Shakti Parwha Kaur is writing a book about marriage and is collecting info from married people. She had lots of women who wrote material, but nothing from men, so I decided to take a stab at listing my advice and experiences to having a successfull marriage (in up to 700 words).
I have been married for 6 years and feel very lucky to have a wonderful marriage. It’s definitely not a piece of cake though. It really does take both people being committed and willing to work with each other no matter what comes up. For me marriage provides mutual support, stability and companionship. Being married is like a spiritual path, which teaches you many lessons and allows you to challenge each other to work on yourself and be a better person.
I look at a person’s life as having different levels of challenge/mastery, which are like Karate belts
Being married with Children is the ultimate level with many challenges and tests to learn from (along with the many joys that come along with this).
Here are some key areas that have been keys to my successful marriage:
For my wife and me communication has been the KEY. You really have to talk to each other and listen to what the other person is saying. Acknowledge their feelings and make sure they feel that you understand them. Marriage is a partnership; it’s not all about you.
I see many wives who do so much to take care of their husbands, children, the household, as well as work a full time job. In many of the cases the wives are frustrated and overwhelmed. It is so important to help each other out and not be lazy. The biggest thing you can do is to at least take the time to appreciate your spouse. If you do this they will love you even more, and feel really good about doing those things. When you don’t show appreciation or help out, resentment can come in and feelings of not being supported. Every time my wife makes me a meal or does something for me I thank her and make sure I tell her how delicious the food was. She loves to cook for me because she knows it means a lot to me and she gets well appreciated.
I used to deal with all the finances in our household, but the problem was my wife had no concept of how much money we had, and how easy it was spent. Women love to buy things. Even more than guys like electronics. I know many people’s wives that spend the money as fast as they make it. The key I have found is to make the woman of the house responsible for the finances so that she relates to the money. This turned our finances from just making it by every month to saving a lot of money.
If you have an argument or fight, don’t run off or leave things unfinished. You need to get closure and work things out. It’s ok to take a few minutes to think about things or cool down, but you don’t want to slam the door and take off in an angry burst. Feelings of anger and frustration will just grow and grow till it ruins your marriage. Don’t bottle things up, talk about it and work something out.
Compromise and Change
Couples have different things in their household life which are important, but in most cases they are small things. Things like cleaning up after your self, putting the toilet seat down, arranging the house in a certain way. Don’t resist change on these small things. I have found that if I just adapt and do the small things that are important to her it makes a huge difference. Then when there are things that are important to me I let her know and she adapts and changes to my needs. It is a give and take.
We live in a busy fast moving age. You come home, eat dinner, maybe watch TV and then go to sleep. It is too easy to loose the romance that is such a binding force for a marriage. As a guy I know it is hard to do the romantic stuff, but women NEED this. If you don’t take the time to do fun things, surprise her, do things which make her feel loved and appreciated, you’ll be in trouble. I used to give excuses about many of the holidays being so commercial and not wanting to buy into it. My wife let me get away with it for a while. The problemdidn’t that I didn’t do much in place of those holidays. In the end she sdidn’tthat she didn’t care if they were commercial holidays, and that she expected flowers, cards, gifts, surprises.
These were just some things. There is so much more. Marriage is such a beautiful and fulfilling thing. Enjoy it! Learn from it!
Ps. I know all these things will vary depending on your relationship and cultural differences, so take the advice as one person’s experience and not “THE” solution to a happy marriage.