The seven secrets to making your marriage flourish

The seven secrets to making your marriage flourish

Marriage counsellor Chantal Ferreira shares advice on how to ensure that you have a solid marriage.

Couple in love
Couple in love/ iStock

Someone once said: "To love is nothing. To be loved is something. But to be loved by the person you love is everything."

Marriage is a beautiful union, and the decision to get married is a big one. It shows commitment and a longing to spend the rest of your life with someone you love.

People who are truly devoted to making their marriage work constantly put effort into seeing it flourish.

Here are seven tips to ensure that you get the best out of your marriage. 

Eliminate third parties

So many marriages have ended because of allowing interference from outside. Marriage counsellor Chantal Ferreira from Gauteng says allowing anyone else to be a part of your marriage will put a strain on your relationship.

READ: Short-lived South African celebrity marriages

“A marriage that flourishes signifies a relationship where both spouses honour their relationship of exclusivity, not allowing anyone or anything else into the sacred space of husband and wife,” says Chantal.

These factors include “another person, one’s career, children, virtual engagements or your cell phone. Whatever the shape or form of this third factor, it guarantees the compromise of exclusive unity between spouses. That’s why it is so important to stand your guard and manage yourself well to eliminate any third factors into your sacred space with your spouse,” she adds.

Although this might not be easy, especially if it involves family members, it is important to put your spouse first.

Parents can also make the mistake of putting their children first. It is important to remember that someday your children will grow and start their own lives, leaving the two of you behind. You don't want to find yourself living with a stranger, because you have grown apart over the years.

Take time out for yourself

Are you taking good care of yourself? Life can get so busy that we forget to take care of ourselves. We can even fall into the trap of becoming everything to everyone else but forget to check if our own needs are met. This will affect your marriage. 

Chantal says: "If you are running on empty, you will have nothing to contribute to your marriage."

Do activities that make you happy and take time out for yourself.

Book time for each other 

Chantal says that "marriage is about doing and enjoying life together. If we are not intentional about setting time aside to be together, our relationship will suffer."

This means that when you get back from work, you ensure that you give your spouse undivided attention. Find out how their day was and also share the joys and challenges you faced throughout the day.

Never stop dating

"Never underestimate the power of a date night!" says Chantal.

Many couples stop dating as soon as they tie the knot. This is wrong. 

Going on a date helps ignite the fire in your marriage.  

Put aside your gadgets 

"Limit the time you spend on devices," says Chantal. 

"This often consumes precious time that we could’ve invested in relationships."

Befriend married couples who have great marriages

The people we chose to befriend have a great impact on our lives. 

"Surround yourselves with other couples that share the same values," says Chantal.

Go for counselling

Chantal says you should go for counselling "if your relationship is going through a challenge which you can’t manage to solve on your own."

Many couples suffer alone and some marriages even end up in divorce because people are too proud to ask for help.

"Put your pride in your pocket and ask for help. There are competent marriage counsellors that can assist you instead of giving up on your relationship completely," says Chantal. 

Remember that Nicholas Sparks once said: "So it's not gonna be easy. It's going to be really hard; we're gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me... everyday.” 

READ: Expert advice on how to divorce-proof your marriage

Image courtesy of iStock/ kkshepel

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