Marriage works if you are intentional


Making sacrifices is part of a healthy strategy of using a long-term lens to evaluate the relationship in its entirety.

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With mounting disappointment and failures, does marriage still make sense? What we need to realise is the impact of the level of pretentiousness in marriage relationships today. Most do this with the sole purpose of winning over their partner. I never stop getting amazed at how many young people want short-term gain in relationships without the needed sacrifices.

With the current effort by many to redefine marriage and family, questions abound: Is marriage and family losing its place and purpose? Is it worth dying or giving oneself fully for? I believe everything in marriage starts with an acknowledgement that we are imperfect people trying to build a perfect relationship that mirrors God’s expectations. This calls for another people-focused approach. This perspective demands death to pride and selfish living.

This means that we can never really find a Mr or Miss “Perfect” for a partner. Therefore, an admission that marriage is about two individuals with strengths, faults and weaknesses helps us make a conscious choice to relate to one another with love and grace. Most judgmental attitudes arise in relationships where we see ourselves better that our partners.

We have to remember that when we choose to fall in love with someone and say those famous words “I do,” we are agreeing to a full package that includes their lifestyle, attitudes, and character. Knowing also that marriage leads us on a path of “constant life-change.” There can never be anything less when it comes to two people raised in different environments, processing and responding to issues of life.

Relationships have the power to not only challenge but give us a platform re-think and re-align our world-views. My take is, relationships provide us with a door of disclosure, discovery and re-imagining so that we can align our core beliefs and expectations about life together. When done well, we get presented with an opportunity to learn new ways to stay united in our diversity.

What we see today in relationships is a heightened indifference based on a skewed understanding of what relationships truly mean. With increased separations, divorce and abuse in families, many are left wounded and disoriented. This pain is passed on to children who end up feeling betrayed and abandoned.

What kills our chance to build healthy relationships?

Focusing on short-term rather than long-term gains

When our goal in relationships is based on temporal satisfaction then we get exactly that. With this attitude in place, many partners turn to manipulation for personal gain. In such relationships, while one partner may feel used, the other continues on a selfish path resulting in conflict, hurt, and a habit of walking from one relationship to another.

This kind of habit drains the relationship of energy and creativity. Accepting responsibility for the relationship’s future demands empathy and authenticity in the way we relate with each other.

Making sacrifices is part of a healthy strategy of using a long-term lens to evaluate the relationship in its entirety. Accepting challenges is one way of inviting growth and security. A wrong approach to a problem /conflict could damage a relationship. However, conflicts present growth opportunities if we stop sorting them with a short-term desire for gain in mind.

Making assumptions and taking things for granted.

Love can grow cold as partners become indifferent due to arising conflicts and unmet expectations. Rekindling your love life keeps the marriage fire going. Just as petrol stations are there for cars, so is the continued supply of firewood needed for a fire to keeping a house warm. It is important for spouses to regularly be reminded of their first love.

Relationships need moments of evaluation, re-dedication and renewal from time to time.

Erosion will lead to degradation

Since new knowledge and skills normally helps in the advancement of one’s career, spouses need to dedicate news ways of keeping the relationship on fire. Taking things for granted can lead to apathy and start an erosion that could cause damage.

Therefore, remaining cognisant of the fact that much happens over the years that erodes the gains made in a relationship, more needs to be done to keep apathy and burnout away. A couple must jointly work towards the kind of future they desire.

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