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Opinions of Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Columnist: Sylvester Forson

The 4 compulsory pillars of a successful marriage

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In spite of the several marriage definitions advanced by religions, philosophies and ethnicities, the fundamental feature of marriage is that it is a lawfully recognized union between man and woman who have agreed to be husband and wife,

Whiles some individuals perceive marriage as an easy remedy to loneliness, others view marriage as a bed of roses where everything should be easy and cosy, there is also this interesting class of people who envisage marriage to be a kind of machinery in which ones started has the capacity/potential to endlessly work on its own without any supervision or administration.

As all these classes of people strive to enter into marriage, they get to appreciate much later that the realities of marriage are far from what they ambitiously expected. Unfortunately, this makes them disenchanted and frustrated and many amongst them end-up wishing/asking for divorce or annulments.

It is important to note that although Marriage requires team-work, hard-work, trust and all the other attributes required for organizational success, the demands for a successful marriage goes beyond the requirements needed for institutional or organizational success. This is why many succeed at work but fail at home.

There are four basic pillars upon which every successful marriage flourishes. These four principles are the lifeline to every positive marriage and they are universal in nature, the absence or deficiency in any of the four pillars will result in a marital glitch.

Irrespective of your social or cultural ideology, these four principles remain resolute as the most tried and tested pillars upon which every successful marriage relies on.

The Principle of Love

Researchers have proposed various definitions for love, but for the purpose of this discussion, let us define love as “that passionate sweet inner-feeling towards a person of the opposite gender which makes you emotionally and sexually attracted to him/her and excitedly enthusiastic at spending every available time with him/her in spite of his/her weaknesses, faults or strengths”.

Just like a building structure that has a foundation which keeps it strong and standing, love is the foundation of every marriage.

True Love makes couples naturally selfless towards each other and inspires them to always resolve differences as early as possible because what they feel for each other is stronger than any internal or external threat.

Beyond the natural feeling of love, partners must constantly commit to demonstrating and communicating love through words and actions. Love makes it easy for spouses to adopt the other three pillars.

The Principle of mutual Respect

For any marriage to be successful, each partner must first of all respect himself/herself after which he/she must commit to graciously respect and revere his/her spouse without any reservations whatsoever.

In the attempt to feel-at-home or be-yourself, try as much as possible not to say or do things that will warrant any kinds of disrespect (in actions or words) from your spouse,

Bear in mind that some attributes or words which may be normal to one person may be extremely disrespectful to the other so study your partner extensively and know what works for him or her.

During arguments or disagreements, be sure to stick to the issues and no matter how angry you get; never go personal or use your spouse’s weakness or shared secrets against him/her.

The ideology of mutual respect is very important especially to men because when you wholeheartedly respect a man, he’s easily tempted to reason that you love him.

The Principle of Forgiveness

The principle of forgiveness requires a certain level of emotional and mental discipline from each partner towards the other because it is usually the most difficult principle to implement.

In a marital relationship, little issues may sometimes cause big troubles and little offences sometimes hurt more than the bigger ones so when the offender apologizes over an offence, it lessens the burden of forgiveness.

We must also recognize that there are partners who easily forgive whiles for some it may take a while to forgive (temperamental differences); the latter group of people must make the extra effort to forgive faster, bearing in mind that forgiving your partner is for your own wellbeing and for the continuous healthy growth of your marriage.

Offences lead to broken trust so whiles your partner forgives you, it becomes your responsibility to work towards restoring the level of trust he/she had for you before the offence occurred.

Never revisit past incidents, once they are passed they remain in the past and even if you go to sleep angry, try not to wake up fuming with the same level of anger because negative emotions soil sweet relationships and opens the human body to many health complications like, stress, depression, high blood pressure weaker immune system et cetera which causes other illnesses.

The Principle of intimacy

Beyond procreation (which is a blessing in marriage), regular lovemaking between husband and wife enriches the matrimonial bond, provides immense pleasure in marriage and is a good form of exercise with many health benefits which include lowering blood pressure, boosting the immune system as well as an antidote for stress, depression et cetera.

The strain is where one spouse denies the other of lovemaking as a form of punishment/threat or due to disagreements, offences or personal reasons (without consent). Unreasonably denying your spouse immediately creates cracks within the matrimonial relationship which may result in needless tensions so at this point it becomes very important to have open discussions aimed at resolving whatever differences there is. If for health or travel reasons couples are unable to engage in intimacy, it is important to re-engage as soon as health is restored or couples come together.

The intricacies of lovemaking, like how often it ought to be done and what to do or what not to do must be agreed by both parties, this is very important because marriage is a lasting relationship and not a temporal engagement where the dynamics are absolutely different.

These four pillars (as summarized above) are the four indispensable channels of communication that express a spouse’s commitment to prosperous growth in marriage.

The principles of love, mutual respect, forgiveness and intimacy when adopted by both spouses will make their marriage beautiful and cherished so Whiles spouses work towards fulfilling destiny, they must help each other in ensuring (either by encouragement or by example) that all four pillars are well embedded in their marital relationship in order to make it attractive and long-lasting.