Marriage in a more popular and traditional sense, is the union between a woman and a man who intend to live as man and wife. In the advent of various sexual orientations in the contemporary society however, marriage has taken a broader sense to include gay marriages among others. All in all, the DOs and DONTs pertaining to marriage remain the same the world over and the only variable is the approach one employs before or during the marriage which determines the success or failure of the matrimonial union. Let us delve into a few of the DOs and DONTs.
For the DOs:
Do ensure that you get to know your partner better. This helps in getting to know the kind of person you are going to stay with and somehow allows for an insight of both the retrospective and retroactive understanding that can help build on what the marriage will turn out like.
This can be achieved through getting to know your partner’s love life, political and religious affiliation, ambitions and desires in marriage, their short and long term goals and plans, issue of children (and their gender) if necessary, how they spend their leisure time, their educational level, parental upbringing, their understanding of an ideal partner, current or prospective investments, potential impact the union can have on your career among others.
It is not always about their favourite colour or movie and what they had for lunch. It is vital to consider the bigger picture.
Feel free to walk out of the potential union if it does not meet your expectation or if in a larger context, is adverse to your interests. By this I mean that, if the number of differences in desires and ideologies of your partner conflict or are contrary to yours in a larger percentage, walk out. Save yourself future unnecessary headaches and filing of divorce petitions years later when you realize you don’t match as a couple. Fewer differences can be overlooked though and a compromise negotiated.
For the DONTs:
Do not hold on to a union that you don’t see any hope of future progress or growth as far as marriage is concerned. ‘Forever after’ is too long a time to spend with the wrong partner or being unsatisfied in marriage.
Do not get into a marriage union just to make the other party or some relatives happy or to avoid disappointing them. Marriage is personal. You will be in it alone with the partner. Choices do have consequences remember.
For the DOs:
Be kind to your partner and offer a listening ear whenever things go south. No marriage is perfect and whenever things go south, be ready to listen and offer a solution rather than nag.
Talking of things being done your way, this should be when necessary and when you are totally sure that your way is more valid and able to elicit a positive outcome. Otherwise, one should offer room for compromise. It should not always be about you.
Be romantic. This can be achieved by doing things in unity. Shower together, go for dinner dates, watch a movie and grab a recipe and cook together, show your partner love and offer a helping hand. It strengthens the bond.
Be attractive. Dress to impress and make your partner always yearn for you.
Do not ignore red flags. They create room for misunderstandings and problem. Talk it out whenever things shift from the norm.
For religious partners, be prayerful and commit your union to God for guidance. Shun the evil spirit of marriage breakup.
For the DONTs:
Do not raise your voice when things go awry. Some partners may withdraw as a result of shouting. Rather than shout at them, improve the soundness of your argument by strongly showing why things should be done your way.
Do not seek too much perfection. No marriage is perfect. Strive to work on what you have and strive a compromise. The same applies to partners. Nobody is perfect. Learn to embrace and forgive any shortcomings rather than using them as a channel for negative criticism.
Do not deny each other conjugal rights unnecessary and without reasonable justification. Sex is a fabric that holds marriages together.
Not everything should be blurted out. This is a cardinal rule in marriage. Learn to ignore minor mistakes. You can only intervene if they are repeated or if they can cause problems if left unsolved. That is to say, grave mistakes. It helps avoid creating a storm out of a tea cup. Some things can be overlooked for the sake of peace.
As a parting shot, it is necessary to understand and appreciate that each person’s view of a successful marriage is different, and so does the various cultures we hail from. But it is necessary to pick the positive factors that cut across and that can help in betterment of our matrimonial unions. Patience is also key as some partners may require some time and opportunity to change.
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