Being a part of someone’s life is one of the sweetest feelings anyone can experience—it could give you the butterflies. The joy of sharing, the warmth of love, the tenderness of shared experiences, and the intimacy of two souls and bodies becoming one are all part of the thrill of joining our lives with another. Beyond these, to find a soul mate—someone to love and who loves you in return; someone who understands you; someone who will travel through the journey of life with you in sickness and in health; through thick and thin; till death does them apart—are the goals of any blissful union. Everyone who embarks on the marriage journey wants to be in a long-lasting union and has a happy ending—at least, that is always the goal. However, it is not perpetually the case as some marriages end up crumbling due to not having strong foundational principles and ethical pillars that hold it up to stand the test of time. Tough times will come in a marriage; however, the aim is to weather the storms of those challenging times together. So, whenever people find that special “someone” that they can celebrate the bliss of matrimony with, they must endeavor to invest their time building strong foundations and pillars to hold up their marriage till death parts them. That is the reason we will be looking at the “10 Pillars of a Strong Marriage,” an article that will add value to your life.
The Golden Gate Bridge is an iconic landmark that dots the landscape of the city of San Francisco. Joseph Strauss is the engineer who designed this beautiful bridge that connects San Francisco with Marin County across the +5000ft (i.e., 1.6 km 0r 1600 meters) wide passage that we have all come to know as the Golden Gate, which unites the San Francisco Bay with the Pacific Ocean.1 According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Golden Gate Bridge is daubed as one of the Modern World Wonders.2 In other to maintain the beautiful bridge, do you know that it must be painted continuously? Some misconceptions exist about this fact. “Some say once every seven years; others say from end to end each year. The truth is that the bridge is painted continuously. Painting the Bridge is an ongoing task and a primary maintenance job. The paint applied to the Bridge’s steel protects it from the high salt content in the air, which can cause the steel to corrode or rust.” Like the Golden Gate Bridge, marriage is also a beautiful thing. However, like all beautiful things, the marriage institution must undergo continuous maintenance—just like the Golden Gate Bridge. It must be polished and sustained for it to stay beautiful and strong—year-in-year-out.
From the Christian and biblical perspective, marriage is the first institution God created. His ultimate purpose for this institution is to make sure man is not helpless, lonely, and for humankind’s continuity. In the original blueprint of marriage, it was built to last and stand the test of time—till death parts either of the two partners. From the primordial sense of it all, the institution of marriage was made so that the “man” and the “woman” will become one—enjoying their companionship and ensuring humanity’s continuity. As written in the Holy Writ, “This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife in such a way that the two become one person.” From the biblical standpoint, that is established as God’s original intent about marriage. However, we know that marriage has become muddied in terms of meaning and intent via sundry subjective interpretations from this perspective and beyond. The institution has become easily disposable with reduced value—separations and divorce have become the norm in many societies today. This has raised the urgent need for both the physical and spiritual aspects to find some synergy. Why? Because a marriage built on a wrong foundation will not last—it will eventually collapse. In the dissolution of the marital union, hearts are broken—of the man, the woman, and the children (i.e., if children are already born into the union).
“In a happy marriage, it is the wife who provides the climate, the husband the landscape.” — Gerald Brenan
In the building industry, the construction’s foundation is the most critical aspect of the project, after which the pillars come second. The foundation is the basis or groundwork of anything. It is the natural or prepared ground or base on which some structure rests. It is the lowest division of a building, wall, or the like, usually of masonry and partly or wholly underneath the ground’s surface. It is the substructure that holds up the superstructure in buildings. These two, the substructure (i.e., the foundations) and the superstructure (i.e., the pillars and walls), ensure that no matter the weather’s storm or intensity, the building will stand the test of time. Building pillars are the vertical shafts or structures that are usually part of the above ground’s superstructure. They are commonly made of stone, brick, wood, steel, or some other materials, moderately slender in proportion to its height and any shape in section. Pillars are commonly used as building support, or they could stand alone when used as monuments. Foundations and columns are vital in ensuring that buildings don’t fall. Buildings collapse when the elements of the substructures or superstructures have been compromised.
