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MO & PHINDI | Your partner must become No 1 priority as you begin new life as a married couple

Keep true love alive by building your relationship every step of the way

Mo and Phindi Relationship Thursdays
Couples who think their marriage will remain as happy as it was right after they wed are naïve. Don’t assume because you’re “in love” problems will just go away.
Couples who think their marriage will remain as happy as it was right after they wed are naïve. Don’t assume because you’re “in love” problems will just go away.
Image: 123RF

We’re invited to speak at a lot of weddings all year round. Naturally, the event itself is characterised by a lot of marital advice we often cringe at.

The first years of marriage are extremely critical. In addition to learning more about one another, it is also a time when couples learn stuff they never knew about themselves.

Generally, the first couple of years are the most challenging. Don’t assume because you’re “in love” problems will just go away. Couples who think their marriage will remain as happy as it was right after they wed are naïve. Taking steps to protect your relationship both now and in the future can ensure a healthier relationship.

Being at the tail-end of the festive season, a period that sees over 70% of weddings taking place in SA, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to speak to newlyweds.

This is part one of a discussion on some unconventional tips for newlyweds. We will continue with others in the next column.

Your partner is now your first priority, not your parents nor even your child

As a married person, it’s always important to keep in mind that as a matter of principle, by bringing your spouse into your life, you’ve made a public declaration that you will have no higher priority in life than them – other than God if you’re a believer. And your spouse needs to feel as such. Your spouse is now your family, and your parents, siblings and other relatives are extended family.

You’re in no position to give marital advice yet

Free yourself from the temptation of starting a YouTube channel to start dishing out marital advice. Hold your horses. Live a little, and give your marriage a chance to live through the ups, downs and all the vicissitudes of life. Then when you have learnt a thing or two about healthily living with an adult and raising kids with them, you may start to think about your “calling” to help others out in their marriages.

You don’t have to be #RelationshipGoals

Not everything about your marriage or married life has to be on social media. Some things are best left to help preserve the sacredness of your union. They need to remain personal. Free yourself and your partner from the pressure of having to appear like “you’ve got this” even when one of you doesn’t feel the need to pose for the camera. Grow your relationship in private and in genuineness. And those that truly matter will notice – especially when you’re not doing it for their eyes.

Spontaneous sex is a myth

Perhaps a doorway to a healthy sex life in a marriage begins with letting go of the myth that sex must be spontaneous – or that great sex is spontaneous. Often, sex happens because at least one partner has “scheduled” it without talking about it with the other in advance. If you waited for spontaneous sex in your marriage, you’d actually have a sexless marriage. With every facet of your lives as individuals it’s very rare that you’d both desire to engage in sexual intimacy simultaneously every time. Planned or anticipated sex can be more fulfilling. Actually, the first ingredient we need for a healthy sex life is the willingness to begin a sexual interaction. To do this we have to own our desire and to express it intentionally.

What’s the PIN for?

In a perfect world, nobody should ever feel pressured or forced to share their passwords if they don't want to, and everyone should always have the right to as much digital privacy as they want. But when you keep a password from your spouse – whether for your phone, bank or even social media – it’s a form of distrust and secrecy. If you have nothing to hide, you wouldn’t fuss about this.

Use reverse psychology sometimes

As a wife, you will repeat asking him to fix the broken window in the spare room for at least six months before he actually attends to it. But to get things done, sometimes you have to deploy your reverse psychology skills. The best way to get most husbands to do something is to suggest that perhaps they’re too unskilled to do it. If that’s too harsh for you, simply get a glazier or construction worker to fix it.

Time works differently after marriage

If you’re going somewhere and she says she’ll be done in a minute, don’t take it literally. And if he says he’ll be home in an hour when she calls to find out for how long he will stay out with his friends, don’t be alarmed if he isn’t home even after three hours. The important thing is to communicate transparently.

Do not fall out of love with one another

Yes, it’s dependent on each of you. Often in long-term relationships, the monotony of life takes over. And so, before you know it, people are feeling disconnected from one another. Relationships are maintained, just like anything else you wish to keep alive. And if it’s not maintained, it’ll naturally die – again, just like everything else left neglected. If you can’t agree on a shower temperature, take separate showers. True love is built intentionally, patiently and over a consistent period of time.

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