No, I am not married BUT I am in a relationship =] I was reading the book ‘Humour of the Sexes’ again the other day. Under the ‘Marriage’ section, I came across this rather interesting title at the end of the section: 10 keys to a successful marriage. Here they are:
1. Talk with each other (and listen)
Talk people, talk. Seriously. Talk with your spouse: your husband, your wife, just talk about anything under the sun! You’d be surprised at how talking can improve your relationship with your partner. It’s an excellent ice-breaker for those ice-cold shoulder moments; way to wild time away and of course solving problems! Unless you and your partner have some sort of psychic link whereby you can communicate telepathically with each other, talk it out. Problems will not be solved if everyone just holds it int. It will only accumulate and build up (for years possibly) and thus gradually form cracks in your relationship.
Never EVER bottle yourself up, You are just hurting yourself and maybe your partner too. At the same time, do not demand things your way. You can lash out your frustrations but please do not demand things to go your way.
‘I’m sad that you are unable to buy this for me.’
‘I WANT you to buy this for me.’
This is a very watered-down and diluted version but yeah. I do hope you get it ^^”
So, just talk. Communication is the key here ~
2. Tell each other ‘I love you’
Ahh. The three magical words. Although we have some people who go around making puns and changing the three words into some other idiotic phrases, let’s just take the three words as I love You, shall we? At least for this part of the article. Yes, it sounds corny. Yes, it sounds cheesy but the after-effects are simply wonderful. Of course, that is only IF and IF the three words are said with utmost sincerity and not for some ulterior motive. (I believe we have all heard of cheating cases, yes? Harsh reality. Oh well.) In a marriage, it is essential for both parties to feel loved by the other. If we do not feel loved or emotionally satisfied, that’s where cheating comes in. Surprised? Don’t be. There are men/women alike (yes, women CAN be unfilial too but don’t let this idea be implanted in your head and start getting paranoid please.) who go after other people of the opposite gender outside because they feel they are not loved at home. this of course starts a vicious cycle. The other party would get suspicious and start bombarding/interrogating their partners, thereby pushing them even further away, which leads back to them becoming even more suspicious. And it goes on and on and on.
3. Touch each other
Okay. Admit it. Did you think of sex when you first saw the word ‘touch’? If you did, grab a bar of soap and start scrubbing the insides of your head =] Kidding kidding. You’re half right when you thought about sex. Sex is important among couples…MARRIED COUPLES! Omg I am so not promoting pre-marital sex here. Please abstain from that at all cost unless you are willing to pay the price which I bet most of you are not able to; financially and emotionally. Anyway back to the topic. Sex should be seen as a form of bonding between you and your partner. It should be done with love and not pure lust. There’s a reason why some people call it ‘making love’. Truth be told, I’m not too experienced in this area cause I’ve never had sex before and thus I can’t fully grasp the power of it. What I do know is that it’s important in keeping the flame of passion alive in a marriage. Of course, with hectic schedules, tired bodies, it’s not always possible to have sex when one wishes to. Try kissing and hugging; it works almost as well, especially to tide over those dry sexless periods.
Touch need not be sexual all the time. It could be sensual as well. Lightly graze a finger along your partner’s arms or legs; give him or her a massage; pat each other; I like to poke and prod my soulmate but please do not try that continuously if your partner does not like it.
4. Tantalise each other
Tantalizing is the act of tormenting or teasing with the sight or promise of something unobtainable; also exciting the senses of desires of someone; Think that speaks plentiful.
This would spice up your marriage life if you feel like it’s been dead for awhile. Happens pretty often, especially to married couples where one or both spouses have a hectic work life and are usually dead tired after returning home. Some ways of tantalizing your partner could include foreplay, dressing up to seduce (for females cause males are more physical and visual), whereas men could try heightening her other senses; namely smell (try spritzing some lavender), touch (see Touch) and perhaps some music to boost the mood *wink* Let your creativity flow. But don’t do an overkill. Otherwise it might backfire rather badly.
5. Tolerate each other
Your spouse should be that very person whom you can share everything in your life with. Sadness, Joy, Anger; Isn’t that why you chose him or her to begin with? Of course, no one’s perfect. That’s where the tolerating come in. It would be utter unrealistic if there’s someone who is THAT perfect man. Good looks, money, everything a women wants. I learnt in my life that if a man has good looks + money, he comes in a package and it’s called ‘Casanova’. Not sure what the female version is called.
Accept everything that he or she is, both the good and the bad. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT start wishing for or start having expectations about your spouse to be something that he or she isn’t. That’s fantasy and fantasy should almost never come into reality. (Note: Flirting and having affairs are exceptions though)
Try NOT to talk disrespectfully to each other. Any issues? Say what and how you feel but DO NOT berate your spouse.