We have seen the importance of foundations and pillars in ensuring the stability of a building structure. This also is true about the marriage institution. The foundation of each marriage union needs to be built on a mutual love for God and each other (i.e., the spouses involved). This is the pure love that harbors no hatred or grudge for each other. Establishing this kind of love is crucial before the couple can start erecting the pillars of honesty, transparency, trust, friendship, and all-around loyalty to foster their union’s sustainability. These pillars are formed through shared experiences. As the couple continues to share their experiences, it helps them solidify their union’s bonds, strengthening their marriage foundation. These pillars will be so natural and seamless to achieve for those marriages built on the right foundation. However, for unions raised on the wrong foundation, it will be an arduous process, which will involve extra effort and commitment by both parties. These marriages may survive if the partners realize their foundational errors and correct them. However, a lot of times, even strenuous effort and engagement may not salvage the union.
Also, the durability of a building depends significantly on how strong the foundation is situated. Weak foundations often lead to buildings collapsing—this also applies to marriage unions. Various elements will challenge the marriage institution. However, marriages that will stand the test of time have been built on a solid foundation. How ready a married couple is to ride the storms and challenges that their marriage faces will depend on their values. It will also depend on their belief systems and commitment to the success of the union. These are the things that contribute to the stable and lasting foundation of the marriage institution. So, the question is—who and what is the foundation of your union? On what grounds have you established the foundation of your union? A marriage that is built to last is what everyone craves. This foundation should not just be ordinary, flimsy, or whimsical. Being alone as a man can be lonely; however, having a helper akin to him can be beneficial. God’s objective for setting up the marriage institution was based on companionship. Having a helper who shares the same ideology, value, vision, and one who understands and respects your views, even if they differ from theirs, is the foundation of lasting happiness.
Love is a powerful word; it should not just be an emotion expressed on a whim. The phrase, “I love you” has been made so banal these days. It has been diluted by the variation of impatience that we are now so much accustomed to in our current society. Living in a jet-setting age has made everyone very impatient. We want things to happen in a certain way, and immediately as a matter of fact. However, when it does not pan out as we envisioned, we impatiently abandon the whole project. We are no longer patient to work things out and see how it pans out. As a result, true love is tough to come by these days. We see marriages that quickly come to an end because the two parties involved are unwilling to put in the work to ensure that their union is sustained. When troubles or misunderstandings arise, they become impatient with each other. Rather than work out their differences and allow their marriages to heal, many people are quick to go their separate ways by filing for a divorce. The current day media has not helped matters either. The media have hyped the prevalence of separations and divorces that it has quickly become a norm in society. The true meaning of love has been so diluted that many people no longer have an inkling of what it really is. A lot of couples even enter a marriage contract without the slightest clue of what love really is. If you don’t know what love is, you will lack the capacity to truly value love. So, what is love, really?
True love is glaring via the characteristics that it effuses. Love is very tolerant and gentle—it has a heightened ability to put up with things with every sense of pleasantness. It isn’t jealous or envious. Love doesn’t boast, brag, or strut about—there’s no arrogance in love. It’s never rude, crude, or improper—it’s not self-absorbed. Love isn’t easily upset. Love doesn’t tally wrongs. Love never celebrates injustice, but the truth—yes, truth—is love’s delight! Love puts up with anything and everything that comes along—it trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what. Now, these are the attributes that define true love. Comparing yourself to these attributes, can you say that you have genuine love? Love is often mistaken for lust or passion. No one should claim to be in love with someone because of beauty, physique, or charisma. Love is much more than all these physical attributes or qualities—these attributes fade quickly with age. The truth about love is that we cannot hide our true feelings and intentions for too long though we profess to love someone. In time, people see through this façade to the real person behind the mask—people cannot hide their true natures for but so long. Time reveals all eventually. However, sometimes we play blind, probably because of some short-term benefit we crave within the union that we have prioritized above what our instinct is really saying. Play the long game, see beyond the façade, and connect with reality. If you are blind to the actual substance of things in the interim, you will sooner or later regret it in the long term. If you open your eyes and see beyond the cloak, you will strategically eschew the chances of the negative dagger of pernicious circumstances falling on you. Play the long game, look beyond the smokescreen that is often presented in the relationship macrocosm.
