Having a Truly Fulfilling Marriage

Published on by CMe





Having a Truly Fulfilling Marriage


Marriage can be difficult, even during the best of times. There will be "odds that bedevil you everywhere," but there are things you can, and should, do to ensure a fulfilled marriage. It is a blending of two lives, two personalities, two people with different likes and dislikes. But as long as you both go into the marriage with love, trust, respect, loyalty and consideration for each other, you should be able to have a happy and loving marriage, and work through any problems you may have.

Far too often, couples go into marriage thinking the feelings they have for each other in the beginning will be that way forever, which is a huge misconception. While still dating, you tend to put forth your "best self," but then after the wedding, when the newness of marriage wears off, you sometimes begin to wonder what has changed. The fact is, nothing has changed - you just became yourself again after coming down from the "wedding high."

Once you get more familiar with each other, you also begin to learn more about each other, "warts" and all, so to speak. This is when you realize there are things about the other that are annoying, which is normal. He may get upset because you leave the cap off the toothpaste tube; you may get upset because he leaves the toilet seat up.

This is where the problems sometimes start, by being unrealistic in believing the honeymoon feelings will last forever. Marriage is like a living, breathing thing; it needs to be nurtured at all times, and you have to work at it to keep it alive and healthy. And a really good marriage is like a beautiful exotic flower - it only blooms if you put the love and care into it that it needs.

You have to realize that there will be times when you will have problems, face temptation, and have disagreements. But if you respect a few boundaries, then the rest will take care of itself. Some examples are:

Disagreements are natural between two people, and can even be beneficial. If you keep all your anger or resentment inside, it will only grow and get far worse than if you discussed it or tried to work it out from the start. It can also cause you to feel anger or irritation at things that normally wouldn't bother you, because the buildup of resentments you already have will cause you to be less tolerant of the little things. But you have to fight fair, and never hit below the belt.

  • When you do argue, don't bring up past issues that are over and done with, or things that have nothing to do with what you are arguing about - stick to the issue at hand. Once you get it resolved, don't bring it up in the next argument, either.

  • Don't say things in anger that you don't mean. Once those words are spoken, they are there forever. The one who said them may forget all about it, but the one to whom they were said won't forget them.

  • Don't bring up things that were done or mistakes that were made before you were married. You both have to realize you each had a life before the two of you met and got married, and those things are in the past for a reason.

  • Learn to pick your battles. Don't make an issue of things that don't really matter in the long run. There will be plenty of things that do matter, so you need to learn early on which things do matter enough to go to battle over. Otherwise, you will end up fighting all the time, and the marriage will be on shaky ground before it ever gets a fair chance.

  • No name calling when you do argue - ever! Once you call your spouse a name, that hurt will stay with them for a very long time, as will the resentment.

  • Never hesitate to say, "I'm sorry." Those two simple words can make a world of difference for both of you.

Be compassionate and understanding of each other's feelings.

  • We all have feelings, likes and dislikes, that are unique to us, and that make us who we are. Don't ever make fun of your partner's feelings. You are the one person in the world your spouse should be able to feel safe with and comfortable in telling anything to.

  • Don't criticize your partner for things he or she may be sensitive about. For example, if your wife is a bit overweight, never criticize her or make fun of her for it. If your husband is self-conscious about his thinning hair, don't criticize him or make fun of him for that, either.

  • Don't try to "one up" the other. If you have a higher education, or earn more money than your partner, don't ever say anything that would make him or her feel bad about it. Just be proud of the fact that you are both working together for your future. It doesn't matter who has more education, or makes more money.

Be there, and really listen when the other one needs to talk, and learn when to make listening your No. 1 priority.

  • When your husband has had a bad day at work, listen to him; let him know that you care. Usually, just knowing someone cares enough to listen can make all the difference between a terrible day at work, and a wonderful, relaxing evening at home afterwards.

  • If your wife has concerns about something, listen to her, and don't shrug off her concerns as trivial. If they are bothering her enough to cause her to be upset, then they are important enough for you to give her your full attention, without her having to wait for a commercial break before she can talk to you. Otherwise, she will begin to feel she doesn't matter, and that can eventually destroy a marriage.

    Learn to respect each other's personal space. Just because you are married doesn't mean you should have to give up your own personal interests.

  • If your wife likes to go shopping and have lunch with her friends on an occasional Saturday, don't expect her to spend every Saturday with you. She had friends before she married you, so don't expect her to give them up just because you married her.

  • If your husband sometimes wants to go fishing with his friends on the weekends, then likewise, don't expect him to give it up just because you are now married.

    Find some common interest in things you both enjoy. Doing things together will provide quality time with each other, and can work wonders for a marriage, and it doesn't even have to cost much money, if any.

  • If you both enjoy reading, you can read the same book and then discuss your views of the book.

  • If you like hiking, that's a great way to spend an afternoon together - just the two of you and nature.

  • Gardening is a great thing to do together. To plant a flower garden, then tend it together, and watch it grow to its full beauty is such a satisfying hobby, and a great way to spend time together.

  • If you enjoy movies, that's a great way to spend a quiet evening together.

Do your part to get along with your in-laws; problems with in-laws is one of the biggest reasons some marriages end in divorce. And you should never put down your in-laws to your spouse.

