Marriage (or wedlock) is aMarriage social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures, but is usually an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged. Such a union, often formalized via a wedding ceremony, may also be called matrimony. Many cultures limit marriage to two persons of the opposite sex, but some allow forms of polygamous marriage, and some recognize same-sex marriage.
Marriage is less valued today than ever before.Marriage and the way we view it today, differs greatly fromthe past. Couples no longer have to be married to a family.My views and opinions on marriage and its meaning havechanges considerably. Marriage isn’t necessarily less valued,necessarily less values, it’s just viewed differently. The factthat the divorce has doubled in the last twenty years couldlead to believe that marriage isn’t important to the coupleanymore. Instead of persevering and working at married life,people are more frequently choosing to end theirrelationship.
Most of the couple’s here in thePhilippines didn’t have very goodtraining on how to be a great marriagepartner. They only learned byobserving their parents and watchingcouples on TV sitcoms. Few of themhad adequate pre-marital counseling, ifany at all. So they have learned to fightabout chores, control each other withguilt, give each other the silenttreatment, take each other for granted,and gossip about each other to friends,parents and even our kids. Instead ofunderstanding and appreciating thedifferences between men and women,wives learned to be offended whenevertheir husband behaved like a man, andhusbands learned to be irritatedwhenever their wife behaved like a woman.
Based from what I observed and from the datas I’ve gathered here are some ways on how to make a marriage great. 1. Seek out others who have a great marriage and learn fromthem. Ask what they do to keep their marriage strong. Spend time with them so you can observe the way they speak to one another. Watch what they do to show each other love.Notice the way they look at each other. (Limit your time with women who complain about their husbands and men who can’t stand their wives).
2. Find out what makes your spouse feel loved. Does your wife love it when you surprise her with flowers? Does your husband enjoy a foot rub at the end of a long day? How does your wife react when you help out with chores without being asked? Does your husband smile when you say, "Thanks for going to work today?" Does your wife well up with pride when you say, "Dinner tastes great, thanks for cooking"? Does your wife feel like a queen when you drop her off in front of the mall so she doesn’t have to walk in the cold? Does your husband blush when you compliment him in front of your friends, family and kids? If you aren’t sure what makes your spouse feel loved, ask! Instead of keeping score of who worked harder each day, treat each other the way you did when you first fell in love.
3. Go on dates! Do the activities you did that made you fall inlove in the first place. The most loving couples I know goon weekly dates, even if—especially if—they have kids.Even if it’s just going out for a cup of coffee, it givesthem a chance to slip out of their role as Mom and Dad,and just enjoy each being with each other as husbandand wife.
4. Read a book, see a counselor, or attend a seminar designed to improve your marriage Insightful books like, TheSecrets of Happily MarriedWomen by Dr. Scott Haltzman cantransform your marriage! If youstruggle with one issue inparticular, such as difficult in-laws,read a book so you can learn howto unite as a couple. If you andyour wife argue about sex, go to acouples marriage conference andattend a workshop about how tohave a more fulfilling sex life. Ifyou and your wife often disagreeabout parenting decisions, visit amarriage-friendly therapist whocan offer wise advice.
5. Make your spouse your first priority over your parents, boss and even your kids. Every day, you are presented with several choicesthat either will or will not reflect your priorities. One of myfavorite quotes (by Stephen Covey) is, "Anything less than aconscious commitment to the important is an unconsciouscommitment to the unimportant." Your marriage isimportant, so make sure to protect it by making wisedecisions.
6. Marriage Based on Faith in Jesus Christ A happy marriage will be more easily developed and maintained upon a firm foundation of faith in Jesus Christ. Elder Marlin K. Jensen of the Seventy said: "A final gospel truth that will contribute to our understanding of and hence the quality of our marriages relates to the degree in which we involve the Savior in our relationships as husbands and wives. As designed by our Heavenly Father, marriage consists of our first entering into a covenant relationship with Christ and then with each other. He and his teachings must be the focal point of our togetherness. As we become more like him and grow closer to him, we will naturally become more loving and grow closer to each other.
7. Keep Stress Levels Low Its so much harder to react rationally and kindly whenwe are stressed. Learning how to lower our level of stress,especially in regard to finances, is a great way to have ahappy, healthier marriage.
8. Spend time together Even ten minutes aday of uninterrupted timeto touch base buildsconnection. Spending moretime when available andsetting aside time to betogether (e.g., date nights)are just as important. Thekey is being present,focusing only on theperson in front of you, tothe exclusion of all otherdistractions. This buildsconnection and closeness.
9. Listen and support each other It is essential to learn how to actively listen to eachother and express support for your spouse’s day-today lifeissues, no matter how small and mundane.
10. Express gratitude Remember to say “thankyou” for the little things youoften take for granted. Eventhough you expect your spouseto take out the garbage, cookdinner, and pick up the drycleaning, it is important toexpress your appreciation asoften as possible. If you woulddo it for a stranger, why not foryour spouse? Expressinggratitude increases the positivefeelings you will have regardingyour relationship.
11. Be kind to each other Express compassion and understanding. Learn to listen to your spouse’s pain, validate it and help her stay strong. This is a special kindness that helps your spouse feel that she is not alone. Show your concern by doing the little things that your spouse will appreciate. Go beyond the call of duty and help your spouse without letting her know. Do the things that only you will know are meaningful and appreciated by your spouse.
12. Respond to your spouse Never ignore even seemingly trivial conversation withyour spouse. Giving each other the gift of attention showsthat your partner is important to you.
13. Be influenced Don’t be afraid to listen to your spouse and change yourideas or opinions on issues big and small. Insisting on your waymay feel right at the moment, but that is not healthy for amarriage. Be open to what is important to your spouse. Being righthas little value in marriage; making your spouse happy is whatcounts.
14. Argue respectfully Conflict is ubiquitous in relationships, not a sign of trouble. Howyou argue is the key. You don’t have to yell to be heard. Criticism,defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling destroy marriages. Address theissue, don’t attack the person. Don’t overreact if your spouse is upset; he isprobably looking for support, not a fight. If you find yourself beingcontemptuous of your spouse, it’s time to recall all the positive thingsabout your relationship. If you’re too upset to talk about it at that moment,make a time to continue the conversation; don’t just walk away. Arguing isbetter than no communication.
15. Make up Practice and learnhow to fix things duringand after a fight. “Loveis never being afraid tosay I’m sorry.” Usinghumor, changing thesubject and avoidingsensitive issues are allexpressions of yourconcern about therelationship and makingsure arguments don’tdamage it. Remember,kindness counts.
16. Create rituals Create times that are touchstones of yourrelationship to help keep it healthy—whether it’s bikeriding Sunday mornings or going to Starbucks everyThursday night. Couples connect to each other by engagingin rituals, by sharing purposeful activities together.
17. Shared meaning Doing meaningfulthings together makes yourrelationship more special.You and your spouseshould get involved ina chased activity that youboth are passionate about.Volunteer to work withdevelopmentally disabledyouth or visit the lonelypeople at the local nursinghome. Be adventurous.You’ll both benefit from theexperience, and yourrelationship will blossom.
Conclusion: Every marriage needshelp now and then, bothduring the good times andwhen things become difficult.Remember that mostproblems have solutions.Dont ignore the problemsand issues in your marriage.If your marriage is in trouble,get started and make thenecessary changes togetherthat will help your marriagebe a successful, long lastingunion.