It is easy to get into character when we meet someone new, but it takes extra effort to sustain this character, especially if we are not our true selves. It is only a matter of time before our actual personality comes to bear—we cannot hide our true identities forever. Everything that is hidden under the sun is soon often revealed. So, it pays for people to be real when in the dating and courtship scene. There is no use pretending to be someone else—why fake it, be real. The fact is that the truth will always come to the surface. If you camouflage your identity to be someone else, you are already starting your relationship on the wrong footing. You are assembling the wrong building materials for building the foundation of your potential relationship. Should you end up winning the heart of that special someone in the state of untruthfulness, you would have already started building the foundation of your future relationship on the wrong note. When your true-self bubbles up, you may already be married at this time, and this could potentially become an issue. The marriage begins to suffer—you are never in sync with your spouse. There are constant arguments. There is no sense of understanding between your spouse and yourself. There is no comparable conflux of notions that can help you two forge the perfect vision to channel the relationship forward. It becomes a union of the chaotic or a conflux riddled with the bullets of had I know regrets.
Many people are already in a messed-up marriage, sometimes even before it begins, due to building on the wrong foundation and ignoring the warning signs from the relationship’s inception. Some people indeed see the warning signs at the onset of the romantic alliance that potentially leads to a union. In the act of seemingly being blinded by a supposed “love,” or shall I say, “lust,” they head on wildly on the path towards a future marital rollercoaster. Listen to your gut feeling if you feel that something is not quite right when dating someone to get married to them. Watch their words. Watch their actions. Watch the effusion of their thoughts via their actions. Watch the company they keep. Watch their habits. All these are telltale signs of their true nature. Be wise and pay attention. If there are warning signs at the early stages of the relationship, it might be God allowing these orchestrating signals, performed by the conducting wands of the universe and destiny, to create an alerting and sonorous symphony of caution to warn your inner sense and subconscious to be wise careful. It may be the merciful hands of destiny nudging you like a child not to forge on ahead with the relationship. Do not throw caution to the wind. Shine your eyes before marriage—don’t ever go in blindly. It will allow you to see if you are about to build on the right foundation for your potential future union. After you are married, shine your eyes even more as you erect the pillars that will let the superstructure of your future home stand firm through the space of existence and the test of time.
Start with the right foundation when building a life with your right special someone. It would help if you had a formidable marriage substructure to support a long-lasting present and future matrimonial superstructure. Establishing a sound marital foundation is an investment in your future. A bad marriage can wreck your life, destiny and mangle the prospects of having a golden purpose. The positive return on investment (ROI) of building on the right foundation can be quite colossal, to say the very least. It would help if you began erecting the pillars that will support and sustain your home’s superstructure upon the proper marital foundation. Trust this fact; you will smile at the ROI if you do. However, building these ethical colonnades, to be honest, will never be a cakewalk. It could take months or even years before it will come to perfect fruition. However, it will require the conscientious effort of a deliberate and dedicated duo to form and establish the right foundation and pillars that will help sustain their future union.
“The secret of a happy marriage is finding the right person. You know they’re right if you love to be with them all the time.” — Julia Child
10 Pillars of a Strong Marriage
Building a strong marriage requires effort. In this article, we will discuss ten mainstays of a potentially strong marriage. We offer some potential advice to help the reader in their pillar building process for each point that we discuss. This advice is not professional conjectures but our recommendations of possible ways to help you build the pillars to sustain your marital union’s strength. We also advise that you seek the support of a professional Family Therapist for further counseling in your marriage situation. These ten pillars discussed below will help every married couple look for ways to refocus and strengthen their union.
#1. Know That You Are Not Perfect
The acceptance that neither you nor your partner is perfect is an integral part of creating a healthy marriage. You should expect shortcomings from your partner because it is only human and natural to mess up occasionally. We are prone to err as human beings. However, the goal is for us not to remain in the place that we have fallen. We must rise from where we have fallen, dust ourselves, and move on to better days ahead. However, it is pertinent to note that hanging on to mistakes made in a matrimonial home will eventually destroy the foundation of trust and psychological safety shared between the couple.
Our Advice: If you make a mistake in your marital union—accept it quickly and apologize. The worst thing you could do to your union is mess up but obstinately refuse to admit that you are wrong. Obstinacy or stubbornness is pernicious dynamite that will blast the foundation of your marriage to smithereens. So be advised—stop all that headiness and accept you are wrong, and save your marriage. If you make a mistake, admit it. If you are on the receiving end of the blunder, forgive. The offender part must not prove difficult to an extreme—that itself will help your marriage implode eventually. However, it would help if you never took the forgiving spouse for granted. Don’t keep repeating the same mistake recurrently because you feel that you will always be forgiven. You are crippling the legs of the psychological safety of your union. You may paralyze it to the point that it may never walk again expect a miracle occurs. So, be wise and resolve your issues quickly, and don’t let it fester before it becomes psychological gangrene that infects the relationship.
