Marriage – no, you can’t live on love and fresh air alone. A marriage takes real work. It takes effort, it takes commitment, it takes teamwork.
Walking into a marriage, many of us may have expected flowers and romance for always but the honeymoon period does fade out but what comes after – the culmination of your journey towards discovering yourselves through both the good and trying times can forge bonds deeper than any other.
Real women share what it takes to make their marriage work.
“In order for a marriage to work, I think one has to first be, introspective. Figure out what our strengths and faults are. How can we improve, what can we do to better ourselves? In a marriage, it’s imperative that we be willing to accept our mistakes and take responsibility for our misgivings.
Patience, understanding and putting ourselves in our partner’s shoes develops a greater bridge of communication and love. Sometimes, taking one for the team and demanding nothing in return makes for a happier marriage. Laugh at everything and be grateful for the smallest things.”
Married for seven years, two kids.
“I believe that empathy towards one another and when both parties prioritise in putting the other partner’s interest first, that would make a marriage last.”
Married eight years, set of twins.
“Mutual respect and communicating with one another is very important. Have your own interests instead of depending too much on your spouse and don’t fall back on gender stereotypes.”
Married five years, one child.
“The greatest advice I have ever received about marriage is that love is a not a feeling but a decision. My dad shared this with me and at that time, prior to marriage, I didn’t understand the concept of love being a decision. Ten years on with my husband, I do understand. The love you have for each other grows and takes on new meaning and in a way new forms. With the addition of kids and responsibilities, it is inevitable for there to be moments of doubt and frustration. But remembering why we love each other and why we chose to make this life together, helps us remain strong in our marriage.
Needless to say, God plays a big part in our marriage and of course, compromise – a marriage’s Best Friend.”
Married for ten years, three kids.
“Patience, communication and a lot of cuddles.”
Married one year.
“Loyalty – you must trust one another and not break the trust that has been established. Perspective – perspective needs to be flexible and positive because a relationship develops and changes over time and so we must also adjust our perspective on how we view our relationship, partner and expectations. Respect –knowing not to belittle one another and respecting differences will reduce contempt and criticism. Laughter – you must be able to laugh (a lot!) with (and sometimes AT!) I feel laughter opens up communication and brings people closer together.”
Married four years, two kids.
“Communication and compromise is the key to making our marriage work. I used to be very good at giving the “silent treatment” but I realised it was not the right thing to do. My relationship with my husband is not always well and dandy. We do have those arguments and disagreements. As the years have passed I have learned to be more open minded and I am no longer quick to argue back.
My motto is to try not be reactive, be considerate with my words and actions when conflict arises. I also try not go to bed angry or upset.”
Married for 13 years, two kids.
“Communication – The ability to listen to your partner and express your thoughts and feelings with an “I feel”. Agree to disagree at times but reach a consensus to settle a problem as soon as possible. Space – Before we kill each other!!! I feel it’s healthy to have some time apart now and then, doing what we love and not forget who we are individually. Love – When you feel the love is gone, remember why you fell in love with this person in the first place. Before marriage, kids, responsibilities and the day to day craziness. Make quality time for each other.”
Married for 11 years, two kids.
“It takes carving out time in our busy schedules for each other where we’re not running errands for the household or discussing logistics for the following day. It’s important to keep the intimacy and conversation alive and remember why we chose to share life with each other, aside from all the ‘necessary’ stuff.”
Married for five years, two kids.
“Conversation, commitment, and the courage to confront conflict. Patience, perseverance, passion and prioritising each other. And laughter…lots of it.”
Married four years, one kid.
Married seven years, two kids.