An Interview – What Kept My Marriage For 43 Years: The Secret Every Couple Should Know
I had a rare opportunity of interviewing one of Nigeria’s best husbands last weekend. I was completely blown away by the raw bliss a 79 years old man still shares with his 70 years old wife. They have been happily married for 43 years and are still madly in love.
“One of the reasons I’m still alive, Paul, is that I love my wife. I was ready to make my marriage work from the day I got married. When you truly love a woman, she’s going to love you in return. And once you’re in a stable phase of love, you will realise how great the gift of love is.” He said. “There are no great marriages, there only are great people.” He added.
Food for thought: You must be ready to “make” your marriage work, otherwise, it won’t.
“I’ve been married for 43 years; I know there are no hard hearted women, only weak men who do not know how to influence their wives. A woman would do anything for a man if he’s able to press her in the right places.” A man must take the lead, then his wife will follow.
The easiest way to get anything from anybody, first, is to give it [it is spot-on for love]. You know the eternal principle; “Give, and it shall be given unto you.” It is that easy.
The Value Of Love
As you grow much older, you’d begin to understand and appreciate the true value of love. And if you ever do, then you will know the most important thing in life is relationship. And the key people in your life are your family and close pals. Your spouse should come first in your life; not your parents or children. Kids will grow and become independent. They might not always be there for you; but your spouse always will.
10 Strategic Things You Should Know
#1. Marriage is for two people [not one or three]. Couples must shut their doors against unsolicited external influences from in-laws and friends. A crowded marriage is bound to fail. If your spouse isn’t cool with someone, you should try to make him or her like and accept the individual. It however should not be imposed.
If in-laws are needed for whatever reason, the couple should jointly make the decision. Going against this is a grave mistake you don’t want to make; it will badly hurt your marriage.
Don’t take your parents or siblings into your home if your spouse isn’t in support. Don’t send money to anyone without your spouse’s consent. However, it is your responsibility to make your spouse support your cause.
You should move at the same pace and level with your spouse, and you both must be comfortable together. “You have to work it out,” he said. “A man and his wife must grow together,” he added.
#2. Pamper your spouse like your body. Your spouse reflects you. And how they feel directly regulate your feelings. It can’t be any more basic. A happy wife makes a happy home. A happy man makes his wife happy, too. You see, one has to make the other happy.
A good marriage requires little, but consistent acts of love. Not only when your spouse reciprocates, but even when they don’t. You can’t deliberately hurt your spouse, for instance [in order to prove a point], because you feel hurt. Two hurts won’t make anyone feel good.
Love is giving.
Marriage is not dating, and if you will enjoy it, then your spouse must be your top priority. The key is to invent new ways to make your spouse happy. You have to practically please your spouse!
#3. Don’t give rules [let love rule]. Young couples are often too quick to state what their lovers should never do or how they should be treated. They lack patience! But people don’t always keep rules.
Laws bring sins. In fact, the more rules you give, the more unhappy you’d become. You should trust your lover and let them learn to love you the best way they can.
Besides, the best way to teach anyone to love is to show them how it’s done. Tell them, and they soon will forget. Demonstrate it, and they never will forget.
#4. Appreciate the effort, not the result. Marriage is a joint project and you must understand that you have a common goal.
The mistake I made at the early stage of my marriage was to treat my wife like a subordinate. I was always after results. I’d blame my wife for little mistakes [even when she’s trying to serve me] and she’d feel terrible. But what happened to her efforts?
You should thank your spouse [genuinely] when they do stuff for you. Don’t get too used to their daily duties and forget how much effort they put into making life easy for you. It’s easy to become unappreciative; you should guide against it.
We all love to be praised and appreciated.
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#5. Understand your spouse’s love style. My wife loves me to kiss her while she’s asleep. She likes me to cover her up with duvet, so she will never do it herself. She likes me to hug her every morning and I’ve done it for many years without fail.
She likes me to allow her do things for me because it makes her feel I depend on her. And when I hurt her, she likes me to apologise first and we discuss it afterwards. I’ve tried pushing issues aside severally, but it just won’t work with her. We must have to discuss them. My wife loves to go out occasionally and that’s my responsibility.
We are good as long as I’m doing these little things.
Find out what your spouse love, then do it!
#6. You should let your spouse win. Are there relationships without conflicts? Are there marriages without struggles? I doubt if there are.
It’s okay when things go wrong, just make them right. It’s not abnormal when you have conflicts. What matters is how easily you settle your differences.
When negative emotions are aroused, someone must be smart enough to calm things down. It takes two to tango, never one.
Intentionally losing an argument or a fight doesn’t make you weak, it makes you emotionally smart.
You should be the one who will stop speaking when an argument gets tough. You should be the one who will say “I’m sorry,” even when it doesn’t feel right to say. You should be the one who will show strength and courage. Someone has to do it if a relationship must stand difficult moments.
Couples who cannot resolve conflicts cannot enjoy marriage. One of you must be vulnerable. Otherwise, your marriage will suffer.
#7. Don’t ever go to bed mad. This is simple – you should resolve your conflicts before you go to sleep, whatever it is. I am not in any way asserting that this will be easy.
For me and my wife, it was our ground rule. No matter how angry we get, we must accept apologies before bed time. It’s a rule we don’t dare break.
Your marriage will flourish if you copy it.
#8. Complement and compliment your spouse. These should always go together; they will give life to your relationship. It doesn’t matter if 100 people admire your spouse. They want it from you. They are more concerned about your remarks because they are married to you.
Your words mean the world to your spouse, don’t ever forget that.
Tell them they are the best.
Tell them how much you still desire them.
Tell them how blessed you are to have them.
Tell them how great and awesome they look.
“You might feel it doesn’t matter, but my 70 years old wife still asks me if she’s beautiful. And I still crave to hear her call me handsome.”
You should make your spouse’s life sweet and easy. It makes you irresistible.
Remind and reassure your spouse always of your love. I can’t describe the feeling that goes with it.
#9. Discuss everything with your spouse. When I say everything, I mean it. There should be no secret in your home. It will fast destroy the trust you both have. And if that happens, your relationship will die. It is tempting to keep little secrets; the world does it, after all. But that’s the reason the world is filled with failed marriages.
Secrets destroy relationships. Big secrets destroy relationships in big time!
Let your spouse keep your payslip. Let them know what you are worth and all you own [if you don’t and you die suddenly, you won’t be happy in your grave because strangers will eat the fruit of your labour].
Let your spouse know your friends, even those you suspect to be having crush on you. Let your spouse into your plans and moves. It makes you responsible.
If you have issues with anything, discuss it. If you’re lusting after anyone, tell your spouse. It will save you from falling. If you’re not enjoying sex, say it, and discuss it.
#10. Keep the golden rules. “Don’t cheat, don’t tell lies and don’t always go back on your words.” Women dislike men who don’t keep their promises. Don’t we all?
Don’t tell lies to please your spouse. In fact, it’s better to hurt them with the truth. Let them decide what to do with it.
If you keep these rules, you sure are going to be happy.
They kept my marriage healthy for many years.
I hope you learn?
Let me know what you think.
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