If someone was to ask me the secret to what makes a marriage work, I’d tell them it’s what makes the couple stay in love – to know without a doubt that they still feel in love with each other on a regular, daily basis.
Yes, I believe love is a choice, but to deny that being happy together and feeling “happily married” is important, is to deny the basis of getting married at all. When most married couples are to the point of actually having to go to a marriage counselor to try to repair their marriage, their usual request is for them to feel in love again – to be in love again.
So… what makes a marriage work?
You know what makes a marriage not work I’m sure: not communicating well, never resolving fights, constant bickering/badgering/fighting… obviously, these things destroy feeling in love.
What creates the feelings of being in love? I think one of the most important factor is to meet each other’s needs. I adore the book, His Needs Her Needs by Willard F. Harley Jr., as it really goes into detail of how an affair can ignite when a couple is neglecting each other’s needs. Dr. Harley comprises a list of needs for men & women that is just a guideline, of course many people have different needs than what he suggests.
If you’re married, it’s up to you to figure out your partner’s needs. When you or your partner’s needs aren’t being met, you start to feel like it’s not fair… or not right.
A man usually cannot do without sexual fulfillment. And a woman usually feels starved and unloved in her marriage if there is no affection. These are just 2 main needs that are most cited – find out what is the number one need of your spouse & ask them what would help you better meet that need.
Affection for your wife:
- Kiss your wife, hug your wife, hold her hand when you are out… embrace her in a passionate (non-sexual) hug
- Tell her often how much you love her & treasure her
- Romance her with little things, a coffee brought to her, a note or flower(s) sent to her office, chocolate is also a no-fail
- Help her with dishes or laundry – especially if she feels overwhelmed
- Be affectionate with kisses and hugs before bed every night
- Look her in the eyes with passion, love, & kindness – it’s hard for a woman to resist tenderness in a strong man
Passionate sex for your husband:
- Understand that when he wants you, it is the biggest compliment – treat his need for you with pride… & take that confidence into your sex
- Understand he can’t feel fulfilled without YOU being sexually fulfilled by him. Do whatever it takes to figure out your sexuality & enjoyment of sex – if you care about your husband, you will make sex a priority
- Communicate about sex – so many women for some reason can’t seem to be able to talk about it with their husbands! Talk about what you love about the stages of sex… arousal, plateau, climax & recovery. Talk about what you don’t understand.
- Appreciate the difference in arousal – how fast your man gets turned-on seeing you naked, and how it usually takes a woman more time mentally to “turn-on”
- Understand the problem of premature ejaculation & make effort to pro-long the best stage of sex (plateau phase) with different positions & different speeds of sex
- Don’t put too much importance on orgasming – enjoy the love-making experience all together! Once in plateau phase, orgasm is only a little more stimulation & time away, so enjoy it… don’t make sex something that creates performance anxiety!
(Photo from Ralph Lauren)