Yes, I am a believer that forever is possible in a relationship, and in marriage.
We live in an era of instant, from food to communication, and sex. And with technology bridging time and space between continents, we are exposed to many social ills that are happening around us, including the breakdown of marriage (and of course, its effect in our framework of what a family is, and should be).
Because of personal experience perhaps and the relationships of close friends and relatives that broke down before our eyes, it somehow made us believe that there is NO forever, and a romance that lasts is only true in a fairy tale.
Wala nga bang Forever?
Yes there is, because success and failure of a relationship and marriage begins and ends in mind.
If you believe there is no forever from the onset, then you will look for the first sign of trouble to throw the towel and prove yourself right.
Same is true if you believe forever is doable, you’ll work towards making the relationship and the marriage work, regardless of the cost.
I will be sharing with you practical tips, gained from being married for 23 years (and counting) to my girlfriend of 5 years.
- It’s all about choosing the right partner- who share your faith, principles and aspirations. Let your brain be the clearing house and gatekeeper to the doors of your heart. Think before you feel. Needless to say, you need also to pray for and ask God to lead you the right person.
- It’s all about the foundation, how your relationship began form the fundamentals. Your future will collapse if you have weak fundamentals. In our case, I was busted twice before I convinced my wife that I’m worth the love, and I courted her for more than 6 months. She is a former teacher in college, and yes, she is older than me. This served as foundation to our relationship. Crucial to that, when we both became Christian, we involved Jesus in the centre of our relationship. So whenever there is an opportunity to try out new relationships, we go back to the fundamentals, and chose to stick with each other.
- Always be truthful even when it hurts. This strengthens the foundation. The longterm benefits of honesty far outweighs the short term gain of keeping secrets from each other. We are not born yesterday, we know when our partner is not disclosing everything, so the suspicion and distrust grows.
- The goosebumps of courtship fades, but goosebumps is not love. If you’ll accept this as fact, you will not look for goosebumps from another person, when you get used to your partner.
- The emotional dimension of love needs fuel to sustain. A commitment to cultivate and keep love is needed because it’s a cycle. You worked to fuel or sustain the relationship so you reaped positive emotions. Because there is positive emotion, you are motivated to keep refuelling the emotions. And the cycle goes on and on.
- Learn to forgive. At one point of your relationship, someone will trip. Most likely the man. My own marriage were on the rocks at one point because of me. However, because of #1-#4, we worked it out. It’s not easy, its painful, but its worth trying if you believe on forever, God will help you fix the issue, heal the wound and restore the trust.
- Accept each others’ differences, agree to disagree, and you must be willing to lose in order to win.
- Give each other the space to grow and be themselves, always support each others’ pursuit of growth.
- If you run a business, one should just be content on the background to support or be the alter ego of the other. Being an officer in the same company is hazardous to a relationship. You bring the problems of biz to your bedroom and vice-versa. I’ve witnessed unnecessary stress in the marriage of friends, so this one is to spare you from unnecessary headache.
- Don’t lose focus of each other because of kids, in-laws and other people.
- Find out and feed each other’s expectations, desires, needs and wants. Spend time, talk and do things together.
- Have sex regularly, if you have been married for a while, daily sex is no longer doable like it used to. Thrice a week will do.
- Remember who you made your promise to when you got married. Marriage is not a covenant between you and your spouse, but a covenant of 3 persons- you made a promise to each other in the presence of, and you made a promise to GOD. As a result, you are made one. This is the reason why it took a lot of time and resources to recover and move on from a failed marriage. To some peeps who don’t get it, I ask them to visualise removing one part of their body. The whole process simulates what happens when what was made one were pulled apart.
7‘ This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife,c 8 and the two are united into one.’d Since they are no longer two but one, 9 let no one split apart what God has joined together.” Mark 10:7-9 (new living translation)
“For I hate divorce!” says the LORD, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.” Malachi 2:16 (new living translation)
If God is the centre of the relationship, there are no issues that can’t be resolved. Pray, read the bible and serve God together in your own little way.
I guess my parting advise is to ensure #1, #2 and #3 so #13 can be realised. Happy Valentines people!
What about you, do you have a Forever tip to share?