Thursday, March 07, 2019

Debunking Ten Golden Rules for a Happy and Successful Marriage

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2
Today, we celebrate our fourth year wedding anniversary. The day I married my husband was the best day of my life.

To love and be loved is the most beautiful feeling in the world. After four years of being married, my husband and I never really had any serious arguments. We are one of those couple who had a whirlwind romance and the thought that we immediately jumped into a married life was scary for both our families. However, our wedding is the ultimate proof that time is not the test to gauge a successful union. Despite of the haste of our wedding, I am a happy and contented wife with a husband who showers me with love and kindness every single day.

Ten Rules for a happy marriage

Just as we have proven that being in a long relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend is not an assurance that you will end up as a married couple, there are other golden rules that we believe are not true at all.

1. Don’t go to sleep without talking about a misunderstanding
Wrong. Forcing somebody to talk at the height of emotion is the worst that you can do in a relationship. Some people are not so good in expressing themselves and forcing them to talk when the emotion is raw elicits more harm than good. It is good however if a couple would have an agreement when everything is smooth sailing that during misunderstanding, when someone is not ready to talk about it yet, silence must be respected. A simple gesture like hugging or holding hands may just be a perfect assurance that love still exists despite of deafening silence. It is true that communication is the key to a successful relationship but it is not only through words but actions. Despite of occasional misunderstanding, my husband and I always fall asleep hugging and holding each other’s hands.

Ten Rules for a happy marriage

2. Remove TV/Cellphones from the bedroom
Wrong. In a fairy tale love story, a couple might do just that. But, reality speaks that TV or other gadgets such as cellphones is just part of life. You want comfort so you want them in the bedroom. Cuddling together while watching TV may just be the best form of relaxation for a couple. Perhaps, a more realistic solution is just simply turning off and putting down cellphones for a few minutes each night to focus and listen to each other.  We do this during meal time. No cellphones are allowed at the table and we spend the time talking while eating.

Ten Rules for a happy marriage

3. Pick your battles
When your heart is bursting with pain and all you want to do is lashed out, it is hard to say to pick your battles. Human frailties weaken our will from identifying which battle is worth getting into. We react with our emotions and saying it otherwise is a lie. The best way to deal with fights is making sure that there is an agreement when one is too emotional, the other one will not fight back. When the wife is upset about something, a hug from a husband is enough to pacify anger.

Ten Rules for a happy marriage

4. Let go of the little things
Wrong. The reason why something becomes big is because it was never discussed when it was little. Accepting the little misgivings does not mean letting go but more so an acknowledgment that there are problems but you are willing to accept it without holding grudges. If your husband or wife always forgets to kiss or hug you before leaving each morning, and you just let it go, it will be a part of your every day life. Discuss little things when both are cool with it and make a compromise.

5. Marriage isn’t about your happiness. While love must be selfless, there’s no denying that you can’t give what you don’t have.  The reason why some marriages fail is because couples fail to acknowledge that their happiness matters, too. They give too much of themselves and ended up completely drained in the process. The thought of happiness must be cultivated by both the wife and husband. Little happiness matters and if pampering yourself once in a while is what it takes, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Ten Rules for a happy marriage

6. If you have to criticize, do it lovingly. Love does not seek perfection and it is common to have flaws. I don’t believe in any good that a criticism would do. It simply must not exist in a relationship. Words hurt and may cause an irreparable damage to the confidence of your spouse. I think the right word is not criticizing but simply talking about things that nags you.   

7. Accept that you can’t control your spouse’s actions.
You can’t control your spouse’s actions but tolerating something that you don’t want will eat your sanity every day until you realize that there’s nothing left with you anymore. Talking about it like two grown ups and making an agreement is the key to a happy marriage.

Ten Rules for a happy marriage

8. Work out your own issues
Wrong. There is no better way to deepen the bond of a couple but to seek each other’s help at times of weakness. Just a simple act of leaning on each other forms a profound connection that only the two of you would understand. A person becomes weak when facing adversities alone but a relationship becomes stronger when the couple understand that whatever happens they will be with each other. Sometimes, we don’t understand why a person acts differently it’s because we are not aware of what he’s going through. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness but an acknowledgment that you have issues that you need to work on and a help may all that you need.

Ten Rules for a happy marriage

9. Don’t rely on your spouse for your own individual happiness.
Wrong. When you find happiness beyond what your partner can give, then something is wrong. It’s supposed to be a partnership not an individual happiness. You can spend time with your friends and be happy about it but sharing it with your partner may just give you the same amount of happiness. Again, I am a blessed wife for having a husband who does not seek to spend time with others. We do things together because we both enjoy it.

Ten Rules for a happy marriage
One thing that four years of marriage has taught me is that love must be cultivated in any form. It is a two-way process to continue growing every single day. Put in your heart the vows that were exchanged during the wedding…to love and honor…to cherish…in sickness and in health…

10. Assume the best in other.
There is nothing wrong assuming the best to your spouse. Love does not just befall without reasons. However, assuming the best with your spouse might just create this false expectation. Your partner is as human as you are. If you have flaws, so is your spouse and acceptance is the key.

One thing that four years of marriage has taught me is that love must be cultivated in any form. It is a two-way process to continue growing every single day. Put in your heart the vows that were exchanged during the wedding…
to love and honor…
to cherish…
in sickness and in health…


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