#2. Don’t Set Limits for Forgiveness
Don’t think that because you have forgiven your partner of an offense today, that it will never happen again. You should be willing to pardon repeatedly. After all, the Holy Writ stipulates that in one single day, we should forgive the offenses of others against us for seventy times seven (i.e., 490 times). That is what happens with people who are genuinely in love. You must have the willingness and capacity to forgive all the time. Cultivating this forgiving nature must be two-way traffic for the couple. Like we addressed in point #1, it does not suppose that an erring spouse continues in his/her errors. If you keep erring, you would only be crucifying the trust you two share as a couple repeatedly time after time.
Our Advice: Forgive your spouse quickly. Do not set a limit on how many times you will forgive your spouse. Some marital unions already have a predetermined number of times that they have set for themselves on how many times they are willing to forgive their spouses. In other words, we could say that their love for their spouse has a ceiling, a limit that they will not go beyond. However, as we have stipulated repeatedly, this does not give the erring spouse the impetus to continue erring because they know that the spouse will always forgive. Never take advantage of the forgiving nature of your spouse. Taking advantage of your spouse once or repeatedly is stabbing yourself repetitively.
#3. Be Truthful
Always be honest with your emotion whenever you are around your partner. Your partner invariably wants to know your real view about him or her. Don’t ever hide how you feel—be honest, be true, always be real about how you feel about each other. Anything short of this is falsehood. Your clarity of thought around him or her makes them feel secure and warm in the glow of your love. This will help create a matrimonial ambiance that is rooted in the firm grounds of psychological safety. A cerebrally, secure ambiance is where true intentions and opinions about a matter are stipulated without the fear of being judged. Your spouse wants to be sure you are not hiding anything behind that smile. Anything contrary to such assertion will erode the emotional security that the two of you share in your relationship. Your openness will assure them.
Our Advice: Truth frees you. It is very burdensome to tell a lie—it is a lot of work to lie to be quite honest. First, you must create a frame of mind to conceive a lie. Second, you must be cautious enough to ensure that you are sticking to the correct brass tracks of maintaining the deception. Third, to do so, you must keep using lie after lie to camouflage the initial lie that you started telling in the first place. Gosh! It’s just so much work to maintain a false state of mind. The truth is not always palatable. However unpleasant it may be, it always lifts a burden of guilt away from you. The truth will initiate the forces of the universe to play in your favor. In the present, the truth may be bitter or sweet; however, when the forces of the cosmos go into play, you will be one smiling at the end of the day. We honestly advise you to put the truth out there already and be free of that weight of guilt that lying will pile on your conscience.
#4. Create New and Exciting Experiences
Don’t let your relationship get stuck in a rut. Make your spouse your partner in adventure and the exploration of life. You only live once (YOLO) here on earth. So, if you two are hitched together in the bonds of holy matrimony, then make sure you make it a lifetime of memorable experiences that you will forever cherish. Be deliberate in the creation of new and exciting experiences. Marriage is meant to be organic and not rigid. No matter how old you are, life is intended to be treasured, enjoyed, and lived to the full. Having fun does not mean that you should break the bank. Creating lifetime memories can be simple things that are fun, memorable, and inexpensive. Live life, and don’t let life leave you and your matrimony behind. Etch your names on the stones of time as the duo that lived and had fun. Create blissful wedlock. Make it exciting.
Our Advice: Many people in marital relationships hide under the cloak of busyness that they forget to live and enjoy their lives. Before couples get married, they go out and have fun. After they get married, and possibly kids come along, their joyous and adventurous life goes out the window. We advocate that couples take care of their business—work, taking care of the kids, taking care of the home, etc. However, they must understand that they should never relegate their marriage relationship to the back burners—that is the recipe for friction and the potential for a looming breakup—schedule time to have fun as a duo in your nuptial union. A lot of people fall in love, get married, and fall out of love. They forget to fan the flames of their union to sustain the sparks of love that first brought them together. Be deliberate in making plans to spend joyful and loving times with each other. Create new and exciting experiences always.
