By Emmanuel Abimbola, Crosswalk.com
A healthy marriage is based on genuine love, honesty, trust, and respect. If you want to establish a fun-filled, stress-free relationship, it is critical to have a balance in marriage. Early in a marriage, the couple is typically madly in love and investing everything into the union. But as you interact with the same individual every day, in both good and bad times, things may get much more challenging. As a matter of fact, it doesn't take long for one spouse to grow overburdened and bored.
To be honest, a romantic marriage goes beyond the customary mushiness, dinner dates, and movie dates. If you've been married long enough, you probably already know that a genuine relationship starts when the honeymoon is over.
What Causes an Imbalance in Your Marriage?
When you've been married for a while, your connection with your spouse may begin to feel stale and boring. You may even experience circumstances that give you the impression that your relationship is deteriorating and that you are gradually drifting apart.
This is a warning sign that you must take prompt action and restore harmony to your union. Constant conflicts are the most common cause of marital imbalance, so it's crucial to recognize where marriage conflicts stem from:
1. Minor or major conflicts
Different factors could stir conflicts in your marriage. But whatever happens, you both must understand you sometimes might not be able to change your partner.
And to let peace reign in the relationship, you must put more effort into improving yourself than your partner. Ephesians 5:33 says, “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself, and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
You should respect the fact that you and your spouse are different from each other. Also, learn to accept that your partner might have certain qualities and personality features that cannot be changed. Disagreements are normal in marriage, and you must learn how to deal with them in constructive ways.
(Keep in mind that building a bridge by saying cruel things to your spouse that you can't take back is not a good idea.)
2. Ineffective communication
Improved problem-solving abilities result from healthy communication, and this positively impacts marriages.
Work-related pressures can also have a significant impact on marital communication, as stressed-out partners tend to be more reclusive, angry, or hostile toward one another during the workday and less hostile at home on the weekends.
As Christians, we must develop healthy communication skills with our spouses because if we do not develop effective communication skills or adopt healthy coping mechanisms, marital stress can negatively impact our children's lives.
3. Other factors
Marriages are also significantly harmed by other stressors, including denial, avoidance, sadness, self-blame, negative self-verbalization, withdrawal, and more severe stressors, including drug misuse and violence. Other stressors common to daily life, such as illness, job loss, children, and other factors, also negatively impact marriages and can significantly change the quality of your marriage.
How to Restore or Bring Balance to Your Marriage
The secret to having a successful relationship where both partners feel at ease, supported, and respected is understanding how to maintain balance in the marriage. So, how do you restore balance to a failing relationship or bring balance to your marriage? You should take into account the following crucial concepts to keep your marriage in balance:
1. Make your relationship more trustworthy
You must be trustworthy and have faith in your spouse if you want to keep a relationship in balance.
If you have experienced betrayal in the past, it can be challenging to trust. But if you want balance in your marriage, you can't take it out on your spouse who had no part in the betrayal. Try to be dependable by sticking to your word to establish trust in your marriage. One of the essential elements in developing trust in a relationship is honesty. When the situation calls for it, make an effort to be honest with your partner.
Nothing kills trust like a little white lie. Avoid it! It is difficult for your spouse to trust you again after you are exposed as a liar.
2. Consider the privacy of your relationship
Remember that your spouse had a life before you met them, and it will continue after you go. Recognize and respect your partner's boundaries. Be careful not to invade their personal space. Also, acknowledge that your partner has personal needs and is a human being just like you.
You don't have to want to spend every minute of every day with your spouse. Sometimes they need to set their focus on other significant areas of their lives. Giving your partner a personal space is not disrespectful; they will value you more if you respect their privacy.
3. Acknowledge conflicts
A healthy marriage has both enjoyable and contentious times. It's not a picture-perfect world where everything is ideal. Instead, it involves two different people, each with their own personality and actions. Recognize that your partner is different from you. As a result, you will occasionally have misunderstandings. But that doesn't mean you two can't get along. You need to communicate your pain points or displeasure with one another in a healthy way. Accept your differences. Understand one another's viewpoints and respectfully disagree while never criticizing your partner's flaws.
Let love lead in your marriage. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil.”
Conflicts are a natural part of a healthy relationship, and they can even help it grow. But you must approach them wisely and exercise tolerance and patience.
4. Healthy Communication
Healthy and constant communication is crucial in building a healthy relationship. It enables deeper connections between individuals. No matter what, the couple must be able to communicate their sentiments to one another and attend to both their individual demands and their relationship needs. A marriage that is out of balance has inadequate communication, and the integrity of the relationship will be jeopardized if one party feels ignored.
It's best to establish a strong connection with your partner and openly express yourself to them (1 Peter 3:1-9).
Be honest and upfront about your emotions, and they must also pay complete attention to you. Having someone to share your life with is the main goal of a healthy marriage, so don't be hesitant to show your partner your vulnerability.
5. Commit, compromise but don't make many concessions
Giving your all for the benefit of your relationship and your partner is admirable. It strengthens your bond and facilitates emotional reconnection with your spouse. But making too many concessions can destroy you, as your attention is eventually diverted from your personal needs and wants. Spending too much time with your spouse can make it difficult for you to take care of other essential things in your marriage or at home. When this happens, it is no longer a commitment but an unhealthy compromise.
Note that a healthy compromise does not negatively impact other significant aspects of your life or relationship.
Saving money to see your significant other when you could spend it drinking at the bar is a healthy compromise. Being attentive to your partner is also essential, but it doesn't have to be a hassle.
You develop an unbalanced connection the instant your mental well-being is stressed by your sacrifices.
6. Honor your spouse's preferences
A powerful method to establish a balanced marriage is to respect your spouse's decisions and preferences.
There will be times when your partner will make choices that you do not agree with. The wisest course of action is to accept it without fuss.
Sometimes you can't stop them from making bad choices. Although it can be hard to stand back and watch when you have the power to prevent your partner from making bad choices. The truth is, if they don't want your assistance, you won't be able to accomplish much. So, all you can do is give them some advice and let them decide for themselves. Be your partner's refuge when everything around them turns against them. It is best to work together to come up with solutions rather than judge them.
7. Avoid relying too much on your spouse
Limiting your reliance on your spouse is another way to maintain balance in your marriage. It's okay to solicit assistance from one another, and it is absolutely fine to discuss your problems with your partner and seek their advice on any matter. However, it is best not to rely solely on your spouse because they can become overburdened and believe you are incapable of supporting yourself. And this can be detrimental to your relationship because it gives them a chance to take advantage of you.
8. Stay true to who you are
It is common for individuals in unbalanced marriages to keep their true selves hidden from one another. You should express your true self honestly and be genuine about it. Don't fake it because you obviously won't be able to keep it up for so long. And in the end, you will hurt your partner and the marriage when they eventually realize your true nature.
Keeping balance in your marriage requires that you respect, love, and be fully committed to your spouse. Ephesians 5:22-25 “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.”
Prioritize honesty, trust, and healthy communication with your spouse.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Ridofranz
Emmanuel Abimbola is a creative freelance writer, blogger, and web designer. He is a devout Christian with an uncompromising faith who hails from Ondo State in Nigeria, West Africa. As a lover of kids, Emmanuel runs a small elementary school in Arigidi, Nigeria.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
Video credit: ©RhondaStoppe/SWN