How to love with devotion in marriage

Having a happy, successful marriage is possible when you choose to be completely devoted to your spouse.

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  • Don't you love watching old married couples? As they hold hands while walking, occasionally looking at each other with a tender expression, they seem to radiate love. It makes you wonder if it's possible for you to achieve that kind of happiness in marriage.

  • Having such a happy, successful marriage is possible when you choose to be completely devoted to your spouse. Here are some qualities of devoted couples.

  • Couples who are devoted leave behind single life and establish their marriage as their first priority.

  • When you get married, you stop being just “me” and become “we.” You make decisions based on what is best for your marriage, not just for yourself. It is important to consider your spouse's wants and needs as well as your own.

  • Some aspects of single life may be incompatible with marriage. You may have to give up some of your freedom as you accept new responsibilities. However, those responsibilities will bring you satisfaction and personal growth.

  • Couples who are devoted allow no other person or interest to have greater priority than their marriage.

  • Family

  • . When you become married, you leave the family of your childhood to become a family of your own. It is important to learn how to resolve conflicts without involving your family and friends. It can sometimes be difficult to adjust to having in-laws. Support your spouse if conflicts arise. Be a mediator, but never take your family's side against your husband or wife.

  • When my husband and I were first married, we moved out of state so I could finish my schooling. Although it was hard to be away from our family and friends, it forced us to rely solely on each other. I didn't go running to my parents every time we had a little spat. He didn't complain about his wife to his buddies. We grew together and established ourselves as a family.

  • Friends

  • . It's OK to have a girls or guys night out once in awhile. However, you should not be hanging out with your friends more often than you hang out with your spouse. This includes video gaming and time spent on the computer. Instead, find activities that you can enjoy together, or go out with other couples. Make your spouse your best friend.

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  • Children

  • . Theodore Hesburgh has said, “The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” The same is true for mothers. It is normal for mothers to be devoted to their children; however, kids should not always take priority over one's husband. Children need to have the security of knowing that their parents are deeply committed to each other. Be affectionate in front of your children. Having a weekly date night is a great way to keep your spouse as your number one priority.

  • Work

  • . Work is necessary to provide for your family. However, it doesn't have to take over your life. Don't bring your work home with you. When you are home, turn off your cell phone and resist the urge to check your emails. Set boundaries and let your boss know when you will be unavailable. Try not to work excessive overtime hours unless the income is necessary for the support of your family. Avoid unnecessary out-of-town business trips.

  • Hobbies

  • . My brother-in-law enjoys participating in triathlons. He decided to compete in an Ironman Triathlon. The Ironman competition consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a marathon 26 mile run. Needless to say, training for such an event was intense, requiring several hours away from home a day. He was able to successfully complete his competition, but he decided not to compete in any more because it took too much time away from his family.

  • Couples who are devoted honor their vows with complete fidelity

  • So many people excuse themselves when they have an affair by saying, “It just happened.” An affair never just happens. There are always steps that lead up to the actual act of infidelity, small actions that seem harmless at the time but are actually very disloyal to your spouse. Avoid those steps. Save your flirtations for your spouse.

  • When you love with devotion, wonderful things happen to your marriage. You enjoy greater emotional and physical intimacy. You have someone who champions you and supports your dreams. You discover someone who will always be there for you, to lift you up and help you to shoulder the burdens that life can sometimes bring. You find joy beyond anything you could have imagined.

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Shelli Howells is a creative fiction writer, and a mother of six.

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