6. Trust each other
Ho – ho – ho. Trust is a very important aspect in a relationship, whether you’re the best of buddies, parents of kids, married spouses or simply dating your fiancée. Without trust, a relationship crumbles very easily and it is almost as good as dead. Trust is partly what anchors your relationship and also the building stone.
I know a wife who has such little trust in her husband that she does some … well…stuff. Some of the things she did? Following him all the way to the gym just to make sure that he doesn’t do anything ‘funny’, banning him from his weekly tennis game because she caught him playing with females once (even threatening to throw a tennis racket at the female(s) he play with), not wanting a particular female waitress to serve us because she reckons the waitress is flirting with her husband.
Not too sure about husbands but I have heard horror stories about husbands beating up their wives because they reckon they’re being unfaithful to them. Whether it is true or not, I am not sure. But one thing’s for sure: minimal trust in marriage can accumulate to such states.
So please do not do anything that jeopardizes your spouses’s trust of you as far as possible. Having your own private space is one thing but keeping secrets is another. Be open. Share. Communicate. (Refer to talk). AND DO NOT ASSUME! Assuming things will only drive the other person away from you, like ‘oh he does not trust me so why should I tell him or her the truth?’ That’s exaggerated but still, something along those lines can happen. So, be careful about trust. One wrong move = that’s it.
7. Treat each other
Remember those days when you and your spouse were dating each other? When everything was still carefree and innocent, and you would treat each other to meals frequently? Then work comes in, bills come in, kids come in, responsibilities come in and everything becomes mundane and boring.
Well, do it again! Find time, bring each other out for a meal and give a treat. Oh, it does not have to be a meal. Could be other things like entertainment as well. Go out for a movie, some romance comedy would be good or horror if you’d like. (During my younger days we would enjoy asking people who were together to watch horror movies, just so that the females would be scared and cling onto the guy, thus feeding his ego *grins evilly*) If you’re still up to it, a trip to the amusement park would be nice.
These could help bring back memories of the days when you were dating and it could too be a refreshing break from all of life’s heavy responsibilities for awhile.
8. Treasure each other
ALWAYS treasure each other. Never take each other’s presence for granted. Make the best of each moment both of you share. Otherwise, you might end up feeling regret later on, when you lose one another. It is not sufficient to simply tell your spouse that you love him or her. You have to show it in actions that you treasure each other as well. Make your spouse feel valued and important to you. Tell him or her how important he or she is to you, without going overboard or exaggerating of course. Take opportunities, any chances, to tell him or her.
My boyfriend, for example, tells me every so often how he enjoys my company and I in turn tell him how much I appreciate him. Couples these days are mostly telling each other things that irate or annoy each other but not how the other is attractive. If you treasure each other, you relationship will go uphill and both of you will in turn be happier and more satisfied.
9. Thank each other
Remember our Ps and Qs? Notice how as time goes by? We somehow start to forget to thank our spouses as they help us? Instead, we start to take things for granted? Why not go back to Day 1, and start thanking him or her again. It will definitely make your spouse feel better and not let him or her think that you’re simply taking advantage of him or her as your personal service provider.
Thank them for simple things. You can be amazed at the many actions by them which you can be thankful for. A simple handing of items, doing the dishes, waking up to go to work (providing the family with finance support), being dependable, being faithful etc.
Who knows? You might act as a good role model for your children (if you have, that is.) for them to follow at the same time as well, apart from making your spouse happy.
10. Track with each other
Well, never let your marriage get off-track. Even if you find that your marriage is going downhill and on the way to ‘Divorce’, there still is a way to salvage it. The only thing is whether you yourself and your spouse would like to do it or not. Overtime, it is not uncommon for marriage to reach a stagnant period when you find that your spouse and you are not communicating as much as before.
Try communicating again. Talk, joke, bring each other out; have small chit-chats over dinners, let your spouse know how your day was. Shared interests? Do it. Go on a sight-seeing trip together to take photos, snuggle up together with a book (all the better if the day is rainy), watch movies etc.
You could try rekindling the initial feeling you had for your partner when you first dated him or her. Go back to those places where you courted each other. Places that hold special memories.
Well, that is all for the 10 keys to a successful marriage post. I guess in summary, the key here is to never lose communication with your partner and trust. Once these two are gone, your relationship would most likely be given a one-way ticket to the destination of ‘Divorce’. Of course, you can choose to shred the ticket (aka do something to salvage it).
Now, for my dinner. I’m hungry. Why not cook a simple meal for your spouse? =D
Disclaimer: These are my own opinions and perspectives stemmed from my own life’s experiences. So feel free to disagree and apologies if they do not sound very matured.