Now that the summer weddings are coming to a close, the real work comes into play. After the “I Do’s” have been exchanged, you enter into a time of transition. Starting your new life, moving in together, blending families, and starting a family. Having a thriving marriage requires work. All marriages can benefit from therapy or counseling to reduce stress, conflict and negative interaction. Couples counseling can significantly improve relationship strengths and increase intimacy and happiness. It is a common misconception that seeking couples therapy means your relationship has serious problems or is headed for divorce (or a breakup).
Five Goals for a Successful Thriving Marriage:
- Set What You Want In Your Life and Marriage.
Set your goals firm. Do not back off or let anyone interfere with your relationship. Whether it is your friends or your relatives, do not allow anyone to interfere or compromise your goals, beliefs, or values. As you continue to work together and strive toward a healthier marriage nothing will be able to stop you from accomplishing your dreams together. Be persistent, patient, and proactive about your marriage goals and you will make it across the finish line. If you want to complement each other, do not hang around those who do not appreciate their mate or those who do not have the same values.
- Speak Only Positive and Good Things About Each Other.
Words are very powerful and have meaning. Studies of couples who continued to speak positive and uplifting words to one another had meaningful marriages. If you want the other person to love and take care of you for a lifetime, invest in speaking good things about one another. Compare your relationship to a bank account. The more positive deposits you make, the more valuable your account.
3. Understand That No Relationship Is Perfect.
The successful marriages limit any disagreements and escalation. How can two walk together unless they agree. It is proven through studies that when we argue, our IQ usually goes down. The more we argue, the lower intelligence we display. Two people that come together and have their own individual faults, likes, dislikes, wants, needs, fantasies, secrets, mental health statuses, physical disabilities, imperfections, etc. cannot be perfect or have a perfect marriage. It is just human nature that gets in the way of perfection.
4. Don’t Hold Grudges.
There will be disagreements. Forgive easily and to work on issues. One of the marvelous things about relationships is that we are all different. A difference of opinion does not mean a couple is not compatible. It just means that we all have different opinions. Never go to bed angry. We all have different ways to accomplish the same thing or there are times when the other person has a better idea.
5. Pray For One Another Every Day.
There are some things that come only from prayer and fasting. Pray a covering of protection over each other before leaving your home. Your prayers should include asking the Lord to set guardian angels to war and protect your home and your relationship. Your home is a sacred place, a refuge, one of protection, and one that validates your existence. You have to fight for your relationship! Once you leave your home, there are outside forces that are vying to gain your attention and affection. Your attention should always be focused on your mate and his/her health and well-being.
This is a simple call to value our marriages, treat them with great care, and invest into them daily. Accomplishing the goals listed above will always require nearly every bit of yourself, but it so worth it. After all, a successful thriving marriage is far more valuable than most of temporal things we chase after with our lives. And will always last longer.
Ephesians 5:25-33 (NASB)
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.
If you are looking for premarital or marital counseling with a guarantee to increase your likelihood for happiness and longevity; HEART Counseling Services can help. Or perhaps you are looking for a wedding officiant, see our Pastoral page for more information and then book your appointment.