Wednesday, April 24, 2013

How to "Affair Proof" Your Marriage

 Statistics indicate that extra-marital affairs are a threat to a majority of marriages today.  To avoid this both partners must work out recurring problems between them. Marriage is not easy nor is it a static relationship. Working on the issues in your marriage will strengthen it. This will involve exciting and rewarding growth for both of you. Here are some steps to "affair proof" your marriage:

1. Share your secrets. Marriage is an intimate relationship. Your privacy should be invaded by the relationship. The things you resist telling may be the very issues that come between you. 

2. Share your thoughts. This may seen obvious but studies show that the average couple only communicates 22 minutes per week! How can you know each other unless you share your ideas, dreams and plans?

3. Share your feelings. Let your partner know when your feelings are hurt, when you feel sad and when you are irritated or angry. It's also important to share your loving, appreciative, and joyful feelings. Couples often find it difficult to share their positive feelings.

4. Ask for anything your want but realize a request is not an obligation. Unless you specifically ask for what you want your partner will not know your wishes. No one can mind read. 

5. Be romantic, loving and caring with each other. Say "I love you." Show that you care with affectionate gestures. Do all the things you did while courting.

6.  Be your partner's best friend. A best friend listens, strives to understand, assumes the best, emphasizes the positive, takes the time to be with you.

7. Nurture your partner. Nurture means to nurse or to feed. We can minister to our partner when he or she is sick or needy. We all have "bad days" or go through trying times. A nurturing marital relationship can bolster our egos and can even make up for some of the lacks we experienced as children. 

8. Show your partner honor and respect. Learn what makes your partner tick as an individual. Admire and value his or her uniqueness.
9. Find ways to resolve conflict constructively. Learn to listen to the other person's point of view. Learn to look for unique solutions. Realize that in a marriage you either both win or you both lose.
10. Put some fun in your marriage. This does not have to take time, it is more an attitude. A light-hearted attitude can be cultivated. Learn to laugh by watching comedy shows on TV or going to movies that will make you laugh. Try new things and find activities that are fun for you both. 
If you have difficulty carrying out any of the above items read Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix, attend a A Weekend to Remember, join The Third Option or see a Christian counselor.  Each of these can assist your growth together.

“Be of one mind, full of sympathy toward each other, loving one another with tender hearts and humble minds.” 1 Peter 3:8 NLT

Blessings, Dottie

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