According to the UK divorce statistics in the 2019, 44% of marriages end in divorce. It’s no secret that less people around the world are now willing to make this ultimate lifetime commitment with that one special person. Many decide to co-habit instead.
However, women around the world still value the proposal of marriage as a sign that they will be loved forever.
While people claim to have the secret ingredient to a long and healthy marriage, it’s fair to say that the truth lies in the fact that it is the consequence of numerous factors.
The initial reason why people decide to get married it huge. But also, one’s idea of their purpose in life makes a big difference.
For example, if you believe that this life is given to you in order to enjoy yourself then why would you compromise or endure hardships? Why should you accept a person who is not the person you thought he was?
A modern woman plays a myriad of roles, both within the household and outside. Why is it then, that marriage advice is usually directed at women? Why must they be the ones to work hard at the marriage?
Well, my take on it is this. A woman wants a fulfilling relationship. She is looking for a companion, a friend, a confidante and a hard-working partner. In order to get what she desires she has a choice now; to read some books and to ask those who have experience in these matters so she can get what she desires or put up with what she has!
Do you know a woman who’s willing to put up with what she has when there’s a chance she can change her man into a dream husband?!
No. Me neither!
So she is the one most likely willing to learn something new to change things round.
I might be wrong. If you’re a man reading this, challenge me!
Even religious couples these days have not had any luck in beating the statistics. However I have many friends who have been hugely successful on this front.
I asked them for their top 5 tips to take your marriage to the next level, and here they are:
Communication is the key to a good relationship. When you’re not happy, be sure to let your husband know. Wait for a time when you're both relaxed, calm and not likely to be distracted and try to keep 'blame' out of the conversation.
How you speak to your husband helps too. For example ‘I need you to take the children out sometimes...’ rather than ‘Take them all out! Now!’ will make a huge difference in the response you receive.
Also try to turn conversations around to remain positive...’We miss you’ rather than ‘Why are you always out?’ really helps. Begin sentences with the pronouns 'I' and 'we' and you should be off to a good start.
Express your desires. Don’t be afraid to tell your husband exactly what you want. Remember, he is not a mind-reader!
“Your husband really wants you to be happy. When you’re happy, he feels successful as a husband and as a man.
― Laura Doyle (Author of ‘Surrendered Wife)
One of my friends swears by the fact that the key to a successful marriage is being allowed a Sunday Lie-in every week! Her husband wants her to be happy. Happy Mama; Happy household.
Think about what makes him happy too. If trips to the gym and no-guilt time with his family and friends is what he needs, give him time and space to do that. He’ll appreciate it.
To be open to intimacy, be it physical or spiritual, is so important.
To spend time in silence, reflecting, reading or even meditating together will strengthen your relationship. On the physical side, to be open to a kiss and a cuddle and maybe something more will make you feel more connected and act like helium to lift your relationship.
This openness will mean that there will be no fear of rejection. Be honest about (and try to communicate!) your desires and needs here; the payoffs will speak for themselves.
Try to keep things fresh in the bedroom, similar to how you would dress up for 'date nights', pencil certain days, dates in your diary and prepare in advance for it (doing this secretly would work beautifully).
And also remember to be spontaneous too! Remember to remain 'open' even if it isn't the right day! Make your time special and important. You'll both be thankful for this connectedness once the children have grown and flown the nest. Your time invested now will mean you'll have a companion for life in the years to come.
3. LOVE LANGUAGES
Gary Chapman named 5 Love Languages in his book and if you visit his website, you can take a quiz to help you decide which ones best fit yours.
The idea behind these love languages is really profound and actually has the potential to change one's whole relationship around. In a nutshell, Chapman states there are 5 Love 'Languages'. They are:
The key here is that if your spouse speaks a different language to yourself, you may not feel loved and vice versa therefore it's so important to be aware of their Love Language so you show them love in a way that they understand and then they can also reciprocate. Find out more take a look at the 5lovelanguages.com
4. DUCT TAPE
This is an idea swiped from Laura Doyle’s fabulous book ‘The Surrendered Wife’. Duct tape is very useful for a woman who cannot stop criticising her husband. The idea here is to simply not talk. If you can’t say something positive, just keep your mouth closed. It may surprise you how much this helps to lift the mood at home.
5. Learn more!
I highly recommend:
· Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray
· Fascinating Womanhood by Helen Andelin
· Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle
· The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
As you can see there are lots of ways to revive a marriage. I hope you’ve learned something new. The books I have recommended do not have all the answers but they provide a fantastic place at which to begin. Marriage is a partnership and you both need to want to make it work for you to get through and make it successful.
Remind yourself of why you got together in the first place. Who were you then? Sometimes, it’s hard to admit but, it’s your own expectations which have changed.
Reassess what you want and need from your marriage and write it down like a checklist.
Go through each point, one by one, and decide how much you need your spouse to help you achieve your collective goals.
Step number 1 above was to communicate. And I think great communication is the essence of every relationship. Big and small.
Do you agree?