8 tips to keep your marriage intact for life
Modern marriage is under attack. However, there are people who believe in a happy marriage. And indeed, marriage can still work in the 21st Century amid all the threats from pornography, promiscuity, pervasions, and other marriage deal-breakers.
Here are keys to building a break-proof marriage:
Build a genuine friendship with your mate
Marriage is a journey that starts even before two people decide to get married. Courtship is an important stage in that journey. It is the time you get to learn about your partner, and how to handle them.
While many people believe they should lie to their mates in order to win their acceptance, honesty is key as there is no one perfect person. You need to lay bare your imperfections, fears, failures, and weaknesses in order to build a level of tolerance that is only found among friends. Yes, you need to make your partner your friend first before making them your spouse. When you get married, it is that friendship that will keep the bond alive.
Friends take care of each other, they look out for each other, don’t shout, insult, abuse, or even lie to each other. Friends protect. This is what you will be aiming at when you invest your time in building friendship with your future mate.
Develop joint interests
Are you looking for a baby minting machine, sex toy, or business partner? What will happen when she is not producing children, giving sex, or helping you run the business? There will be many empty days if she will be watching ‘Maria’ while you are out drinking with your single friends.
The recent Covid lockdown has taught us that home is our happy place; a place of comfort. Yes, you need to be in good talking terms with the people living with you. If you are the kind of person who escapes to the bar on Friday night only to re-surface on Monday morning, then get someone who loves her drink. Otherwise, you will end up the only stranger in your home, miserable.
As you court, it is important to balance between your hobbies and don’t pretend to love what he or she loves simply because you fear being abandoned. If she loves reading, find out if you can fit in her schedule. If he loves movies or soccer matches, find a way to join him.
In addition, it is good to find things that you can do together even if it means learning a new skill – go swimming, take a walk together in the evening, take a salsa class, go to the gym together, do a road trip on weekends, prepare a meal together every weekend, clean the house together or just go for a hike outside town. Most importantly, create time to be together.
Stay away from the cheat
Marriage without sexual intimacy is dead, but don’t be fooled. A cheat will always be looking for new people to satisfy their curiosity. Many people in the modern world are addicted to sex.
Promiscuity is among the hardest habits to change, and betrayal by your partner can completely mess you up. If he walks like a cheat, talks like a cheat, dresses like a cheat, eats like a cheat, looks like a cheat then he is a cheat. Moving on with a cheat is a setup for heartbreak. Escape when you still can.
The good book says that we should not be unequally yoked. This does not just apply to the spiritual aspect of marriage. Yes, a believer who marries a non-believer will face many challenges. The same applies to social, academic, financial, and sexual fronts.
Someone who is used to watching porn and picking up hookers has specific expectations that a church girl may not meet. A Ph.D. holder who marries a class 5 dropout may never be able to show her enough love. She will always feel left out in conversations and may not have the capacity to interact with his friends.
Find someone who is at your level spiritually, socially, academically, financially, and sexually.
Get mutual friends who have similar values
While it is important to keep your friends, you will have to drop some of your old friends if your marriage is to thrive. Friends who do not respect your spouse, sexually pervasive, and anti-marriage friends will not help you. They will be telling you why you need to come out of that marriage, gossiping your spouse and in the end, you will become a toxic partner.
It is good to join groups of similar-minded people who are working towards the same goal and grow together. When you get married, you will need social support and these are the people who will come through for you since they do not favour one and despise the other.
Get friends who are happy for both of you you and can give you solid advice, instead of your old single friends who will mislead you to do silly things that married people should never do.
Avoid the little foxes
Are you nurturing habits that will come back to tear your marriage into pieces? Selfishness, toxic arguments, flirting, old flames, lust, greed, and competition are not healthy for a rich marriage. Remember it is you against the world, not you against each other. Drop habits that unnecessarily pit you against each other.
Do not ignore the red flags
While it is important to work on yourself to be that worthy partner, you cannot control what your significant other thinks about marriage. if he thinks a wife is a slave, a chef, a babysitter, the community maid who should not work or engage in gainful work, there is nothing much you can do about it.
Take note of disrespect, cheating, anger, malice, toxicity, laziness, and other bad habits that they may have. The differences that brought you together now are the same that will break you apart later. In marriage, people rarely change unless they set out to; everything you see is to get amplified in marriage, so do not ignore any red flag.
Start preparing early
People say that marriage is the only place where you get a certificate before the exam, but did you know that you can prepare early for marriage? If you have someone in mind who does not mind waiting, enroll for classes, attend workshops that teach about marriage early.
Learn from your parents, relatives, and other people who are in happy marriages. Start nurturing values that support marriage such as patience, self-control, and honesty.
Even if you get born again from whoremongering or porn addiction, there is no way your mind will become a faithful spouse overnight.
If you plan to get married, start training yourself early. If it’s a woman, start learning good home management skills and collecting new recipes.
Most importantly, try and attend pre-marital counseling classes in a credible institution so as to get the right insights and also build your support system for the rainy days ahead.