So you’ve tied the knot, gotten hitched, or whatever else you want to call it. You’ve entwined your life with that of another through marriage. You hope to be together not only for a good time, but a long time. You know you’re committed, and that’s a good thing, but how will you handle the tests that will crop up and challenge your commitment level?
It will help to have some marriage insight in your back pocket that will help you handle future challenges. Something every newly married couple should realize is that each person in the relationship will have cycling needs. Having your needs met is somewhat up to you. It isn’t really your spouse’s job to make you happy or to fulfill all your needs.
A marriage relationship consists of two needy people who’ve come together to work toward common goals. It’s important to pay attention to the word needy here. Everyone has needs no matter their level of education, age, or background. Most enter a marriage relationship expecting some of their needs will be met. And that should happen. But needs cycle and sometimes cycles collide.
A woman’s hormones have a cycle all their own which can significantly shift a woman’s energy and mood, making her more needy or less able to help another in need. Tiredness can affect a person’s ability to interact with another calmly. Uncontrolled venting and use of angry words or even just an angry tone of voice can cause unnecessary relationship damage. When one spouse is ill, both spouses’ mood can be affected. Waxing and waning sexual desire can throw the relationship off course.
It makes sense that at times your needs may be contradictory to your spouse’s. You might be up for a spontaneous daytrip or brisk walk, but your spouse wants to lay low after a stressful week at work. You may desperately crave a listening ear to vent to but, at the time, your spouse is no mood to listen after spending a day listening to others on the phone at work.
When conflict arises and you become tempted to stray from your commitment, stop and look at what needs aren’t being met. Step back and look at creative ways to meet them. Above all, be willing to give your spouse the same grace and forgiveness you desire.
Of course you want to have fun together and you should expect to share in each other’s interests from time to time. It was fun that brought you this far. But for a relationship to succeed, each party should focus on cultivating their own personal happiness. That means creating a network of friends, helpful resources, and personal interests to turn to as needed.
Yes, your spouse can be supportive and help change your mood, that’s part of the reason you’re together, but if you’re having a disappointing or boring day, resist the temptation to blame your spouse for how you’re feeling. It really isn’t up to your spouse to make you feel better.
Marriage provides a base for two people, who know each other better than anyone else does, to share their lives. The premise of marriage is to join with someone you know is on your side and who has your back. But under stress, it’s common to become competitive and forget you’re a team.
When you feel stress and division mounting, remind yourself to work together. Huddle up even when it feels like your team is losing to unpaid bills, arguments with relatives or neighbours and the constant need to keep household items working and groceries on the table. Like any good team that finishes well, it’s important to dodge the challenges and stay strong.
Keys to Remember:
- 1You are each needy people looking for affirmation, support, and fun.
- 2You are each responsible for creating your own happiness.
- 3You are a team, not competitors.
To have a marriage that isn’t just committed to staying together but committed to cultivating a healthy climate, it’s important to remember these.
These tips are foundational, but not necessarily all there is to know in order to keep your marriage thriving long-term. The best marriages result when those involved each do their part in understanding the dynamics of the relationship and contribute to make the marriage all it can be.