My wife and I have been married for just over two years now. We have been together for over five years in total. Marriage is tough. It is a constant battle towards success and happiness. Marriage is plentiful, challenging and beautifully designed by God. Shelby and I I continually to share and battle through ups and downs in our marriage. We have so much to learn still in order to grow deeper in marriage together.
- Marriage requires sacrifice.
Sacrifice on part of each individual is vital to a successful and long lasting marriage. A person must sacrifice his/her own need to be right and first in the picking order for the betterment of the marriage. Relationships where an individual is constantly putting him/her self first will never be successful, nor is this showing sacrifice for the marriage. One must sacrifice his/her own time, effort, emotions and physical presence in order to give those exact sacrifices to the other person. Listening becomes more important than speaking. If you are talking all the time, you cannot listen and learn.
Honestly, I still struggle with all of these aspects of sacrifice. I still find the need to be right and put myself and my own emotions and goals first. There is a constant battle I am fighting to be myself and to sacrifice myself for my marriage and my wife. Sacrifice is not just about acts of kindness. Sacrifice is risking emotional pain. I believe the latter is the integral and most difficult part to a successful marriage.
2. Marriage does not mean you get to quit trying.
The difference in dating and marriage is there is no true difference. Both require some form of commitment, sacrifice, communication and effort. Why is that many couples quit and/or reduce their overall effort in the transition from dating to marriage? When I speak of effort I may consider spontaneity, communication, romance, pursuit and all out effort at its core. I am 100% guilty of these actions time and time again. The transition from dating to marriage seems to automatically enter us into the guise of “Battle is over, war is won” thought process regarding marriage. However, I argue the battle has just begun and war is not meant to be won nor lost. In fact, we should all strive to try harder, pursue your significant other more vigorously and love deeper. Very cliche, but it is the truth and nothing but the truth. The following quote speaks volumes about success across any platform, of which I will leave my final resting place about effort and marriage:
“Success isn’t owned. Its leased and rent is due everyday.”
– J.J. Watt
3. Marriage is basically Communication spelled backwards or sideways or whatever. You will get my point in a second.
Communication is the key to success. Where have you heard that phrase before? Without a form of communication all life is lost. Humans are social butterflies, or at least that is God’s intent. How can marriage be successful without communication? Both physical and nonverbal communication is completely vital in a marriage. Marriages cease to exist without it.
Each partner in a marriage has a need to be heard, which also fills their need to be spoken to (or communicated with). In order to grow closer to one another, each person must learn the depth and breadth of the other. Emotions are constantly changing and influencing among individuals. The need to feel and be touched is basic human nature (both physical and nonverbal). Marriage is the ultimate and most intimate form of communication found in nature. Without communication, marriage is powerless. Without marriage, communication is basic and superficial at best. I say this in the context that a partner in marriage should be the foundation for all thoughts, emotions and physical well-being of a person. Do you pour heart, soul, mind and body entirely to another person not in marriage? That is what I mean by basic and superficial. A person does not give up the life form of who they are to just anybody. Therefore, the key to marriage is communication with intent and purpose. One cannot succeed or exist without the other.