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Marriage 2.0

As I write this blog, I am getting ready to marry my dearest friend for the last two years in two weeks! We are excited and cannot wait for the big day ahead. But also, it is complicated with 6 children thrown into the mix. We are what 'Family Life Blended' calls, slow cooking. We are coming together as a blended family slowly, letting each member find their way in their time adding whatever flavours they bring. Jaime and I have also been diving into as much mentoring and marriage courses as we can manage to prepare well and set ourselves up to succeed. Divorce is not an option for us. We have been through it before and know all too well the heartbreak and devastation it causes.

So, in light of this, I wanted to reach out and share over the next couple of weeks some of our learnings and understandings that we have gained. I know that everything I/we walk through is not to be kept just for us but to be shared around to others to support and help people to live and love powerfully also.

Marriage: A Gift to Each Other🎁

Marriage is often described as a union of two souls, a journey embarked upon by two people deeply in love, committing to share their lives together. It's a beautiful institution that brings together not just two individuals, but also their dreams, hopes, and aspirations. In reality though this is not often the case, it is messy and complicated and actually a full-blown MIRACLE that people can stay together and thrive for many years in spite of the many challenges and differences and pain that can occur.

This week and next, I will explore the idea that marriage is, indeed, a gift that two people CHOOSE to give to each other.

The Gift of Love and Respect. ❤️

Recognize that love and respect are the cornerstones of a healthy and fulfilling relationship. Understand that they are essential for building trust and emotional intimacy. Ensure that you both have a clear understanding of what love and respect mean to each of you. Make an effort to understand your partner's perspective and emotions. Empathy allows you to connect on a deeper level and fosters compassion in your relationship. Choose to seek to understand and not always be understood yourself. This is a massive mindset change for many.

The Gift of Forgiveness. 🤗

Forgiveness is not about condoning or excusing hurtful behavior. It's a conscious decision to release feelings of anger, resentment, or the desire for revenge toward your spouse who has wronged you. It's about letting go of the emotional burden that the offense has placed on you. Understand that both you and your partner are not perfect. Forgive each other's mistakes and let go of grudges. Holding onto past wrongs can erode love and respect. Choose to walk in forgiveness daily. Instead of blaming or criticizing your partner, focus on expressing your feelings and needs. Use "I" statements to communicate your thoughts and emotions without making your partner defensive. For example, say, "I feel like my love tank is running on empty at the moment and I feel invisible even if that is not your intention. Please can we spend some quality time together so that I can fill my tank again?" You may need to remind yourself of your decision to forgive, especially when negative emotions resurface.

The Gift of Sexual Intimacy. 🫂

We can all walk through seasons of pain and unmet longings in our sex life.

Marriage is a covenant that is a unique and beautiful type of relationship based on a promise. This is a significant promise to CHOOSE to love unconditionally. Sex is the party that celebrates the promise. Yahoo! Sex is a gift to celebrate your love. It involves an uninhabited giving and receiving of passion and pleasure. It may not always passionate and pleasurable, but this can always be the goal. The neurotransmitters from sex release hormones in the brain to create a long term attachment to another person. How amazing is that? However, no couple is perfectly compatible, mixed with selfishness, pride, insecurity and shame, different love languages and needs, dysfunction, trauma and abuse and you have a recipe for conflict and mess. A conflict that can shut a couple’s sex life down for decades. Choose to address the barriers and blockages in your sexual intimacy. Choose to acknowledge the unconscious stop signs. Play offence together as a team. Put the struggle and challenges in front of both of you and not in-between you. Don’t go on the defense. Choose to focus on what is going right, not wrong. Choose to see this as the most intinate and special gift that can be offered to your spouse.

To conclude, please remember marriage is not a transaction. This was a major AHA moment for me too! It is not about when you do this, then I will do that. Love and respect in a marriage should not be conditional on the other person's performance. It is a willingness, an attitude and a decision to choose your spouse every day. I challenge you to see your marriage as a privilege and an opportunity to love, honour and cherish another imperfect human being today and tomorrow.

I love this quote by Ann Lamott,

"A good marriage is where both people feel like they are getting the better end of the deal."

Download Part One of your FREE Questionnaire to get you thinking about the Gift that your marriage or relationship can become.

Questionnaire Marriage
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