Practical Ideas On Establishing A Successful Marriage (Chapter 1).

 Regina was a beautiful lady with a pleasant disposition. She was a very lovely person and her workmates liked her very much. Whenever  she was absent, her absence was really felt. She had been married for several years and was the mother of three children. One day she came to the office looking very miserable and everybody was very concerned about her silence. Careful not to upset further, each one tried to be very nice and kind to her; hoping that she would recover by the end of the day. She continued in this state for the next few days but finally she approached one of her friends and shared the whole story behind her misery. 

The cause of her problem was a misunderstanding between herself and her husband. They had been leading a reasonably happy life until recently when her husband had started drinking and coming home very late. She had tried to ask him the reason for his newly developed behavior but he was always evasive, telling her to stop nagging him. This had hurt Regina so much that the result was that neither of them dared to speak to the other. Regina had nursed all these hurts and thought so much about them that she became depressed. After sharing this problem with her friend, she felt a bit relieved although she still had to take practical steps to rectify the situation. 

Today in our society there are many spouses who suffer emotionally from hurts inflicted by their partners in marriage. Most of these hurts are not intentional and many couples hate even to imagine that such disturbing incidents could happen. Besides the harm caused to the spouses involved this phenomenon tends to discourage many youths from desiring marriage. They sometimes see marriage as something dreadful which should be avoided. Marriage is meant to be the happy union of two people who love each other for "better or worse" until death. This will not happen automatically but the married couple must work towards a happy union. 

Many good couples are motivated by noble principles yet they are surprised to see their marriage failing in spite of their efforts. It is important for the newly married couple to have the right ideas and to put these into practice in order to realize a successful marriage. 

The Skills 

1. Respect The Position of each other:

      After marriage the spouses acquire a new status which is generally recognized by the rest of the community. The man becomes a husband and later the father of his children while the woman becomes a wife and later a mother. Each spouse should recognize their new status and strive to function within this new situation effectively. The wife will need to recognize and respect the position of the husband as the head of the newly established family. Remember it is a new and challenging position for him. 

He has never been a husband before neither has he got professional training as a husband. He will need all the support of his wife to "feel" he is really the head and to be given a chance to implement his duties as the head of the wife and consequently head of the whole household. The wife will need to create the image of her husband by supporting him morally, not talking over is position by being domineering. Even if he is lacking in many leadership qualities, he is still your husband. There are women who are known to "boss" their husbands with strong words and sometimes even physically. Marriage is not a competition but a complementary companionship. So even if he is not eloquent, be careful not to finish his sentences for him or continue lecturing him. This amounts to belittling him and hurting his ego. Be patient and let him feel appreciated in his new position. There are those strong, domineering men who really want to be "recognized" as the person of authority in the home. They too need their wives' support to exercise their authority in love and humility. The best way to help such a husband is to avoid confrontation, and look for opportunities to let him see that he does not need to be harsh in order to be obeyed but that you submit because you love him. To drive this point home, the following experience will serve as an illustration. 

Amaka was a kind hearted woman who loved to see peace and harmony in her home. Tochukwu her husband was very authoritative man who would find fault with everything that Amaka did. Though Tochukwu was employed, he gave very little money to Amaka for house-keeping yet he would demand good meals each evening. Amaka was a house-wife and worked in their small garden. In everything she tried to do her best because she believed in the Bible teaching "whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for men" (Col. 3:23).

Tochukwu would come late at night, wake her up, demand food and complain about many things. Amaka would wake up, give him food, keep him company and try to be as understanding as possible. She would answer his rude questions politely taking no offense. This went for weeks. One day Tochukwu came earlier than usual, went round the garden trying to look for something to complain about. That particular day Amaka had looked for extra help to finish weeding the whole plot and to spray the crops against pests. A commendable job was done. Just then friends passed by and greeted Tochukwu and his wife. Admiring the work done on the plot, they congratulated Tochukwu on his hard work and even asked him to take them round and explain how he managed the plot so well. Amaka just followed quietly and let Tochukwu take all the credit, so this created a very good image of her husband. 

Back in the house, Tochukwu thought about this incident and was ashamed of himself when he realized that he had never appreciated his wife. He called Amaka, apologized for his unkind behavior and promised her to change. Today Tochukwu and Amaka are very happy as they share the joy of being able to complement each other. 

Tochukwu owes what he is now to his patient wife who preserved his self-image when he was about to abuse it. 

Likewise the husband needs to recognize the position of his wife as the Queen of his castle (home). Let her "feel" that she really is the "wife" of the husband she is trying to support. She needs all the moral and material support possible to make the home attractive and lively. The husband should avoid talking over her duties, or dictating to her. There are wives who live under constant fear of their husbands and go about their duties very anxiously for fear they will not be approved by the husbands. Your wife needs affirmation daily. 

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