Happiness is fundamental to the health and survival of the human race. Happy people are generally optimistic about life, enjoy better mental and physical health, more productive at completing tasks and more satisfied with life. Happiness is not only essential to the marital success, health and survival of humanity, it is vital to the health and survival of marriages and relationships. My grandfather just turned 101 a couple of days ago and was married for 71 years and was is because my grandmother passed away. Let me share in this article what I actually got from him.
Here are a four important steps that you should consider when married or if you are thinking about it:
Consult the Author and His manual
We can all agree that regardless of the age of a product, a user’s manual whether it is printed or stored digitally always comes in handy. In fact, our society is constantly introducing a variety of products on the market causing users to seek manuals in an effort to answer questions about their function, proper use, and care. Similarly, the institution of marriage has its origin all the way back in Eden and the Author of marriage, God the Creator, has provided us with His manual, The Holy Scriptures. Consulting with the Author of marriage and His manual is the first key that contributes to a happier marriage. This manual provides us with clear instructions on how we should operate in marriage.
The Golden Rule of Marital Satisfaction
Did you know there is a golden rule for marital satisfaction? This rule is: “do for your spouse what you would want your spouse to do for you” (Matt.7:12, paraphrase). The golden rule of marital success and satisfaction is the second key that can improve the happiness in your relationship. Many wives, husbands and significant others request things from their partner that they are not willing to do if they are asked in return. This principle can help couples balance the expectation in the relationship and thus contribute to marital happiness. Simply put, request from your partner what you would want your partner to request from you. Spouses who know that their partners are fair, compassionate, and loving will normally experience a greater sense of marital satisfaction. We hope that you will make the decision to practice the golden rule of marital satisfaction. The number one mistake is, do not sit around and wait for your partner to initiate, take the initiative.
Mutual goal setting is the third key capable of contributing to relational fulfillment. When two people come together in marriage, they have decided to shift their focus from “I” to “us.” This shift in focus is a unity that is not just limited to living in the same physical space but also a unity of goals. Amos asked a very fitting rhetorical question, “Can two walk together, unless they agree” (Amos 3:3 NKJV). It is obvious that two people cannot walk together unless they agree to go in the same direction. Similarly, a husband and wife are unable to have unity of purpose if they have different goals for their relationship. It is important to note that strong families and relationships are built on mutual goal setting. If you have not started, it is time to start the goal setting today and avoid the spirit of competition and confusion in your relationship. Remember that you are on the same team and should be working towards common goals.
A supportive social network
The fourth key that contributes to marital success is a supportive social network. Research indicates that higher spousal support has a positive impact on various health outcomes (Stanton & Campbell, 2014). The importance of social support is captured in these lines beautifully: “Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up” (Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10, NKJV).
Spouses need to support each other daily, but besides the support spouses receive from each other, they need to belong to a supportive social network that extends beyond husband and wife spousal system. We all need social support to thrive. Do not isolate yourself from others; start building a supportive social network today.
Couples who would like to enhance their relationship need to consult the Author of marriage and His manual, practice the golden rule of marital satisfaction, set mutual goals, and develop a supportive social network. These four keys can be vital to the health and longevity of your relationship. I am a witness to a marriage that worked, it was a wonderful experience as a boy watching the togetherness and happiness of my grandparents, and they lived happily ever after is indeed very possible.