Making Marriage Work

Weddings Shut One Door and Open Another – Learning to Live Together

A couple’s engagement period is filled with excitement and anticipation. It is as if one has received the promise of something greatly desired, but must wait anxiously before it is delivered. This time can be characterized by the absence of a critical spirit creating an experience of pure delight.

Once the wedding ceremony comes and goes the honeymoon phase eventually passes, and different feelings may arise. Emotions are no longer standing still; reality is setting in, and the perfect mate might not seem quite so ideal. Unreasonable expectations, denial, and feelings of love can get in the way when it comes to making logical decisions. After the wedding, it is essential to deal with changing perceptions as things become more and more real. We all have our little quirks that others need to accept.

Learning to Live Together

Learning to live together can be challenging, but obviously, it should be your highest priority. The first requirement is to build a union that will benefit both parties. Men and women have differences with clashing desires, but these differences can add excitement to the relationship as long as both people are committed to a lifetime together. Compromise plays a major role in getting past petty decisions and selfishness. Decisions must be made on what is the best option for both parties, not the selfish or narrow-minded desire of either person. Compromise can take a bit of practice; you have to be ready and willing to view the situation from your mate’s point of view. Compromise isn’t a personal contest about winning your partner over to your way of thinking.

Relationships will fail without respect. No one can suddenly change their personality at will just to please their partner and why should they? Each person must be proud of the other and themselves. Too often once people get married, they stop exerting themselves and get soft mentally, physically and spiritually. Marriage is not an invitation to become lazy.

Over time you might notice mannerisms that annoy you. Chances are they have been there all the time and are part of the individuality of the person you fell in love with but now that lingering drawl, slight uncouthness at the table, gesture of timidity or swagger bothers you. Maturity brings recognition of human imperfections, and now that you see one another more clearly, you should be able also to see more of their good points. As you accept your partner for who they are, you become less self-centered and more helpful to them.

In a successful marriage, you can’t hold on to the present or seek to bring back the past. Each moment is new and good in itself. The present is useful only as a stepping stone to the future. Love and the expression of love should change as you both grow and mature. Marriage is a long-term proposition, and there must be a willingness to nurture your life together. Look at every challenge and obstacle as an opportunity to strengthen your marriage. If husband and wife accept maturing responsibilities, their marriage relationship will keep pace with their development and becomes more satisfying. A mature couple will not look to the past with longing; instead, they will view it as a phase that has led to their success. The difference between success and failure is the hairline difference between caring and ceasing to care for one’s investment.