What area your Marriage Expectations?
Expectations about marriage and love have a strong impact on relationships. When we are children, we develop ideas and dreams about marriage. Depending on how much our relationship matches that dream, we become satisfied or disappointed. Most couples start out with the belief that their marriage will be a good one.
Problems occur when this belief is not obtained or childhood dreams are not based in reality. One false belief is that “my spouse will meet all myneeds.” Other thoughts are “I shouldn’t have to ask for my needs to be met or tell my spouse when something is wrong because my spouse should already know” or “it is better to keep silent about something bothering me because it might cause us problems in our relationship.”
And lastly, a big misconception is that “love is all you need for a great marriage.” However, love is not all that is needed for a great marriage. Also needed for a great relationship are skills in communication, conflict resolution, financial management, and having similar goals. Here are some tips to enrich, and strengthen your relationship in these areas.
Lisa Nail – Counselor/Author
Learning to express your feelings in a healthy way and ask for what you want in the relationship is one of the keys to a successful relationship.
Proverbs 12:18 states “Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing”.
Learning to tell your partner “I’m feeling hurt” or “I want” is a healthy and wise way to state your needs without criticizing your spouse. In addition, listening is the other important factor when communicating. A partner can let you know that you were heard by body language, such as nodding and eye contact and stating “I heard you say” or “I understand what you said.” When each partner gives full attention when speaking, avoids criticism, and listens to understand, communication is improved.
2. Conflict Resolution.
Proverbs 17:9 states “Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates”.
By always admitting when you were wrong or hurtful, conflict can be resolved. Try to empathize when you cause your spouse pain. Take responsibility for your actions and assure your partner that you will not do it again. Ask for forgiveness and forgive yourself. When you are the partner that was harmed, acknowledge your pain and anger. Be specific about your future expectations. Do not get even, but insist on being treated better and fair. Let go of any resentment and blame toward your partner. Lastly, tell your partner that he or she is forgiven, and work toward reconciliation.
3. Financial Management and Goals.
Hebrews 13:5 states “Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have”. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”
Decide together as a couple what your common financial goals are and what you will be spending money on or saving for. After setting financial goals, create a budget together. Make sure that your money habits match your priorities and goals. In addition, clarify your important goals to each other. An important question to ask yourself and each other is do your goals complement or compete with each other? Also ask how can we each contribute to achieving these goals together? Skills in communication, conflict resolution, financial management, and having similar goals are some of the key components to a successful relationship.
If you need more help with your relationship and want to develop further skills to have a successful marriage call Sheltering Oaks Counseling at 813-982-4230 to set up an appointment.
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