There is a romantic notion that once two people get married, it will be smooth sailing. But if you have been married for any length of time at all, you know this is not true. When two people get married they never intend for it to be a temporary situation. Virtually all couples stand before one another and say those five significant words…“Till Death Due us Part” with every intention of living up to that commitment. The trouble with our society today is that most people have an idealized, naïve expectation of marriage and their marriage partner that will not bear up to reality.
Today’s marital statistics are very sobering: one in two marriages ends in divorce. One in three married people have been unfaithful to their spouse and one in three married Americans admits they don’t love their spouse. Because of this, the majority of American children never experience the security of witnessing happily married parents. The bad news is, marriage is often not at all what you think it will be, but the good news is marriage can be so much more!
Marriage is the union of two imperfect people who are selfish, sinful and will at some point disappoint or hurt their spouse. You will never have all of your expectations met in marriage in this fallen world. Most people enter into a marriage hoping for that person to make them happy and meet all their needs, but marriage isn’t about that either. If you need to be the center of the universe, you have a much better chance by staying single!
Unfortunately, each person in a marriage brings his or her own set of “expectations” which sets the marriage up for failure from the beginning. Many times both partners are busy, overworked and feel taken for granted. Most couples hedge their bet on the so-called 50/50 Plan for their marriage — “You do your part, and I’ll do mine.” This concept sounds logical, but couples who use it are destined for disappointment. Trouble will undoubtedly arrive with this “performance-based” plan. As soon as one person feels like their spouse is not doing his or her half, the plan starts unraveling. The real question isn’t who is doing or giving more in the relationship (score-keeping, as I call it), but how do you build “Oneness” in a marriage and build your marriage to last?
What a marriage needs is Superglue!
Keeping a marriage healthy and happy requires work and will not happen on its own. This plan is where both partners give 100% effort to love and serve one another. Here are some ways to help super glue your marriage:
- Never stop fighting for Oneness in your marriage. Give your spouse the priority and time that he deserves. Keep your communication open and learn to be a good listener too. Make time for date nights, getaways and retreats. Love is not a feeling, it’s a commitment!
- Remember that men need R.E.S.P.E.C.T. above everything else! A man can have everything outside of the home, but if the respect of his wife and children are missing, he will be totally emasculated.
- Always be a student of yourself and your spouse. Strive to understand his needs, design and past. If you have never read the book, The 5 Love Languages, by Gary Chapman, I would highly recommend it and knowing what “Love Language” your spouse speaks.
- Believe the best in each other! Our hearts are drawn toward acceptance and trust. When you believe the best in your spouse you draw that relationship closer and to new levels.
A thriving marriage isn’t created by finding a perfect, flawless person but it is created by allowing God’s perfect love and acceptance to flow through one imperfect person (you) toward the other (your spouse).
Falling in love is the easy part. It is staying in love that is difficult! Your marriage is the most significant legacy you will leave for your children and on this planet. You must be willing to fight for your marriage because it is worth fighting for!
Soul Mates are created….not discovered!
Tracie Nolde lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband, Jeff, and their three children, Camden, Chase and Kennedy.