How to Improve Your Relationship With Your Spouse (with Pictures)
This should be required reading for every husband and wife (or future married in a marriage than the relationship between husband and wife. As you spend time nurturing and caring for your newborn, it is important not to overlook your relationship with your spouse. Your relationship with your husband . As I stated in a previous article on ways a husband can show love to his wife: Marriage ain't easy! Marriage can hurt, can be painful, and it.
He was also editor of Petahja, a monthly publication for the Reformed Men's Societies in the Netherlands. The relationship between husband and wife It has already been pointed out that marriage is more than love. Indeed, it must be fed by love, but in essence it is a communion of life. What true love seeks is realized in marriage. Love becomes "serious" because it concerns the whole of human life.
Marriage consists of a life of work and worry, joy and sorrow, sickness and health; it involves being young and becoming old, dealing with small and big problems, coping with internal and external troubles, and facing individual and social questions, all in loving communication with each other.
A great many days, weeks, months, and years are shared. During this long period - should the Lord grant it - the couple lives together in intimacy, which reveals all.
It soon becomes apparent that big things can matter very little while small things can become dreadfully big. Often over an insignificant matter a great quarrel springs up. Marriage can show how any person can be terribly small. Love has to accept the other person with all his or her peculiarities, weaknesses, and pettiness. Love prepares a home for the other. Marriage and the family provide a resting place, a natural haven from the hectic pace of modem life.
No strained or artificial manners are necessary at home; one can be oneself there. There is another side to the coin. The freedom and intimacy of the home will always reveal what kind of persons live there.
In it one can not camouflage oneself. Therefore, family relationships must be handled with care. A marriage must have the inner strength to bear everything. Either the marriage will become more and more frightful because a couple lacks the love to help and sustain each other as they struggle to make a safe haven of their marriage, or the marriage will be nurtured through the love to become a source of happiness and peace.
It has already been mentioned that any ideal is strict and cruel, and leads to strained behavior. True love knows that the other person is not without human frailties. It does not compare the other with an ideal lest one disillusionment after the other come. Love alone endures all things. Faults and imperfections will be seen in love. One's partner is accepted as given by God for life. It has been pointed out that being married is just as difficult as not being married.
Marriage does not solve all problems. Since the fall there is not a single state in life which is by nature "easy. That is especially true of the allembracing communion of marriage. But since Christ has come, marriage can be solemnized "in the Lord;" He has restored communion with God and thereby with one another.
No man or woman is an isolated individual. Husbands and wives have an especially strong influence upon each other. Marriage means that they grow toward each other more and more. It means being faithful to the new dimension of life as husband and wife. Among other things, newness is two people living in the same space. The couple's home is a center of safety on which they can fall back.
The wife makes the home habitable and pleasant, a haven for the husband to come to after a full days work. The husband brings in what happened to him "outside. The wife listens and discusses things with him. Something is wrong if the wife has no interest in her husband's work. Likewise the husband must listen to his wife when she speaks of the household, the children, problems of upbringing, and household finances, in short, of everything connected with the family.
All this happens within the confines of the home. Good housing conditions are eminently important for the health of the family.
In a place where the family cannot be itself because of lack of soundproofing, where they cannot be at peace due to disturbances from neighbors, many things can go wrong. Apartment neurosis is a notorious example of this.
Many marriage difficulties arise because houses are too small, because large families cannot afford help, and because mothers are so over-tired that their only hope is to sleep in. Such circumstances force wives to become "drudges" who neglect themselves, dress shoddily and can no longer keep up with their husbands socially. This can cause irritability in the husband, and as a result, husband and wife drift apart. A man wants to be able to be seen with his wife, for she is his glory.
When after strenuous and exhaustive work, a husband comes home to a wife who complains about her own work and is moody because she cannot manage, who overwhelms him with her complaints, griev.
In such a situation the husband might easily look at other women who give a more pleasing impression. He may wonder whether he made the right choice. When he begins to make comparisons, the husband will feel cheated and bitter.
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When faithfulness to the "wife of his youth" is sorely tried, then it must become apparent that a husband's love is founded on faithfulness. Then he must continue to accept his wife in all her troubles. Together they asked the Lord for a blessing on their marriage and for the blessing of children. When the difficulties of rearing a family threaten to become too much for the wife, the husband must show himself to be her head and take the initiative in looking for ways and means to change the situation.
