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What Makes a Marriage Work?
It has been said over the years that a marriage needs work to survive and such a contention is true; a marriage needs care. It needs care and attention like a garden needs care and attention. Someone who loves gardening so much that they have a beautiful array of plants and flowers to show for it would probably not call it work, keeping their pride and joy in fine form. The same can be said for a successful and loving relationship. The love with which you entered into that garden that is your marriage should carry the both of you through the hard times and good times without the feeling that it was “work”.
The care with which the avid gardener attends to his charges, his plants, is often due to a love for those very plants, not a ‘duty’ to keep them alive or help them flourish, but a love for the growing, living things he has brought into the world and nurtured. The love you have for your spouse should be evidenced within the care and respect you show them throughout the marriage. It should not be your duty to shower them with love and care; it should be your pleasure. You should not feel pressured to be caring; you should feel compelled from within.
Another important ability to have in order to keep your marriage healthy and loving is the ability to empathize. You should inherently feel what your partner feels. It should be part of your nature, without effort, to be able to put yourself in their shoes, to feel what it is like to be them in any situation. It is true that there will be some things that you cannot completely relate to because of the differences in gender, but the underlying emotions involved in virtually every circumstance are universal. If your wife is having a rough time during that certain time of the month, you as the husband of course cannot really know what it feels like, but you can easily relate to how discomfort can make you irritable. The ability to really feel for someone will go a long way towards understanding that person and his or her motivations.
Of course, there are some simpler ways to ensure that your marriage is a giving and caring relationship: a relationship that will last. Simple suggestions we have all heard before, like sharing the chores. This goes both ways, folks. Guys, she expects you to help clean the kitchen or the bathrooms, right? Offer her a trade off. She helps with the yard work as well. Sharing the chores in this way also should include allowing them to share in the chores that you may view as typically the man’s or the woman’s. You share the money, the bedroom, the love, so share the chores too.
Last, but certainly not least, make sure that you do not forget why you married them in the first place; because you love them and because they love you. Make time to show each other that love. Bring some of the romance back if it has cooled down. Everyone wants to feel loved, wanted, and needed. There is no better way to get that from someone than to give it to them first. Kiss her. Not a cute peck on the cheek. Kiss her as you did when you were dating. Cuddle up next to him while you are watching the television like you did when you were first going out together. Take her to a nice romantic restaurant. Show him something soft and slinky at bedtime. Learn to express the love you feel in your heart all over again and your marriage will stay as young and alive as you feel.