by Lisabelle Gonsalves, Team iDiva
Secrets are fun when you’re a teen, but for a grown-up relationship to work, you’ve got to be open and transparent with your partner. If you start keeping secrets from each other, you know you have a problem.
1. Give it all you’ve got.
Whoever told you it’s a 50-50 thing was probably talking about the complacent, lacklustre love that many marriages are made of. But if you’re looking for more (and we’re sure you are), you have got to ensure that both of you are giving it your 100 per cent. Now we’re not suggesting you put aside everything and everyone else, but simply do not withhold love or stop yourself from going the extra mile because you are scared of being hurt.
2. Live for yourselves, not the world.
Whether it’s deciding when to have a baby or buying a new car, let society (read parents, peers) not dictate the what, where, when, why and how of your lives. Be happy living for yourselves without the pressure of other people’s opinions. Living liberated lives can take the strain off of married life.
3. First your spouse, then the kids.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is unconsciously sidelining your spouse once the baby arrives. This often starts the breakdown of a marriage. While your kids are definitely worthy of your attention and love, your partner must come first. Don’t forget that he needs your attention and love too, and not because you want to keep him from straying.
4. Keep no secrets.
Secrets are fun when you’re a teen, but for a grown-up relationship to work, you’ve got to be open and transparent with your partner. If you start keeping secrets from each other, you know you have a problem. Either you’re afraid of your partner or you’re doing the wrong thing (both downers!). Take a chance on your love, and dare to tell your partner
5. Don’t be blasé.
Do you know the most common excuse for divorce? Yes, irreconcilable differences. It’s the many little things that go wrong and no one can put a label on. So while you shouldn’t sweat the small stuff, don’t discount them either. Taking each other for granted can eventually lead to the big cracks in your relationship.
6. Give your ego a rest.
As the saying goes, The wife is always right, even when she’s wrong. Well, let your marriage be the exception. You don’t always have to have the last word. There will always be issues on which you don’t seem to see eye to eye, but that’s okay. Tearing each other apart over them is not really worth it, is it?
7. Let him into your “space”.
The term “space” can be quite confusing. So let’s clear the air. While it’s important to have your own friends, hobbies et al, it’s important to allow your partner into that space every now and then. Making parts of your life inaccessible to your spouse is an invitation for trouble.
8. Be ready for surprises.
In a marriage, discovery in ongoing! No matter how well you know your partner, there will always be things you don’t know. Be open to learning new things about your partner, his personality or even his past; and for heaven’s sake, don’t be judgemental!
9. Forgive easily.
Living with the same person 24*7 can be a helluva task. Sure your partner has those nails-on-a-chalkboard-type cringe-worthy traits or worse still, he missed your anniversary and your kid’s sports day. But love goes beyond that, doesn’t it? Learn to forgive the flaws and give the wounds time to heal without peeling off the scabs repeatedly. P.S. Nagging doesn’t help either.
10. Help each other grow.
We’re pretty sure you’ve heard dozens of couples claim that they complete each other. Well, more than you making your partner feel whole, it’s important to help your partner grow into the person he was meant to be. Support each other’s dreams, encourage each other’s passions and you’ll see yourselves more in love over the years!
Read this article in iDiva
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija