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Make your Marriage Work

This is a guide on how to Make your Marriage Work. It takes 2 hands to clap. Compromise and Adapt for a happy marriage. Remember that the best environment for a child is a happy marriage.

Before we get serious, here's a funny Ted.com video by writer Jenna McCarthy who shares surprising research on how marriages (especially happy marriages) really work. One tip: Do not try to win an Oscar for best actress.

When people get married, there is invariably a bond of love. The marriage will be put to the test over the years. Hopefully, it will grow and mature. It will be great source of support through rough patches. Divorce or Separation is a very traumatising experience and a great loss to any children in the marriage.

Marital Success is based on 2 basic rules of sharing : Caring and Resposibility.

Marital Trouble can be caused by :

  • selfishness
  • financial problems
  • sickness
  • poor communication
  • immaturity
  • driving ambition
  • unrealistic expectations
  • not listening to each other
  • jealousy, especially in men
  • fault-finding
  • drug or alcohol excess; addiction

Here's a Ted.com video by Alec Soth + Stacey Baker: This is what enduring love looks like.  Stacey Baker has always been obsessed with how couples meet. When she asked photographer Alec Soth to help her explore this topic, they found themselves at the world’s largest speed-dating event, held in Las Vegas on Valentine’s Day, and at the largest retirement community in Nevada — with Soth taking portraits of pairs in each locale. Between these two extremes, they unwound a beautiful through-line of how a couple goes from meeting to creating a life together.

Research has shown that we tend to choose partners who are similar to our parents (Eww!). If we do not adapt, but take our childish and selfish attitudes into our marriage, the marriage will encounter problems. Many people tend to expect their partner to change and meet our needs.

This thinking is immature (I have been guilty of that). We must realize that the only person whom we can manage is ourselves. If we carry the idea that everyone (our spouse, our boss, our friends etc) have to change to suit us, we are doomed to unhappiness and dissatisfaction.

Physical passion is not enough to sustain a marriage. A good sexual relationship together with great communication out of bed forms a strong foundation for a lasting and successful marriage.

Positive Guidelines for a Happy Marriage

  1. Know yourself well. When you understand yourself and are honest about your expectations, you will know your mate better.
  2. Share common interests and goals. Don't be too independent of each other. Develop mutual friends and hobbies. Tell your partner 'I love you' regularly.
  3. Continue courtship after marriage. Geez, I know how hard that is, I am struggling to spend more time with my hubby without the whole jing gang of kids trailing behind. Go out for 'dates' and give unexpected gifts. Engage in fun activities together.
  4. Make love not war. A good sexual relationship can take years to develop, so work at making it better. Explore the techniques of lovemaking without feeling shy or inhibited. Good grooming is important.
  5. Cherish your partner. Be proud of each other, not competitive or ambitious at each other's expense. Talk kindly about your spouse to others, avoid putting him or her down in public.
  6. Prepare yourself for parenthood. Read up as much as possible and plan your family wisely. Avoid the anxiety of an unplanned pregnancy by learning family planning methods.
  7. Seek proper help when necessary. Get counselling when difficulties arise. Nip problems in the bud, especially stress-related problems and depression which can be lethal for a marriage.
  8. Treat your mate with respect and love. Be sensitive to each other's feelings and needs.

Virtues for a Happy Marriage

Be honest, loving, patient, forgiving, generous, responsible, loyal, caring and finally, be FUN to live with!

Medical information written in layman terms can be found in the book, 'Patient Education' by Professor John Murtagh. The life of Prof John Murtagh is also very inspiring. He was my husband's lecturer in medical school. My husband spoke most admiringly of him. He decided in his 30's to become a doctor and leave his career as a teacher. He is now a renowned Professor in Australia, having published several books. It shows how we should be true to ourselves and have the courage to change our lives if we find our calling later in life.

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