Most people know that life is not a fairy tale. They also know that for a successful marriage, both husband and wife must do their part.
Here are four truths, excluded from fairy tales, which will make you happier. You will know what to expect and do for a wonderful marriage:
1. Marriage is a covenant of fidelity and commitment
As youth, we believe in an effortless “happily ever after.” One day, you will wake up and find that, despite loving her immensely, she simply does not always make you happy. You will look at her and think, “Is this it?”
Reality: Yes, yes it is. You accepted her at the altar. You already passed the challenge of acquiring, preparing and execution. When you hear “For better or for worse, in sickness and in health,” tragedies come to mind. The daily, not so perfect moments require a greater understanding of fidelity and commitment. Marriage is not the destination but a journey full of sorrows and joy, health and sickness.
What to do: Marriage is a family’s base. A successful marriage is made of fathers and mothers who are both engaged in teaching their children. Remove the word divorce from your vocabulary. Be patient, seek divine help and, together, you will learn that marriage brings greater happiness than any fairy tale. It may be difficult but full of strength, magic and an evolving love. There are many “right ones.” There is no such thing as a “soul mate.” What does exist are couples that know how to work out their differences and cherish their similarities.
2. Daily sex does not denote a successful marriage
There are men that are more attractive than your husband, as well as women staring down your husband. For some partners, a short time without sex leaves them worried. Some men are not able to resist the wiles of other women; leaving the wife feeling like she needs to be intimate without feeling just to “keep” her husband. The converse is also true.
Reality: Daily intimate relationships are not a requirement. Having brief episodes without sex is common. Breaks do not only happen during pregnancy, post-partum, or sickness. Sometimes, there is no reason besides sleep being a higher priority that week. The flame has not gone out. Do not believe statistics stating that “happy couples have sex three times a week.”
What to do: Focus on your partner’s rhythm. Do not place blame. Consult a doctor. Are there hormonal problems? Health problems? Arguments to be resolved? Depression? Find the root of the problem. If there are no issues, stay close during the day. Use kisses, hugs, massages, conversation, together time and romantic moments. Give her attention, look in her eyes and keep calm. Have fun together. There are many ways to keep the fire going. Remember, though, that over time sex must get better in proportion to love. Quantity is not everything and does not guarantee marital happiness.
3. A happy marriage includes two whole and willing people
If you believe that good marriages include no arguments, or that he will change after marriage you are wrong. If you are looking for your “other half,” you are searching incorrectly. Each partner is a full person, not a half.
Reality: Marriage requires work and limitations. Sometimes you will go to bed angry and wake up worse. Sometimes, things do not happen exactly as you would like. There will be conflicts. You will realize that the only person you can change is yourself. Human beings are not simple creatures. You need not only to have patience, but to show more of it. As you do, both of you will evolve.
What to do: Do not be so demanding of yourself or of your spouse. Stay calm. Sleep can help you organize your thoughts. Do not make decisions while tempers flare. Both of you are being yourselves, and that’s great. Calm down. Listen. You are not always right. Pride only creates more problems. The more you appreciate your spouse, the more you will respect her, the more you will listen and she will reciprocate. It is imperative to work through your differences together for a relationship as two whole people.
4. Marriage with love requires progress without egoism
If you have difficulty trusting others, when your spouse is suddenly extra affectionate, you will start to doubt. As soon as he does something wrong, everything falls apart. Deep inside, you feel you knew he would eventually do this. A second mistake means there is nothing left. Accusations and blaming become routine, tempers rise and even thoughts of divorce creep into your mind.
Reality: As married life happens, we begin to recognize who we are. Fears transform into relational obstacles. If similar behaviors plague you, for whatever reason, STOP NOW.
What to do: Look deep into your soul. Pray. Jesus Christ can make strong our soul’s weaknesses. Talk with a friend. Listen to what he has to say. Seek out a therapist. Be open, understand and accept your problems and search for solutions. Above all, work hard to get rid of them. Recognize your faults. Recover your self-esteem. Find out how a relationship should be. Use other, healthy relationships as role models. Confront yourself. Change. Focus on the positive things your spouse does. Work on your own internal problems. Have compassion on yourself.
Marriage is not like dating. People evolve, life happens. There is a recompensing beauty in marriage that cannot be found anywhere else. It is a relationship with many lessons. Marriage is a relationship for which no one is completely prepared. In the end, marriage brings two lifetimes rich with experiences and victories, it makes love deeper and stronger, and consequently, finally worthy of “happily ever after.”