#5. Be Quick to Apologize
Never sleep without making up. It should not matter who is right or wrong. Arguments might dovetail into something more serious, which would end up causing an irreparable rift. Don’t argue needlessly with your partner—it can rupture the bubble of cerebral security in your marriage to your spouse—you don’t want that. Once you begin to lose that security, it starts to erode the trust and freedom that the duo shares. Once you lose that trust, it becomes difficult to regain it back. A wound on the knee can easily be treated at its earlier stages. However, if allowed to fester and get infected, it could lead to gangrene, leading to an amputation. The same could happen to a marriage union—never permit a simple problem that a band-aid could fix to become a problem that you would now need surgery. Never allow a simple fix to spin out of hand. Calm the tempo of the storm before it becomes a devastating hurricane. Be quick to apologize to your spouse. Learn to resolve your issues quickly.
Our Advice: Learn to say, “I am sorry.” Only those who are proud refuse to apologize even when they are the ones at fault. Remember that pride goes before a fall. Such individuals are just so difficult. Some people are so difficult to please. If you offend them in any way, you are in for it because they are swift to hold a grudge. Some who offend others are so obstinate that they still claim to be right while wrong. Learn to be a humble soul when dealing with your spouse. To be humble is an art and must be honed. Never allow arguments and misunderstandings to fester. Allowing resentments to aggravate is very corrosive and quickly impacts the foundation and pillars of your union. Never hesitate to offer an apology where you need to. Saying, “I am sorry” will heal many hurts in your marriage. Also, do your matrimony a favor, and don’t be that spouse that picks a fight needlessly. By hurting the harmony that you two shares in your home via your needless rancor only hurts your union in the long run.
#6. Be Sensitive to Stress
Always watch out for pressure in your partner. On many occasions, people tend to behave quite irrationally when stressed. Don’t place demands or correct your partner whenever he or she is stressed out. Give them some space if you need to. This will allow them to simmer down before engaging them in a discussion to delve into the root causation of whatever is ailing them. Much more, when your spouse is stressed-out is not the best time to criticize him or her—it is like pouring gasoline on an already raging fire. It would be stupid to do so. Keep a close watch on your partner to detect stress. Your partner might not even know he or she is stressed. Research on the signs that indicate pressure, it might be of help. Stress can be dangerous to your union, much more, to either spouse’s health in the marriage.
Our Advice: Stress is not a good thing and should be avoided at all costs. If you sense it always in yourself or your partner, you two cautiously need to get to its root and address it as soon as possible. Stress can be dangerous and can cause the following ailments: headaches, heartburn, rapid breathing, the risk of a heart attack, pounding heart, fertility problems, erectile dysfunction, missed periods, increased depression, insomnia, weakened immune system, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, stomachache, low sex drive, and tense muscles. Irritability, anxiety, depression, headaches, and insomnia are the manifestations that show that someone is under chronic stress. Make sure you are not the cause of stress in your matrimony—eschew stress like a plague. Don’t be the one that aggravates it but rather the one that helps to curb it.
#7. Communicate, Listen, Meditate, and Pray Together
Communication, listening, meditation, and praying together are critical ingredients for success in every marriage. A family that is united in the place of prayer, they say, stays together. Prayer fosters a calm atmosphere and leads to better communication. It helps to soften the heart when there is anger and creates room for both partners to talk, listen, share, and forgive one another where needed. Don’t forget that communication is not complete without feedback. So, whatever the reaction may be, please take it as feedback and be ready to take responsibility. As part of developing a suitable communication link, couples also need to listen and hear each other. Plus, jointly developing times when a couple engages in meditation also helps them develop a sustainable and calm atmosphere that allows them to communicate better.
Our Advice: First, communication is crucial in any marriage. Couples that don’t communicate effectively are crippling their union. Learn to talk about your issues. The big mistake that some couples make is assuming that their significant other knows what they are thinking. This prognostication is usually false. Say what you think and say what you mean. Let your communication be clear. Second, we should also add that developing communication skills in a relationship also requires that you learn the art of listening to your spouse too. It makes no sense of communicating when no one is listening. That is equivalent to no communication at all. Third and fourth, it is also beneficial to meditate and pray together, respectively. From a Christian perspective, meditating on the Holy Writ together and praying does a whole lot of good to married couples. It draws a couple closer to God and themselves. So, it would not hurt to make actively communicate, meditate, and pray together.