This is no small task today. Domestic help is hard to find. Young girls can earn more money elsewhere. However, they need to be reminded that one day they may marry and have a family. They too may face the same problems that many sorely tried mothers face. Perhaps single women and young girls might ask themselves whether or not they could serve here.
The husband might also look for technical methods for lightening the task of the housewife, but even with this, all kinds of difficulties are not solved. It is the spiritual attitude of the husband and wife which is decisive. Some mothers of large and busy families understand the art of making a house pleasant, of receiving their husbands with warm interest instead of complaints; some women know the secret of dressing tastefully and appearing well groomed and fresh; some wives are well informed about their husband's work and life.
Such women are more precious than jewels. Respect for each other must be mutual. With the passing of the years, the husband may not lose his courtesy and attention for his wife. He must hold her in honor and not regard her as domestic help. His attention shows in things as small as bringing his wife flowers occasionally. A little attention can work wonders. The way in which a husband treats his wife speaks volumes about the climate of their marriage.
Husbands who make their wives the target of so-called funny in reality, sarcastic stories in company, violate the marriage. Men who are chivalrous and very courteous to other women but not to their own wives are not only rude but unchristian. Marriage in honor means that a husband holds his wife in honor - the wife who works her fingers to the bone for him and their children; the wife who in pain and difficulty brought children into the world; the wife who was the love of his youth, and whom he should not, upon becoming older, neglect or push aside.
The Lord will punish the husband who no longer holds his wife in honor. When a wife feels that her husband holds her in high esteem, surrounding her with care and attention, she win blossom.
In this way mutual affection will be maintained and strengthened. The flame of love cannot be quenched by the waters of a busy household with its large and small irritations.
In contrast, when complaints arise about one's spouse and when reproaches are thrown back and forth, the marriage will threaten to run aground. The husband, rather than blame his wife, should ask himself: The wife should ask herself. Both must begin with self-examination, not reproof, to correct the situation.
In marriage too the words of Scripture are true: Two people who live closely together can hurt each other terribly through words and deeds.
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Only self-denying love chooses another, better road. These are the rudiments of marriage. Nothing less will do.
In this context a few words must be said about women who become so involved with their children that their husbands are like outsiders. Men are accepted for their breadwinning and that is about all. Such women are the counterpart of men who view their wives only as housekeepers and domestic help. Both are wrong and in conflict with God's Word.
A woman may not occupy herself exclusively with her children. She and her husband have been made "one flesh" and she has been created by God Himself to be a help to her husband. Certainly people's characters differ; there are motherly types and more wifely types. Yet women who are so absorbed in their children to the neglect of the husbands become obstacles to their children without realizing it. Nothing molds a child more than seeing how father and mother love each other, how thoughtful father is and how solicitous and cordial mother is to father.
Marriage failures of the children are often caused by the failure of their parents' marriage.
These children do not experience a true love that does not demand but gives, that does not make oneself central. Only he who gives shall receive!
True love does not seek itself. The secret of a Christian marriage will be found in Christ who gave Himself for the church so that through His power husband and wife can give themselves to each other. The deep meaning of the marriage bond is revealed in and through the work of Christ. In the Old Testament some of this already became clear. Often the Lord depicts the relationship between Himself and His people as the relationship between husband and wife: I have wed you, saith the Lord.
He bought the congregation with His blood. He is her Bridegroom and she is His bride. That is why the great ending, the feast of the future, is symbolized as a wedding feast. We are not dealing here with a moral lesson about the perfect marriage nor with a few rules to answer the question. The Gospel must mark the marriage relationship. Only where husband and wife demonstrate the image of Christ will they learn to deny themselves.
Like Christ they will learn to serve each other. Christlike love is the only weapon against the egoism that can break up a marriage. When after the fall Adam reproached Eve and placed the blame on her, that was the first time adultery was committed. All of this began with a heart that did not fully seek to serve another but itself. It is seldom realized that marriage is an office.
