In today’s world many people no longer believe in marriage, the subject is worn out and the mentality is, let’s live together and if it does not work, everyone goes by their side. There are still people who believe in the institution of marriage, I am one of them, thank God I have already had 4 wonderful years of married plus 3 years of courtship, making a total of 7 years of relationship. I know that it is not an impressive number and that we still have a lot to live, but we know that by the hand of God, we will remain united.
Today I want to share some tips that have worked throughout this time, of course I will not tell you that we have not had problems, because it would be a lie and no marriage is perfect, but I can tell you that when you work as a team with your partner and you include God as the center, everything becomes much simpler.
It is very common to hear phrases like:
“When we were not married, it was not like that”
“Before you paid more attention to me and you wanted to be more with me, now you do not include me anymore”
“What I earn is mine and I can do what I want with it”
“Not even when I lived with my parents I had to report”
And so I can continue with the list, and it is common to see that the first years of marriage become hell and often causes temporary separations or in more extreme cases divorce.
I want to share some tips you can apply, not only to make the transition from courtship to marriage, but also you can apply them even if you have 30 or 40 years of marriage.
1. Agreements within the relationship
One of the main successes in our relationship is the ability to make agreements that are win-win. That is, that both parties are satisfied. This does not mean that both achieve everything they want, since it is necessary that both give something, but the agreement must be satisfactory for both parties.
Here is an example of one of the agreements we made with my wife almost at the beginning of our marriage.
My wife is a pet lover, and since she was little she wanted to have a chihuahua, I personally like animals but dogs are not my first choice and I know the work that they entail, but there was something I wanted, and it was a PS4.
My wife had been denying me the console, as I denied the puppy, however for not making the story long, we made an agreement and now we have a chihuahua and a ps4 console. Each of us presented our arguments, each one was willing to give a little, and we reached an agreement with which we are both satisfied, to all this, the chihuahua is about to fulfill 4 years of being with us and is part of the family.
This can be applied to any area of your marriage, but you have to be aware that it requires acceptance by both parties, which often requires that you make a sacrifice to do something that may not be of your complete pleasure.
It is worth mentioning that the agreements must be clear, not with hidden intentions, but transparent so that they are beneficial to the relationship.
2. Make decisions together
One of the biggest problems you may face being married, is that many times each one makes independent decisions without commenting anything to his / her partner, then there are consequences that affect both and is where they begin to attack each other.
Many times the problem starts from the beginning of the relationship of courtship, as they tend to think in this way:
“It’s just my boyfriend / girlfriend, is only my decision”
“This is not his / her problem”
And you may be right up to a point, but if the relationship you have is formal and you want something in the long term that works, you should start sharing your decisions with your partner, since the reality is that every step you take now It will not affect only your future, but both.
The main decision you should make is to love each other, love is not a feeling, it is a decision you make. Many couples fail because when the magic of falling in love is over, they realize all the flaws of their partner, and get disappointed, but when the decision to love has been made, they can overcome each one of the problems as a team.
This advice is complemented by my previous advice, since many of the decisions that are made fall within an agreement established between both.
3. Have a single budget
This is one of the most controversial topics when married, finance is one of the main causes of problems within marriage. It is normal that both work, since the cost of life is high and constantly increasing and if you want to achieve a higher status, both should contribute.
This entails many challenges, if both are professionals, some competition can be generated between you and your partner, like who achieve more or who contribute more, and can make you feel independent of each other. Another situation could be like the husband has no job and the woman is the one who is holding the home, this may also causes problems, mainly of pride. In short there are many cases, but this is not the point.
My advice in general is to take a joint budget, should not be a secret what are the income of each, and the expense should be basically for the family, not the expense of the husband and the expense of the wife.
From the courtship you can start to manage a budget, not to join your salaries, but start planning expenses as a couple, share the expenses of going out to dinner, or the movies, etc. If you are already planning to get married, prepare a couple budget regarding the wedding, and seek to contribute according to your capacity.
This will help avoid misunderstandings, and if within the couple one of the two is has more experience about financial matters, it makes sense for that person to keep the budget updated, this does not mean that only that person will be responsible for the money since remember the budget must be established jointly, and here my two previous advises apply, take decisions together and reach common agreements.
Here it is worth mentioning, live your reality, do not want to pretend what you are not, of course always seek to improve, but live according to your possibilities. You can read my post about 5 financial tips.
4. Build trust
This is possibly one of the most worn out tips that everyone has heard at some point, but it is still the basis for any relationship. A relationship without trust will not prosper.
Take into account that building trust is not something that happens overnight, it is something that is done day by day based on our attitudes, on what we do or do not do, etc.
Forging a relationship based on trust is not a simple thing, since trust is something very fragile, it can be broken in a matter of seconds, and rebuilding it is even more complicated.
As the common saying says “Words are carried by the wind” Building trust is not based on what we say, but based on what we do. So make sure that your actions are congruent with what you say.
This trust should be forged from the courtship, if you do not trust your partner before marriage, getting married will not make that change, on the contrary, the problems will increase every day.
5. Have fun as a couple and on your own
A very common mistake when starting a relationship is that you want to do everything with your couple, you feel in the clouds and want to share as much time as possible with your couple. This often causes us to stray from our friendships.
As time passes, this changes, and you can fall into a feeling of frustration as the magic of falling in love goes down and you start to feel like sharing with your friends. This is not bad, on the contrary it means that the relationship is growing and you realize that it is not necessary to share 100% of your time with your couple.
It is necessary that you learn to have fun with and with out your partner, it is not bad that you want to meet your friends to eat, or to spend some time, of course always respecting certain rules and giving the place that your partner deserves even if she / he is not present.
This will allow your relationship to continue to develop and grow over time.
6. Support each other in everything
A couple should not be just someone to pass the time, should be an ally, a partner, and should help you develop in all areas of your life.
When you choose that special person, make sure that he / she is someone who adds to your life, who challenges you to be better every day and who helps you grow as a person. Someone who has future plans, and wants to surpass himself, is someone who will inspire you. Find someone you admire, but in turn also he / she admires you, mutual admiration will be a key factor to achieve success in every way, and I do not mean only economically, but in all areas of your life.
If your partner wants to reach a new goal such as studying, open a business, improve their weaknesses, etc., support it, help him / her develop, give it your unconditional love and let it grow as an individual, in turn, this will add to the relationship and you will achieve amazing things.
7. Include God in your relationship
And my last, but most important advice, do not leave God outside of your relationship. Ecclesiastes 4:12 And if a man prevail against one, two will resist him; and three-fold cord does not break soon.
God must be that third element in your relationship, if he is the one who unites you, nothing can separate you. But including God goes beyond attending church together, goes beyond praying together and reading the Bible, including God means that you put it in each of the steps you take as a couple, in the decisions you make, in everything you do.
This may be the most difficult task to achieve, but it is the only thing that will allow your marriage to last and be strong in any circumstance that arises.