What is the Secret of a Great Marriage?

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What is the Secret of a Great Marriage?

7th July was our ninth year anniversary. At the start of the week, D told me that he had taken leave that evening so that we could go out for a nice dinner. All this would be a fairy tale if not for the fact that we actually argued on 5th July.

D tried to make peace on the eve of our anniversary and gave me a bouquet of roses that night, but I was still upset and was hardly amused or touched by his surprise. That night, we both went to bed with the void in our hearts.

Not at peace

Friends and family wished us on our anniversary, we politely thanked them but truth is, we weren’t at peace. We didn’t talk to each other neither did we try. I was just too upset that he couldn’t understand my plight when dealing with his parents and every time I saw him, I was reminded of the hurt (So yes, the cold war has started).

A part of me was longing the intimacy and closeness we were enjoying before this, yet I refused forgiveness because I felt his efforts in understanding me and seeing my point of view weren’t enough. We were due to present in Engaged Encounter a week from now, and were obviously not in the best position to share with couples about a God-centred marriage. Until one message from D made me realise, that he was also hurt in the process.

Hurting people hurt people

I was hurt, but that didn’t give me the right to hurt him as well. Even before the kids and in-laws, I willingly chose to spend my life with him and he with me. We made a commitment nine years back and through these years, the greatest struggle I had staying married wasn’t money, parenting differences or even the in-laws (Surprise, surprise!). It was being willing to put his needs above mine. Those few days when I allowed myself to think about my needs and myself, I felt neither happiness nor peace. I was alone and worse, I was miserable. We still struggle and are clumsy with each other’s feelings especially when other people are involved, and honestly, have not resolved these struggles.

So, yes, possibly tomorrow, the same thing could happen again and the whole cycle can repeat. But at least, we are given one more day to try again.

I see on social media that many seem to think that the greatest threat to marriage is society’s definition of marriage and family nowadays. But it is not. The greatest threat to my marriage is… me. 

We can choose to continue to make the marriage a testimony of God’s love to man or make it threaten other people’s ideas of marriage and cause them to give up hope for love. Everyday continues to present us temptations for the latter, but God has given us MORE than enough to make sure it doesn’t. But it can only happen if we allow that to. :)

And to the man I chose 9 years ago, I love you… more than I did 9 years ago. It will be less than tomorrow though.
And after all these years, I do… with all my heart. :)

Michelle Ngern

There are a variety of programmes that help nurture stronger relationships and a better family life.
Click on links to find out more.

For engaged couples:
Engaged Encounter
Marriage Preparation Course
Grow as a Couple Mentee

For married couples:
Couple Empowerment Programme
Be a Couple Mentor

2017-04-26T15:34:27+00:00