Scripture says beautiful things of it, of the relationship between husband and wife and children, tool Think of Colossians 3: Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
When these words are taken to heart, marriage will become beautiful. Then something of the new life will blossom on this cursed earth. Then the powers of the coming age will emerge, and the smile of God's pleasure will shine over the generations of His children. Marriage is not just a private happening, no matter how personal the relationship may be. One is accountable to God for the past, present, and future of one's marriage.
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The welfare of the coming generations is also involved. The more the husband is husband and the wife is wife, the more affectionate, strong, and warm the bond of marriage becomes and remains.
The husband must give guidance, bear the responsibility, take the initiative, and with gentleness and courage aid his wife. The wife must be a real help, pay good attention to her household, and create a 'home.
She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Thus she makes a home where husband and children like to be.
R mke, two stages that are most afflicted with difficulties.
These stages are the first five years and the period when the married couple is approximately forty years old. The difficulties of the first stage are due mainly to problems of adjustment.
These years are decisive to the future of the marriage. They determine whether a couple wishes to grow closer together, accepting each other completely, partialities, peculiarities, and shortcomings included. Are they both open to the changing influence each may have upon the other? Or do they stand against each other as individuals? Do both want to grow together or become introverted? During this period both have to find their place as husband and wife.
This does not always happen without clashes. If, as has already been explained, husband and wife have indeed found each other in love and continue to do so, they will go on to find everincreasing unity. The second stage of difficulty is of a different nature.
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It is sometimes called the virility phase. This is the time in a man's life when he progresses no further. He has found his life's destination and, hopefully, has accepted it. He is in the prime of his life; his capacity for achievement has reached its peak. He looks back on the major part of his life that is already past. During this stage of life - sometimes called dangerous -radical changes may occur.
Many become converted to faith in God while others break with the religious tradition of their youth. According to R mke, ministers of religion are known to change their vocation during this period. Often traditional values are doubted. It seems as if many people during this stage in life wish to make a new start. It is during this time that many marriages experience a crisis as well.
For the individual partners, many ailments and defects become noticeable for the first time: Memory and psychical powers weaken; fatigue occurs sooner. He who is not led by a strong faith in God's calling arrives at a disappointed conclusion about life: He throws himself with a new, seemingly youthful spirit into the attractive life.
He flees into the new, trying to forget the old. Still, according to an expert, many at around forty begin to live in a rut largely determined by the sensuous enjoyment of life: A man may commit follies or have "adventures.
During this period many divorces occur and older men remarry younger women. Of course, this does not always happen. The forties can also be a time of intensifying the inner life. Inner conflicts and knowledge that, physically speaking, the best time of life is past can bring about deepening spiritual awareness.
One can emerge from this stage a more balanced person, more aware of one's place in life and one's peculiar responsibilities. In many men, paternal feelings grow more intense.
Many begin to live more for their families and their wives. It should be added here that R mke, who has made a study of the various stages in life, also states that some people develop without major symptoms of crisis.
These people are found, he claims, especially among the "deeply religious. At the same time it can be said: As outward appearances deteriorate, they will expect and receive the renewal of the inner person. During this stage the marriage can become much stronger, the communion closer, and the mutual physical and spiritual support greater.
With an increase in years, the meaning of being given by God as a help to each other becomes ever more richly revealed. What has been attained through struggle will receive special splendor and value. That applies to the first stage in which the partners had to find each other. It also applies to the second stage in which they re-find each other and confirm their love with their maturity. The transition years are the most difficult in a woman's life.
These are the years just before and after menstruation ceases, also known as the climacteric. The cessation of menstruation is called the menopause, after which conception is no longer possible. At about age fifty, menstruation ceases. During this time women often experience physical and psychological difficulties. They often complain of headaches, dizziness, sleeplessness, "hot flashes," and other nervous difficulties and ailments. A husband must make allowances for his wife during such a difficult stage in her life by supporting her, lovingly helping her and sparing her.
Then, as in so many difficult situations, the husband's and wife's willingness to live in love for each other according to their vows must become apparent. Incidentally, that is true for the entire period of aging together. The strength of a couple's love will become evident when husband or wife becomes afflicted with physical ailments.
Love can be wonderfully demonstrated in the care which each gives the other. What a glorious crown can be placed on a marriage when husband and wife are able to help each other through several decades.