#8. Never Keep A Secret
Never keep a secret—always be open with each other and share what you feel with your spouse. Don’t be discouraged by the thought of how your partner will react. No matter how terrible the situation may be, learn not to keep something that is bothering you to yourself. It is quite toxic to do so. In the ideal sense, couples should have personal lives that are open books to themselves. Nothing should ever be a surprise to you and your spouse. It is better to tell your partner than for him to get the information elsewhere. So, be honest and share personal secrets with each other.
Our Advice: If you are keeping secrets from your spouse, you are already going off the tangent, to say the very least. It is a regretful place to be in a marriage situation. Some spouses choose to keep some parts of their lives to themselves because they are not psychologically safe with their spouses. Some say it is because they may have been burnt when being vulnerable to the one they love. Because of present or past experiences of being vulnerable with their partners, they bottle up some aspects of their lives in other to stay psychologically safe. Some spouses say that when they tell it all to their spouses, in the heat of future arguments or misunderstandings, their spouse regurgitates their shared stories of vulnerability in a spate of emotional blackmail—talk about a matrimonial James Bond movie in real life. If your spouse shares their secret with you, don’t use it against them. It is not just right; it is all the way wrong. However, keeping secrets from your spouse is not the ideal state—try and be open always. Failure to share your secrets with your spouse means that the love you share with them is not really at 100%. That is the fact.
“I want a happy marriage and whatever it takes to achieve that. But I think the main prerequisite would have to be respect. He would have to respect me and vice-versa. And, that would be more important than being in love. I think respect really goes a long way. And he would have to keep me happy. And he’d have to be very, very, secure.” — Shilpa Shetty
The supposed dreaded three-letter-word that is always mentioned in a hush-hush tone and note practically by everyone. (NB. We will address this topic in as much detail as possible without being overly explicit because of our audience). There is continually a negative connotation whenever the word “Sex” is mentioned—even in the marriage prairie. Society satiates itself with various notions of sexuality but somehow still finds a way to avoid discussing it or frowning at it. Sex is a beautiful thing in the right state or frame. Others may choose to define it within the premise of their understanding and credence. However, via the lens of my understanding, as conservative as it may seem—I establish that God created sex for enjoyment, balance, and procreation within the bonds of matrimony between “man” and “woman.” Per my credence, this is the right state of sex, and it is to the benefit and value of humanity. However, no one wants to talk about it could be attributed to the cheapening of sex by many societies today. Because of this prevalent fact in many societies, its value has been gravely diluted. Because of this dilution, sex is seen as dirty, where, in the right sense of the word, it is a pure act, in the right state, as we posited above. Sex is seen as a no-go area that should never be discussed in many arms of society. Unfortunately, this has also crept into marriages.
As a married couple, you need to discuss sex freely. It is a formidable pillar that can make or mar your marriage. The art and act of sex should be addressed without inhibition by the husband and the wife. The goal of sex between a married couple is companionship, satisfaction, and procreation. If a spouse is not satisfied, they should let their partner know without any fear and hesitation. As a spouse in a marriage union, you should never be selfish with sex. Some couples, for reasons best known to them, deprive each other of sex. As sad and selfish as it may sound, it is happening out there. This is not justified, but that is one of the principal reasons people end up stepping out on each other. Sex in marriage is an art. Your goal should be to give and make sure that your spouse is satisfied with the art and act process. It should never be all about you. In the heat of the moment, you must look for all satisfactory and mutually agreeable, and pleasing angles to choose to satisfy your spouse. Learn more about your spouse and what pleases them sexually. However, also learn about being romantic and educate yourself in the fine arts of foreplay.
Always ensure that your partner enjoys the moment more than you do. The goal should perpetually be to please. If the two partners have this ideology, they will end up always satisfying each other. We also mentioned that one of the principal benefits of sex is procreation. When engaging in sex, married couples do so with the aim of companionship, pleasure, and the aspiration to have children in the future. This keeps the population of the world going and growing. At least, this is the original intention of sex. Couples should view sex as a chief responsibility to each other. Anyone of two spouses can make a move—don’t let the request for sex be one-sided. Remember, one might surely be better, active, or crave for it more than the other. So, it is wise you both know your limit and work things out. The consent to engage in the art of sex must always be mutual. However, no matter what happens, the duo should never defraud themselves of each other—that is, creating a loophole for vices to creep into your matrimonial home.
