What makes a great marriage

A World Wide Marriage Encounter pastor once told me 1 in 2 marriages fails. If the couple is married in church and continues to go to church, only 1 in 50 fails; but where the couple is married in church, continues to go to church and has a prayer life together, the failure is 1 in 1005.

Besides prayer, there is much you can do to make your marriage a success. Ryan Stephens’ Dialed in Men gives “six rules for marital success”. His “recipe for marital success” is “focusing more on being teammates”. 

His first rule: “No one should ever hear anything bad about your spouse from you.” Rule number two: “Over-communicate. You cannot read each other’s minds.” Rule number three: “Try new things together. Even if one of you is typically more adventurous than the other.” Adrenaline can do a lot to rejuvenate a marriage.
Rule number four: “Be each other’s champion. Celebrate wins and encourage each other. Bring home champagne…” Rule number five: “Be grateful for each other’s contributions. And don’t keep score.” And rule number six: “Trust and respect each other. Especially in front of others, including your children.”

Stephens wrote, “Marriage, or any long-term relationship, is not all about love and romance. It’s about working at it day in and day out.” Taylor Swift revealed to Elle a nugget of relationship advice, “I know a couple,” she writes, “who, in the thick of a fight, say ‘Hey, same team.’ ”

Diana Bruk shares “The Habits That Will Most Increase Your Chances of Divorce”. 1.Not Listening to Her Concerns: Women instigate about 80 percent of divorces—many after years of feeling unheard or having their concerns minimized. 

2.Trying to Change Them: “Trying to get your partner to change… is controlling,” You cannot change your partner.

3.Not Getting Enough Space: Have your own space. One wife said she could not stand her husband’s snoring until they got a second bedroom. 4.Nitpicking: “…constant contempt and criticism towards each other is damaging to the individual and the relationships.” …pick your battles. 

5.Tech Disruption: …ignoring someone while flipping through your phone …flirting with someone on Instagram …couples streaming separate net flicks at night…. “Facebook” was cited as the cause for divorce in one of five petitions in Britain.

6.Forgetting that You are Partners As Well As Parents: Schedule a regular date night, regardless of how busy you both are. 7.Getting Into a Rut: Surprise one another on occasion with flowers, gifts, or even vacations…

8.Not Splitting Up the Chores: 25 percent of couples divorce due to “disagreements about housework.” Pick up the slack! 9.Not Saying “Thank You”: Don’t take things for granted. 

10.Not Being Truly Committed: “Do what it takes to make the relationship work.” 11.Sweating the Small Stuff : There are many little things that you can ignore.

Emily Jennings shares this blessing with couples:
Here’s to the home that n and n shall build.
It shall have a kitchen on the first floor,
A bar on the second floor,
A bedroom on the third floor,
And a cathedral on the fourth.

So they can eat when they are hungry,
drink when they are dry,
make love when they are lonely,
and have salvation when they die.

Next week – “A divorce free city”

(544 words)

By Ken Rolheiser