Together they become old and gray but they continue to bear fruits for each other as they bear fruit for God. Sick and needy people have been placed by God on the paths of healthy people so that charity may be shown them: Through adversity God allows husband and wife to prove the strength of true love.
Difficult periods in the marriage of God's children can lead to blessing. This blessing will fall on the husband and the wife and all that surrounds them. Sexual relations between husband and wife The necessity of a satisfying sexual relationship in marriage is being emphasized more now than ever; it is considered the very basis for a successful marriage.
Many books give frank information on the technique of performing the sex act. They dwell at length on the various ways of achieving sexual union which may lead to greater satisfaction. No one would deny the importance of satisfying sexual relations. They certainly influence the total relationship between husband and wife.
The wife who resigned herself to intercourse begins the day differently from the one who, upon awakening, recalls physical happiness. The husband who, upon awakening, recalls resistance at night, gets up differently from the one who can tease his wife about her complaisance J. The Dutch Society for Sexual Reform Nederlandse Vereniging voor Sexuele Hervorming strongly emphasizes the importance of a healthy, satisfying sexual relationship.
However, the suggestion that the "perfect marriage" is based on mutual sexual satisfaction is incorrect. Certainly much has changed for the better in the sexual affairs of marriage. Whereas in the past "conjugal rights" were thought to belong to the husband, today mutual rights and duties are stressed. Formerly many husbands thought it undesirable or even improper for their wives to enjoy sexual pleasure as they did.
It was a wife's task simply to be subservient to her husband. Today marriage is regarded as a bond of companionship in which the wife enjoys the same rights as her husband. As a companion to her husband, the wife asserts her rights to a satisfying sexual relationship. In the past, women knew little about sex before they married, but today most young women are well informed before marriage.
But no marriage will be successful simply because the sexual relationship no longer poses any problems. It is a total misconception that the perfect sexual technique guarantees a perfect marriage. In a revolutionary way, the woman has become a partner to her husband, but at the same time the sex act has been separated from the complete physical and spiritual communion that a good marriage must be.
Marriage is more than the consumption of sex; physical intercourse alone does not make a marriage. Two young people planning to get married will have to acquaint themselves with the functions of the sex organs and with the different psychical structures of men and women. Complete ignorance of these matters can lead to much trouble, tension, and sorrow. For how many has the wedding night turned out to be a great disappointment because not enough consideration had been given to the difference in disposition between men and women?
Psychiatrists and doctors can tell many stories about this. The husband's lack of control and of sensitivity, and his sheer clumsiness may frighten an unprepared wife so badly that the honeymoon ends in disappointment.
Sometimes there is no foreplay or caressing, and no consideration for the wife's feelings. Maybe other husbands do as well? This should seem like obvious counsel, but far too many men do this. Would you feel insecure, hurt, or shamed if your wife stared at other men. Yes, you probably would, and for good reason. This goes for things on the internet as well, whether they are merely images in a television commercial or full-blown internet pornography.
Men, complement your wives to other people. Not only should we not put our wives down publicly, but we should praise our wives, lifting her up, calling her blessed Proverbs 31and speak about her deeds often.
The more your wife feels loved and needed, the more she will respect you. Wives, respect your husband and submit to his authority. It is interesting to note that even in my own marriage, I am more motivated to love my wife and do kind things on her behalf when I feel respected by her.
Is that sinful on my part? It just happens to be a truism when it comes to marriage between two people plagued by the Genesis 3 Fall. I was recently talking to a husband and wife at the same time for about ten minutes. The wife spoke practically the entire time and raced to answer any of my questions before her husband had a chance to answer. As she cut him off and spoke, I kept glancing at him to see his expression and demeanor.
It was easily noticeable how annoyed the husband was. He felt disrespected by his wife in front of another man. That is definitely a big issue, as far as husbands are concerned, when it comes to figuring out how to fix a relationship.
Wives, do NOT compare your husband to other men. Whether you do this publicly in your conversations with others especially your friends or parents or whether you do it in a closed conversation with only your husband, comparing him to other men you know is a sure way to an unhappy marriage.
Most people flaunt an exaggerated facade when it comes to how other people view them. The standard we men need to live up to is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself! We fail multiply times daily.