Our Advice: It has been stated in detail in this section concerning the various notions about sex within the home. Despite the incongruous connotations linked to sex, it is nevertheless a beautiful thing. It helps foster a deeper bond between the married couple. Sex should never be perverted. Sex should remain in the confines of its original state—matrimony between a “man” and a “woman.” In so doing, its sanctity, beauty, and purity can be maintained. Married couples need to be forthright in communicating their thoughts with each other when it comes to sex. Be open about it as you discuss it with your spouse. Try not to be selfish about it—be giving and always aim to please. There should be no shyness or reason to be ashamed. It is an art and a journey that is meant to be treasured, respected, and enjoyed. So, for all the married couples out there, have fun as you go at it.
One of the criteria for love is the willingness to sacrifice. You can’t claim you love someone if you are not willing to put the other person’s needs first. If you are selfish and think only of yourself, you will eventually crash your marriage—that is, if you are married. There is a place for self-love. However, under the marriage institution umbrella, there is also a place for altruism. If you are single and excessively self-focused, you may end up being single for a very long time. Again, there is a place for some altruism in other to attract people to yourself. Marriage is all about sacrificing the “self” to a certain degree. By this, we mean that you must be ready to sacrifice your time, pleasure, resources, pride, and your overall desire for your partner. After you have done all these and more, you could boldly say that you are genuinely in love.
Our Advice: Give your very best to each other. Never go half the distance, go the mile and even go the extra mile in loving your spouse. As earlier espoused, there is a place for self-love. However, in the bonds of marriage, a spouse is bound to share. A spouse is bound to give themselves to their significant other. Giving material gifts to your spouse is a marvelous idea. However, the best benefits that you could ever give your spouse are those moments that you share with them. The pleasures, resources, pride, and an overall desire for your partner are all very crucial likewise. Give these sacrifices to each other, and you would be sowing seeds that will germinate into a long-lasting union, ceteris paribus.
“The secret to a happy marriage is if you can be at peace with someone within four walls, if you are content because the one you love is near to you, either upstairs or downstairs, or in the same room, and you feel that warmth that you don’t find very often, then that is what love is all about.” — Bruce Forsyth
We have seen a lot of facts in the preceding paragraphs of this long-form article. We saw that being a part of someone is the sweetest feeling anyone could ever experience. When a man and woman tie the nuptial bond, it comes with its share of joys and challenges. However, a duo’s goal is to jointly weather the storm together in a robust and beautiful union. Being married is far from being episodic—you must work at it continuously. Maintaining your marital union’s beauty and sustainability is an ongoing task—till death parts the duo. Hence, it would help if you polished your union always to sustain its shine and radiance. The concept of marriage is for companionship and the furtherance of humankind. It is a valuable institution and must be treated as such. It is not to be cheapened as society has done today via the prevalence of numerous acts of separations and divorces in every community. The institution of marriage is not one to be distorted or trifled with. Its sanctity must be maintained across the whole macrocosm.
We also saw that the foundation of any building structure is the critical reason why buildings stand or fall. Despite a building having a formidable substructure, it also needs to have a firm and stable superstructure that is buttressed by pillars and walls for it to stand. A firm building foundation will help the building stand despite all the weather’s vagaries that attack it. Building a stable marriage can be likened to building a house on the right foundation. Sustainable marriage is a mutualistic effort that must be done on the right footing. A strong foundation and supporting ethical pillars are also crucial for a marriage to succeed and survive the weather’s vagaries that attack it. Building a union on the wrong foundation is what leads to frictions, heartbreaks, separations, and divorces. That is why a match formed on the right foundation is crucial, sustained by robust ethical pillars. In this article, we have explored in detail ten posts that can help maintain the superstructure of marriage and help prevent it from collapsing or caving-in to the detriment of all those involved.
