I believe, that for every couple that breaks up, there are two that are trying to work it out. The media glorifies celebrity break ups and couple scandals way more than marriages. The sanctity and seriousness of marriage has been reduced to game playing. We don’t see many TV shows about thriving marriages or relationships, but we are seeing volatile, unhealthy relationships that almost always end up in divorce and/or brokeness. Whether we like it or not, our behaviors and thoughts about the world are greatly influenced by what we see and hear.
When you have God in your relationship, nothing is supposed to get in-between what God has joined together. Out of the hard times, can flourish an even tighter bond and closer connection. Don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-divorce, but I am pro-marriage. I am in no way saying that if the relationship is not working, that you should stay and remain unhappy. Some relationships are here to teach us something, and are not meant to be permanent, however there are those relationships that are meant to be everlasting with no expiration date
Here are the five simple things you should do to stay together:
1. Have Empathy: Having empathy allows you to understand your loved one’s point of view and take it in to consideration. Empathy requires you to have compassion for you partner and requires you to think about how they feel in different situations. For example: your partner may be sensitive about something that you are not. Think about their frame of mind if they say you’ve offended or upset them.
2. A Forgiving Spirit: Having a forgiving spirit is SO important in relationships. God is an infinite forgiver and reminds us to do the same. Forgiveness is more about you than it is about the person who has done you wrong. Are you willing to let go and move forward?
3. A Listening Heart: A listening heart is just that: Listening with your ears and your heart. When we just listen with our ears, we make assumptions, and often only hear what we want to hear. A listening heart allows you to be open to what he/she has to say with no defensiveness. A listening heart is beneficial on both sides: You hear what your loved one is really saying, you may resolve the issue quicker, and there is reassurance that the person expressing themselves is being heard, which allows for more to be shared.
4. Negotiate/Compromise: Sometimes, we can’t always be right. It’s not always about the point that we want to or feel that we need to make. Sometimes its just a matter of agreeing to disagree, or coming up with a compromise that will make both people happy. Compromising sometimes means sacrificing what you want to meet your loved one’s needs–and sometimes this in itself can be an expression of love.
5. Create an atmosphere of intimacy: Whether you agree or not, I believe that intimacy starts outside of the bedroom. Intimacy is that simple moment, where he kisses you on the forehead, or when she rubs your back. Those moments where you are enjoying each other, with no frills, no extras, just the two of you. Talk to your partner about what intimacy means to them, and how they define it. Then, implement it in your lives. Intimacy opens the door for vulnerability which leads to increased communication which will ultimately lead to a stronger bond.