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Old September 24th, 2015, 07:42 AM
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Junior eCharchan
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Location: Toronto
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Re: Marriage should have an expiration date!

Love is not just an emotion. It is a choice that I can make to extend loving actions to somebody. Hobart Mowrer, a famous psychologist put it this way, “It’s easier to act your way into the correct way of feeling than to feel your way into the right course of action.” If I wait till I feel like doing something, there are going to be times that I wait an awful long time to do what I need to do. Instead, if I stick with my convictions and my commitment to Donalyn and say, “You know what? I love you and I’m going to show it by my actions,” it’s an incredible gift to a marriage. Love is something that has to be acted out – not just good intentions or warm feelings. Actions are really what count.

When we first started out in our relationship, we put a lot of work into getting our date. We do what we can to win them over, to charm and impress them. You remember, don’t you? You pursued each other; you did a lot of special romantic gestures, gave tons of attention and maintained incessant contact and communication. The goal? To woo and win them over. But after the wedding, life gets busy, priorities change and assumptions are made with work, the kids, and a ton of other pressures.

What happens to many of us at that point is we begin to take the relationship for granted. We often don’t spend as much time working on the relationship once we’re married. Then when the kids come – as great as they are – there’s even less discretionary time to spend together. Marriage is kind of relegated to third or fourth place beneath other priorities, and the relationship suffers. We lose the fun, the warmth and the romance between us and settle for a merely functional, co-existing, room-mate type status.

The easy thing to do would be to just let it slide and say, “Well that’s okay, we’re going to make it; we’ll reconnect after the kids move out.” Some might even take on the attitude, “Well I’m married. What do I need to do now? Of course I love you. I’ll tell you when it changes.” Sadly for too many reasons, many couples settle for far less than what marriage can and should be.

Without time there is no relationship. Every couple needs to set aside time each week to focus exclusively on one another. So, pull out your calendars, get each other into your schedules, and plan some time together. It’s not going to happen without intentional planning, because life has a way of filling any discretionary times with other important things. We need to make time for what’s really important and work everything else around it. The relationship is the reward. Focus on chunks of time alone with your spouse – without kids, without work, without distractions.

Sadly, with all the pressures we face, it’s so easy for couples to just bite at each other. We react in negative ways to our mate because of tensions in life even when some don’t have anything to do with them. In many marriages, harshness, impatience and anger have become the norm. But that’s no way to build a lasting friendship.

How you treat your spouse is incredibly critical. We learned about it as a kid in elementary school, way back in grade one likely. The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It’s a powerful principle. Before lashing out at your spouse, play the empathy game: “Would I like to be chewed out right now? Would I like to have someone be impatient with me right now?” Just keep swinging it around and ask yourself, “How would I like to be treated right now?” Even though she’s frustrated, even though he’s kind of late, or whatever – how would you want to be treated? That kind of perspective will make a huge difference.

“Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not selfish. Love is not rude.” There is more but be clear. Love requires the proper treatment to our spouse. There should be no one on this earth that you treat better than the person you married. There needs to be a real sense that “I value you; I treasure you.” Instead of tearing one another down, we need to make a real effort to encourage one another daily. Find ways to tell your spouse they are special and significant. Become your spouse’s greatest fan.

Few tips for happy marriage.

Don’t be afraid to get creative!

Forgiveness is essential to any friendship – especially one as all-consuming as marriage.

Forgive one another completely and unconditionally, and to make the changes that are needed, there is no issue that cannot be overcome. You will never regret making an effort to improve your marriage relationship.

Be funny and laugh/joke around alwys making the atmosphere light and easy. (Stress free).
Do not get upset with people or situations. Both are powerless without your reaction.

Last edited by goldensoul; September 24th, 2015 at 07:47 AM.
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