When we hear the term "a strong marriage" we associate it to a perfect marriage. Just like anything else in life, nothing is perfect. We are not perfect. We have flaws. Moreover, the key to a strong marriage is to love each other through the happy and sad times and to work in unison even when you do not always agree.
Maturity, love and commitment — which I have seen within my family and experienced within my own married life — contribute to a strong marriage. Of course, all married couples experience a series of bumpy moments throughout the years. Sometimes we are ready to give up. It's easier to do so than to confront reality. But oftentimes we fail to see the potential we have as a couple to work things out. Strong marriages grow from unified couples.
Once you form and commit to a strong marriage, it will never feel as work. And it helps with everything else in your life.
As parents, godparents, aunts and uncles, you have a responsibility to the children. They look up to you for advice and guidance. You should be positive role models. You want to show them that even though your marriage may have a patch of rough times, you and your spouse are able to overcome those moments without a tug-a-war or animosity. You may have differences of opinions when it comes to decision-making. Instead of basing the decision on one parent's opinion, base the decision on both parents. Your children will understand the importance of unified decision-making.
Before you marry, financial stability is ideal. You run a lesser chance of struggling financially when the numbers are in place. However, some marriages set up their finances after marriage, which is fine, too. It all depends on the couple and their situation. Nevertheless, a strong marriage helps with a family's finances by reducing the stress level. You and your spouse can agree on how much money you will save, how much will go towards vacation, and so forth. There is a financial understanding.
Fear and lies only weakens the trust once formed between you and your spouse. Living in that unhealthy state will ruin your marriage. However, a marriage built on truth will allow you to live in a harmonious and stable relationship. You will feel comfortable when your spouse spends a few hours with his friends or goes on business trips. With trust, you know your spouse is committed to you and the family.
How many times do you shy away from speaking your mind because you want to avoid your spouse's reaction? In the past, my husband would think twice about sharing certain things with me because my reaction was over-the-top. When I realized my reactions were turning him away from speaking to me with confidence, I learned to adjust my attitude. I may not always like what I hear, but I know how to handle it better. So, when you and your spouse learn to back down from the over-the-top reactions, you will begin to feel comfortable telling each other everything — despite the nature of it. There is no need to hide information or give half the story. You just come forward with what is on your mind or in your heart.
A faint marriage or a marriage not built on true love hinders your children, your goals and your self-esteem. Therefore, keep in mind marriage is an institution that deserves all the nourishment and love you can possible give. Where there is honest love and commitment, that is the base for a strong marriage.
Mayra Colón is a freelance writer, former independent author and avid reader. She holds a MBA from the University of Phoenix and completed the Freelance Writing and Selling Online course from Rutgers University of Arts and Sciences.