The first pillar we looked at is for you to know that you are not perfect, and neither is your spouse. If you commit a blunder, correct it immediately and quickly move on. Don’t let it fester by continually dwelling on it. Second, make sure you are not setting forgiveness limits. A couple must learn to cultivate a long-lasting bond of forgiveness as an avenue to sustain their union. Don’t tell your spouse that he or she has an “x” amount of times that he or she can offend you in the algebra of life. Also, spouses should never capitalize on this fact of always being forgiven based on remaining in perpetual error—you are only digging your own early grave if you do that. Third, couples always need to be truthful with each other. It is a lot of work to tell and maintain a lie. To lie to your spouse means that you are not truthful to yourself—you are technically destroying yourself literally. Always tell each other the truth. Start first by telling yourself the truth and do the right thing. Fourth, always find avenues to create rich and exciting experiences. Marriage is meant to be organic and not too rigid. So, don’t be too stoic; make your marriage a fun adventure. Fifth, you need to be quick to apologize. Those who are hesitant to say, “I am sorry,” will quickly rupture the bubble of their nuptial bond. Those who find it difficult to apologize are proud. And as the saying goes, “Pride goes before a fall.”
Sixth, you should always be sensitive to stress in a marriage union. Do all in your power to eschew unnecessary pressures. The weight of anxiety is not only detrimental to a union but to the life of the person that is involved. So, avoid stressful situations in a marriage situation. Seventh, learn to communicate, listen, meditate, and pray together. Communication is the golden key to sustaining your home. Learn to listen to each other. Learn to meditate and pray together. As the saying goes, “the family that prays together stays together.” Eighth, learn never to keep secrets from each other. This may be a struggle for many; however, in an ideal state, a couple should never keep secrets from each other. The lives of couples should be an open book. Couples should learn to work at it. Ninth, all married couples should have sex often with their partners in the word’s ideal and right sense. Sex is meant for companionship between the “man” and the “woman.” It is for pleasure as well as for procreation. It is not dirty—in the prototypical state of the word, it is supposed to be pure. Finally, tenth, marriage is all about making sacrifices. The best benefits and sacrifice that you could ever give your spouse are those time, pleasure, resources, pride, and an overall desire for your partner.
We have explored a lot of angles in this long-form article. Time and effort have been dedicated to this writing to add value to all readers’ minds concerning the importance of the marriage union. Before we end this piece, here are some final words of significance. Marriage is a thing of value and must be taken as such. It is not an institution that must be trifled with—careful thought and consideration must be exercised before you venture into it. Society has watered it down a lot. People now see it as typical to jump from one union to the other. One could say that it is almost now fashionable to have a string of previous “exes” to parade around in the annals of your life. The subjective perspective that this article promotes is for people to find that special someone—learn to love yourselves, and grow old together in a happy and full life.
Marriage is a marathon and not a hundred meters dash across the field of life. So, if you are single and hoping to get married, think it through. Don’t wait for a lifetime to get married if you wish to be; however, be sure to do so carefully. Please don’t rush into it. Many folks rush into marriage blindly and quickly fly out of it when all does not pan out as they have planned. Shine your eyes before going into a marriage union. Keep shining your eyes even after becoming hitched to your spouse. Are you already in a marriage union? Inspect your union and see if it is built on a solid foundation. If yes, bravo. If no, it is never too late to start building a strong foundation. Start retrofitting your marriage foundations with the pointers that this article delivers. The ethical pillars you build will help you sustain your union’s sturdiness for the long haul. Remember, the pressures of life will surely come. The foundation and pillars you have built are what will keep your union from crumbling. If you see that your foundation and pillars are weak, start today, and construct a formidable foundation. If it can be done on buildings via foundation retrofitting, it can be done in your marriage.
“My parents’ long and happy marriage was a great ideal to live up to, but a tough one.” — Olivia Williams
Adopt these pillars and tell your shining story! We hope that some or all these pillars work for your benefit. Following through with these pillars will require your commitment and hard work. No one says it’s going to be easy. There will be times you may cry and need a shoulder to lean on, and there will be times that you will laugh. There will be times that you will have to tear down unfavorable structures in a union, and there will be times to build foundations and pillars to sustain the union. There will be times of war, and there will be times of peace—we wish you all more times of prosperity, love, and peace. The key to succeeding in the marathon of love is determination. Like I always say, “Determination today will lead to success tomorrow.” Keep at it. Always remember that with determination, you can achieve your desired result—even in your marriage. Have a happy married life. Carpe diem!
(NB. The points that are discussed here are not exhaustive in any way. We welcome all constructive comments that will help our process of adding more value to minds).
- A View on Cities. (2018). Golden Gate Bridge. Retrieved from www.aviewoncities.com/sf/goldengatebridge.htm
- Wikipedia. (2018). Golden Gate Bridge. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Gate_Bridge