Many people dream of a happy married life. But for most the dream never comes true. For some it begins to crumble on the wedding day, others have theirs last the honeymoon, few succeed. I have suggested here ingredients that are necessary for successful marriages. The tips might be helpful for other forms of relationships.
Unconditional love: love is more than a feeling, an emotional high, rising body chemistry, fantasy or even sex; even though they may have something to do with it. It is a commitment to the welfare of your partner. Unconditional love means loving your partner no matter what. It means you will love them whether they love you or not; it means to have and to hold, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; until death do you part.
Selflessness: selflessness means each partner thinks not just of his/her interest but their collective interests. It means their thoughts, judgments, decisions and actions are not guided by personal and selfish interests but the interests of both partners.
Trust and trustworthiness: trust is necessary for the success of any relationship. In marriage it means handing over ones heart, body and resources to his/her partner with the confidence that he/she will not cheat or do anything hurtful by using them for any purpose not acceptable to both. This level of trust should be initial; subsequently, trust is earned. Trustworthiness is behaving in a way deserving of such trust. Every partner must work at credible behaviour mutually acceptable in order to earn trust. Many other things depend on this.
Respect: for a marriage to be successful there must be mutual respect. This means treating your partner with honour and dignity. It means valuing your partner. It means you wonít abuse your partner; you wonít shout on them nor fight them. It means you wonít embarrass them in public and you wonít speak evil of them either before or behind them. Naturally, we gravitate towards people who respect, value and treat us with honour. Your partner will become more attached to you if you respect them.
Faithfulness: faithfulness has to do with pleasure and affection. It means giving and receiving pleasure and affection to only one person i.e. your partner. Unfaithfulness refers not only to physical acts of sex and sexual affection and pleasure; it also means emotional attachment to somebody else apart from your partner. It means secret admiration of another person. It means spending unnecessary time with someone that is not your partner. It means sharing or giving your heart to somebody else. While you still have good conscience, it means crossing the unwritten boundary. Once there is unfaithfulness a marriage is failing.
Communication, Openness and Honesty: communication is talking, openness is saying it all, while honesty is saying the truth. Communication is essential because it is the means by which views are shared, pleasures and displeasures are expressed. Openness depends largely on trust. When there is no trust, couples donít open up. Openness means having no secret in your mind, heart and life that is not laid bare before your partner. Honesty means saying the truth always.
Forgiveness: offenses are bound to come; nobody is perfect. If partners donít learn to forgive and give up resentments, anger and frustrations from each others actions, they will gradually drift apart. Forgiveness means deciding not to deal with your partner according to what his/her actions deserve.
Allowance: there comes a time when your partner needs their space. Your relationship will be bliss if you discern such moments. There are times they need to be alone, there are times they need to hang around with just their fiends without you, and there are times they need to be private with their family. You are wise if you know such moments and grant them the space. Secondly, your relationship will succeed if allow your partner to be themselves. You were created unique. This means you are different. Usually the point of difference is a point of collision for many because we innately desire others to think and behave like us. But you cannot change the essential nature of your partner; the best is to refine or modify them. If you are the same in thought and action, you are likely to reap multiplied consequences of your negative traits. So God created you different to complement each other. You do well if you allow your partner to be themselves. Again this has to be mutual.
Adjustment: this is a necessary companion of allowance mentioned above. Your uniqueness and differences means you must constantly shift grounds in order to walk together. A relationship where each partner always insists on having their way is heading for the rocks. There are times you need to give up your point/grounds even if you are sure you are right.
The God factor: A relationship will be successful if the individuals involved have personal relationship with God and if they are individually committed to obeying God and doing his will in all areas of their lives. It will be successful if both partners are committed to building their relationship based on the principles of God. There are times only your allegiance to God will save you from the weakness of your flesh. The importance of prayers cannot be over emphasized. Your best efforts might not produce expected results. I wish you success. God bless you.