When you get married, the butterfly flutter you once felt in your stomach settles. After a while, the euphoria of constant sex gradually wears off and then what? Well everything naturally settles into a routine of husband/wife roles. This is good in a sense as no marriage can be built on mere butterfly feelings. Those come and go depending on our mood. It is the routine, everyday things we do that keep the wheels moving. However, we do know that those wheels need regular greasing. So, if our daily routine stands for the wheels, then the intentionality behind our routine stands for the oil.
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Intentionality involves doing everything with careful thought and consideration. Isn’t that rather too extra, you might ask. Maybe when you were single but not as a married person. When you were single, you could come and go as you pleased. You could do just about anything you liked, within lawful bounds, of course (because who prison epp?). When you get married, however, that has to change. Before you do anything, you must think about how your action is going to affect not only you but your marriage partner as well.
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It is a huge responsibility and if you are not willing to bear this kind of responsibility then do not bother getting married. But not to scare anyone, it is not some herculean task that cannot be done. It is just as simple as being a thoughtful person. It is the little things that make the BIG difference. So remember those daily routines we talked about earlier?
How about we went about them with an extra mile attitude just because we are doing them for someone we love? That little ‘extra’ is the spice that keeps the romance alive. Don’t become too familiar with your spouse that you carry on mindlessly without stopping to acknowledge how they may be feeling. We may think it does not matter but it’s the little things we do or don’t do that determine whether our union would be sweet or sour. How many couples have headed for the divorce courts because of an accumulation of little things that were done or not done in the marriage? We’ve said a lot about the need to be intentional in marriage (the same applies for all of life). Now, let’s address the steps we can take to becoming more intentional.
Communication is a good place to begin. Talk with your spouse. Talk about everything and anything! Listen too. Listen to what they are saying and not what you think they are saying. Don’t make any assumptions. Take time to listen to your spouse. Find out what they like, and do it more often. Listen to what ticks them off and try not to do it. Don’t ignore them when they say they do not like something you are doing. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about making an effort.
Secondly, be present. Put your phone aside and pay attention to your spouse. Forget about that pitch you are itching to make to your client for a second and take a moment to actually notice your spouse. Tuck the kids in bed early enough so you can spend some time with your spouse. When you finally get the time to sit together, be there. Be present.
Thirdly, be merciful. Your spouse is human too. They make mistakes. They do annoying things human beings do. You married a human being not Jesus. So choose to forgive them in advance. Even when they’ve done the most annoying thing, show them mercy. Choosing mercy over judgment does not mean you are a doormat or that you are weak. It just means that you are choosing to value your relationship over petty offences. Serious matters like infidelity and all forms of abuse should however be taken seriously and the victim should seek guidance and counselling.
Furthermore, do not stop chasing your spouse. It’s easy to get married and become too comfortable and lazy.
This is often known as coasting. People get married and feel like they have finally gotten their beloved and so do not need to pursue them anymore, after all, they are not going anywhere, right? Wrong! You’d be surprised how many marriages have hit the rocks because one partner felt they were not taken seriously. Or how many people have succumbed to an affair because they felt their other half no longer valued them. Be passionate about your spouse and show them that you are. Let them know that you think they are still fly. Look hot for them too. Whisper sweet nothings into their ear. Hold hands when walking together. Do little things for them that show them you care.
Finally, be nice and courteous to each other. Don’t throw courtesy to the wind after you get married. It’s funny how we are polite and courteous to complete strangers but plain rude to those we love. This won’t do in marriage. The basic ‘please’, ‘thank you’, ‘excuse me’ and ‘I’m sorry’ still apply. Don’t be nasty and mean to your spouse. You would only bring out the worst in them. Say nice things to them and about them.
This whole article is simply about not taking your partner for granted. Be grateful for them. They decided to spend the rest of their lives with you alone, to the exclusion of all others. This should make you treasure them in your heart.
What do you think? Should couples be intentional about what they do within the marriage relationship? Is marriage even worth it? Do share your thoughts in the comments section below, and remember to like, share and subscribe, never to miss an update.
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About The Author: Jacqueline is a lawyer as well as a PR professional. She is also mom, to two energetic soldiers who constantly keep her on her toes, until they fall asleep. In her spare time, she loves to sing and is also an aspiring writer. Connect with her on Instagram with @zeerrific1.