Just like anything else worth having, marriage requires maintenance. If you and your spouse don’t make efforts to keep your marriage going, it will hit the rocks.
The fact that you and your partner love each other is a great start, but in order to experience long-term marital success, both parties must be committed to investing in the relationship.
I become sad when I hear many people tell women during weddings that the success of their marriages is in their hands. That’s not fair. Why should one party bear the brunt of keeping a marriage when there are two people involved in the marriage?
It is the duty of men and women to make their marriages work. You can’t be scattering while your spouse is busy making efforts to keep things going. Women are not donkeys created to endure the misbehaviour and ill treatments of their husbands. That’s wickedness.
I have met a lot of women who are not satisfied with their marriages. These women live sad, monotonous, and boring lives. They don’t know what it means to be truly happy. They don’t enjoy the companies of their husbands.
They can’t voice their opinions when it matters. They have been subdued into becoming dunces because they are married. They don’t even enjoy sex with their husbands because these men believe that sex is meant for procreation and not for enjoyment.
But these same men take all kinds of sex enhancement drugs whenever they pick prostitutes on the road or have a sexual rendezvous with their many side chicks. They make efforts to please their side pieces at the detriment of their wives.
This week, I want to talk about marital satisfaction and how Nigerian couples can achieve it without breaking sweat. Marital satisfaction is not impossible to achieve if couples are truly committed to one another.
Marital satisfaction is defined by psychologists as a mental state that reflects the perceived benefits and costs of marriage to a particular person.
If this theory rings true, then achieving marital satisfaction is more about striking the perfect balance between costs and benefits than it is avoiding the work required to sustain a marriage.
Below are a few tips on how couples can balance the books in their marriages. Some of these steps couples are expected to take don’t cost much. They are just little things that some spouses don’t do anymore because they feel that there’s no point doing those little things anymore.
Couples who are grateful and take the time to express gratitude are more satisfied in their relationships and felt closer. In addition, a research has shown that gratitude produces a cycle of generosity. If you do something for your child and they show gratitude, you will be moved to do more for them.
One thing that has destroyed marriages over the years is the act of comparing your spouse to another person’s spouse. Avoid comparisons if you want to enjoy marital satisfaction.
You can’t be telling your wife that she should talk, act, live and behave like your friend’s wife and expect her to be a happy wife. You are making her feel bad for being herself with you and doing her best to make your marriage heaven on earth.
You can’t be belittling the efforts your husband is making to provide for the family because you want to ride the latest cars like your friends or because you want your children to attend expensive schools like your neighbors’ children.
Couples should know that comparison is the thief of joy. It’s going to be difficult to enjoy your marriage if you are constantly comparing what you have to the relationships of others. It’s easy to focus on one aspect of someone else’s relationship and covet what they have; however, you really don’t know what’s happening behind closed doors.
Couples need to celebrate their wins and focus more on the positives in their marriage. Research suggests that divorce is more closely associated with a decrease in positive things as opposed to an increase in negative things. So set aside time to celebrate good news.
If you want to enjoy marital satisfaction no matter how long you have been married, set a date to hang out with friends and encourage your partner to do the same. It’s important to maintain a life outside of your marriage.
While your spouse should be your primary source of emotional support and intimacy, it shouldn’t be your only meaningful connection. You need to let off steam with your friends and connect with them socially if you want to be a better spouse.
Couples shouldn’t forget the importance of sex in their marriage. Sexual intercourse produces a period of sexual satisfaction that lasts for a couple of days. During this time, partner bonding is enhanced, which increases relationship satisfaction over time.
If you don’t want to live a boring marital life, give your spouse compliments about their appearance. Sometimes waking up to the same face day in and day out can cause couples to lose appreciation for their spouse’s physical appearance. Take the time to actually see them and offer compliments whenever you get a chance. This will make them feel appreciated and wanted and they will do the same.
Of course, your spouse is more than his or her physical makeup. Perhaps he or she is an amazing cook or a natural problem-solver. Be sure to let them know what you appreciate about them and what they do well.
You can’t focus on the things your spouse is not doing well all the time and expect to have a happy marriage. You can be your spouse’s critic and expect them to be your number fan and supporter. You can’t get what you don’t give.
Couples who want to enjoy their marriages should schedule monthly date nights. Date nights are not only for people dating. It is very important for couples especially those who have been married for a long time need to bond through date nights.
Date nights are a way to connect with your spouse over something fun as opposed to the daily stress and responsibility that comes with family life. Commit to getting out of the house and spending time alone once a month to get satisfaction from your marriage.
When you commit to self-improvement, even in the smallest of ways, you send the message to your spouse that you want to be a better person for yourself and your family. You may also inspire your partner to work on themselves as well. Commit to doing better and your marriage will be better off.
Have a daily check-in time with your spouse. This is very important. Between work and managing the children’ schedules, couples often forget to sit down and catch up. It is commendable for couples to call or text one another during the day to find out what the other person is doing and how their day is going.
Husbands and wives should be committed to sitting down and emotionally checking in with each other at the same time every day. You can initiate the conversation with a simple question about how their day went or something deeper such as asking how they feel things are going with your relationship.
Re: Things you do when you are no longer interested in your relationship
Instead of you to tell women to be satisfied with the husbands they married, you are talking trash about not being interested in marriages. You are one of the problems of this society. Sane men and women should avoid you and your extreme views on marriage and relationships. You are an agent of the devil. Your plan to destroy marriages won’t work.
Kate, I appreciate your efforts in trying to educate men and women about relationship issues. You are trying your best but I have noticed that you are biased against men. You make it look as if men are wicked and women are saints. You will do well to balance your articles. There are lots of men out there who are suffering abuse at the hands of their wives. Please shed more light on their plight for posterity’s sake. –Emmanuel Ajayi, Lagos
I have noticed that when women are no longer interested in their men, they stop fighting with them over matters that give them headaches in the past. A silent woman is a dangerous woman and you should educate men on how to handle women who don’t want them anymore instead of beating around the bush like you did in your last article. Are you married? Why should a single lady be talking about an institution she knows nothing about? Go and get married first and get experience before you start talking about marriage institution.
-Chukwuebuka Ikpeama, Awka
I am always happy whenever I read from you. You have a fan in me. Thanks for devoting your time and talent to writing relationship issues that many people in this society shy away from even though it’s affecting them.
Your last article was an eye opener for me. A lot of things made sense to me because when my partner was exhibiting some of the points you highlighted, I was confused. I thought I wasn’t doing enough to keep my relationship going.
But after reading your column, I became enlightened. Keep it up!
–Elizabeth Onyema, Lagos