Written by: Martez Layton
G.ood balance is pivotal to maintaining good chemistry and years of good success. Balance refers to understanding one another’s strengths and weaknesses. Many arguments that erupt in the marriage are primarily fueled due to one spouse focusing on a weakness of the other. For example, if someone in the relationship has a weakness in communicating their feelings, to continue to push that person to talk or listen the way you want them to can become very harmful to the relationship. This frustration eventually turns to anger which in turn causes excessive arguing. Whether you are maintaining balance financially, sexually, physically, or verbally, the key is to be willing to show compassion with understanding and patience.
R.ealistic expectations can be the difference in having weekends filled with fun and excitement or dread and rejection. For example, if your spouse is a huge college football for fan and you have expectations of doing things together on Saturdays, then those expectations could cause challenges in the marriage. Realistic expectations take into consideration the experiences, desires, family values and moral and social convictions of a person. I am not saying that expectations cannot change over the course of the marriage, but make sure your expectations have realistic timelines and that you are not focusing on simply trying to force change. You want to continually find out during your marriage what your spouse is expecting from you. This conversation should be held without judgment or sarcasm because expectations have emotions attached to them and some have been a part of a person’s life since childhood. The goal is to find common ground and maintain love and respect around the expectations.
A.cceptance and acknowledgment brings a deeper level of understanding and appreciation in your love relationship. During the marriage there will be continuous emotional, mental and physical changes, but knowing that your spouse accepts you and is willing to be flexible and grow with you, adds confidence and self-esteem in the marital relationship. This is vitally important if your spouse’s love language is words of affirmation. You could be the greatest spouse a person could want, but without knowing how to show acceptance and give acknowledgment could be the very thing which causes your marriage to fail.
C.ommunication is at the core of the foundation of any marital relationship. Good communication can have a positive affect on all areas whether financially, emotionally, mentally, sexually or spiritually. Whatever the challenge is in a marriage, the lack of communication is always at the core. With that being said, for this reason alone, couples should always be trying to improve in the area of communication. The starting point for this is always talking with your professional coach or counselor.
E.ducation is a requirement which forces each partner to continually expand their knowledge about one another and the challenges that they may face. Constant reading and learning allows new doors of opportunity to open in the relationship and keeps creativity flowing. Learning is the key to growing! The saying in life is the same in marriage, “what you don’t know will hurt you.” This is why each partner in the marriage should be reading a book or taking a class or workshop to improve their marital relationship.
As you may have noticed in this article, the first letter for each section spells out G.R.A.C.E. This is because no marriage can truly have success without grace. Grace is connected to forgiveness and forgiveness is connected to love. In fact, the depth of your love for anyone is always measured by the depth of your forgiveness. Marriage can at times require daily forgiveness, but it is during those times that the marital bond is being strengthened. Grace is full of encouragement, while blame is full of judgment and condemnation. So, remember good balance, realistic expectations, acceptance and acknowledgement, communication and education founded in GRACE will always lead to a successful marriage!