are two people with divergent expectations and outlooks on life unwilling to work together to make the relationship work. Selfishness, and not sacrifice seems to be the order of the day, so even though they are roof mates, the are no longer soulmates.
Many divorces happen much later in life when the kids are off to college when both mom and dad are retired. With not much to do, the couple becomes irritable and opt out to leave and even when they decide to stay on, they may not be happy. An absence of a divorce isn’t a confirmation that you are having a happy marriage.
To stay married:
Stay connected – physically (spend quality time together under the sheets and outdoors), spiritually (pray to God together) emotionally (admire, affirm, celebrate and encourage each other). A couple who stays connected will stay married.
Celebrate each other – don’t wait till it’s your twenty-fifth wedding anniversary before you have a party, every year together is an opportunity to renew your vows and celebrate. Don’t forget each other’s birthdays, plan a weekend away, eat out or see a movie every weekend. Learn a sport or craft together. Quality time together is a great investment in your relationship.
Forgive – each other. No one is perfect and we need to be able to give and receive forgiveness. Forgiveness isn’t given because the other person deserves it but because the wheels of your relationship need to keep moving. When you stop forgiving, you end up angry, bitter and resentful which may impact your health.
Don’t Stop Loving Your Spouse – don’t take each other for granted, love is a sacrifice. You’ll need much more than the ‘butterflies’ in your stomach to stay married. Love is a decision, not a feeling.
Staying married is not a feeling, it’s a decision. Always look out for the best interest of your spouse and explore all opportunities to add value to the other person.
Get Help – we live in a society where talking about your marriage problems is a taboo. Don’t suffer and endure in silence. Your marriage is either working or it’s not. Don’t be too proud or ashamed to get professional help. Even if your marriage is ok today, there’s always room for improvement, you can take your marriage from ‘good’ to ‘great’.