  • If your family doesn't like your wife, or if they don't treat her with respect or aren't willing to at least give her a chance, then it is your responsibility to let them know you won't tolerate that kind of treatment of her. Let them know you love them - and that will never change - but that you also love your wife, and you refuse to be put in a situation where you have to choose between them and her.

  • If your parents criticize or make fun of your husband, the above applies to you, too. Let them know that you love them, but that you love your husband, too, and you won't allow them to talk about him in that manner.

  • Don't allow any family members who don't like your spouse to ever treat them disrespectfully, or speak to them in a disrespectful manner. If it's your family member treating your spouse in a hurtful or disrespectful way, then it is your responsibility to let them know you won't tolerate it.

  • Don't criticize your spouse's family to him or her. You have to respect the fact that this is your partner's family - a family whom your spouse loves - so don't put them in the position of having to defend his or her family to you.

Respect and love your spouse enough to be faithful and loyal. When you took those marriage vows, you made a promise to always be faithful to each other. Temptation can sometimes be quite strong, so you have to resolve to be stronger than any temptations that may come your way.

  • Don't put yourself in a position where you know there will be temptation. If you like to go have a drink, go dancing, etc., then you do it together, as a couple. If your spouse objects to you going alone, then don't go at all. Many marriages have ended in divorce due to one spouse spending time in bars, meeting "tempting" people.

  • If you find yourself becoming attracted to someone else, you need to immediately stop and ask yourself why you are feeling that attraction. Are you feeling discontent with your spouse? If it's due to something you need that your spouse isn't giving you, then you owe it to your spouse and your marriage to talk it over with them and let them know that you need to feel desirable, loved, interesting, etc., depending on what it is you feel you are lacking from your spouse. But whatever the reason for you being tempted, you need to talk to your spouse before you ever even reach the point of temptation. And do NOT tell the one to whom you are attracted about any problems you may be having at home. That, in itself, is a betrayal of your spouse and the sanctity of your marriage.

  • If you are ever tempted to cheat on your spouse, stop and ask yourself if the other person is really worth all that you are risking. Chances are, the answer will be No. So you need to stop, and put yourself in your spouse's place, asking yourself how you would feel if it were your spouse tempted to cheat on you. You would be devastated, wouldn't you? Well, so would your spouse if you did it.

  • If you are still tempted to cheat, then picture the one to whom you are attracted in their baggy sweat pants, hair uncombed, etc. That is what you will be risking everything for, because no one is always at their best, not even that person whom you find so attractive. You have only seen that person at their very best, so you don't have a clue as to what they are like underneath that "smooth exterior." Would you really be willing to risk everything, only to find out the other person is not as perfect as they seem?

    Money is another one of the biggest reasons many marriages end in divorce. Quite often, one partner tends to spend more, while the other prefers to save more, which can lead to a lot of arguments, fighting and resentment. If you are a "spender," you need to consider the feelings of your partner. Financial security is crucial in the best of times, but even more so in today's economy and high unemployment rate.

  • Sit down together and agree on a household budget, then stick to it.

  • If one of you wants, or feels you need to buy something that is not in the budget, talk to your spouse first instead of just buying it on your own.

  •  Never spend money and then hide it from your spouse. Not only is this dishonest, but it is also disrespectful, and can destroy the trust your spouse has in you. It's the same as saying, "This new plasma TV is more important to me than your feelings are."

Some general how-to's

  • Be considerate of each other's feelings when it comes to sex. Some men and women naturally have a lower sex drive than others, but that doesn't mean they don't love you if they don't want sex as often as you do. If your husband doesn't want sex as often as you do, or as often as he did in the beginning, talk to him about it, and really listen to what he says.

    Maybe he really does have a lot of stress at work, or maybe he really is too tired to be in the mood for sex. Don't just assume it's because he doesn't still find you attractive, or that he doesn't love you anymore. Just let him know that you are there for him, and that you care.

    If your wife doesn't want sex as often as she did in the beginning, ask yourself if you have changed in the way you let her know you want to make love. For most women, sex actually begins outside the bedroom. It begins in the way you greet her when you get home from work at the end of the day, or in the way you listen to her when she is trying to tell you about her day. Helping with the dishes, or putting the kids to bed for her can work wonders for getting her "in the mood," because it shows her you care.

    It's the little things that really make a difference for her. But don't ever help with the dishes as a way of letting her know you "expect something" in return for it. Do it because you really do care, not for what you hope to gain from it. Otherwise, that will ruin any and all chances you may have had had at a romantic evening, and can make her feel degraded and resentful.

  • Don't expect perfection in your partner. No one is perfect, and we all have our flaws, quirks and habits that are annoying to others. Don't expect your spouse to "make you happy" - that's a heavy burden to put on anyone. It's up to you to make yourself happy, which will, in turn, make you much happier with your spouse, and your spouse much happier with you.

  • All marriages - even the best ones - have problems. But if you work on your marriage and its problems together, and always respect each other, have compassion for the other and make your relationship a priority, only then you can have a long, happy, fulfilling marriage.

    You should each strive to be a haven for the other, and give each other the emotional and moral support they need. Be your partner's best friend and listen to them when they have a problem or need to talk. And always let them know you love them for who they are.




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Comment on this post

Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life 03/04/2010 13:03

Just pointing out that your white text gets printed on a white background in Google Reader. So is invisible.