- Losing your individuality
It’s important that individuals don’t lose who they inherently are to fit into a couplehood. Thandi Vellem, an author and life coach, points out that this, however, doesn’t mean we have a right to arrogantly ask our spouses to accept behaviour that’s detrimental to the relationship simply because “that is who I am”.
“We have a responsibility to ensure our own wellness and that of the marriage by actively becoming the best versions of ourselves and, by default, ensuring we are contributing positively to our marriages,” she says.
Vellem says you should actively be in pursuit of a better you in terms of your goals, dreams, career, hobbies, relationships and spiritual life. “You have a better chance of being a better lover if you are a better version of yourself. Work on yourself consistently and as priority number one,” she says.
- Trusting your feelings more than the commitment you’ve made
Although there’ll be days when you don’t feel like being married, remember that those feelings shouldn’t be the force behind the major decisions you make, according to Church Leaders.
It’s often said that love is a commitment and not just a feeling. This means that the commitment you have made to your union, partner and family should outweigh how you feel at any particular point in time. Also, the stronger the commitment is, the deeper the bond and intimacy.
READ MORE: Why marriage is like a business relationship
- Familiarity which isn’t accompanied by respect
Familiarity breeds contempt in some marriages and intimacy in other marriages. The deciding factor, which swings the pendulum either to intimacy or contempt, is respect, says Vellem. “Respect your spouse as a human being above the fact that they are your romantic partner.”
Disrespectful and harsh words chip away at the soul of the marriage. Vellem advises finding ways to better handle anger and avoiding speaking harshly.
- Grudges and keeping score
Harbouring resentment is harmful to the growth of your relationship. If your partner has done something to compromise your trust, the decision to stay or leave is ultimately up to you. If you decide to forgive, then do so wholeheartedly and don’t hold onto baggage, says Vellem.
If your words or actions have hurt your partner, then you need to admit you were wrong and ask for forgiveness, says an article in Church Leaders. It also says that once you’ve decided to forgive, you need to work towards rebuilding “the before”.
READ MORE: How to make God the centre of your marriage
- Trying to change your partner
Don’t get into marriage with unrealistic expectations, hoping to change your husband and vice versa. You should get married because it’s what you want as your husband won’t fill your emptiness.
According to Church Leaders, when a spouse tries to change the other, they both end up frustrated. Rather work on your reaction to situations, being the best version of yourself and loving each other despite your differences.
- Making decisions without consulting your spouse
This happens when pride replaces thoughtfulness in a marriage. Church Leaders reports that in this situation you’ve convince yourself that you don’t have to report to anyone, thus believing it’s OK for you to make decisions on your own.
While remaining an individual is important for your sense of self, thoughtfully consulting each other when making decisions will ensure a happy marriage.
Additional reporting: Church Leaders