Words like “marriage” and “serve” could throw people off from the emotions of love. It has started feeling like people have become unknown about the concept of marriage. They look down upon it or take it very casually. What I believe is not getting married has taken the place in the “I’m cool list,” and that is what makes it most cool! If only people took marriages as a space where you can be your free, unmasked self, where you get to live as a friend, spouse, and family! And only couples in thriving marriages can vouch for this.
Bad incidents, broken relationships, childhood traumas, busy lives- there are so many reasons for one to lose faith in marriage. Sometimes, even married couples lose faith in it. But if you know the secrets to serve one another as a spouse, it doesn’t feel so bad anymore! Couples in thriving marriages know that the “serving” doesn’t sound as bad as it seems. It only means being on the same page and actually fulfilling what marriage asks of people- simply being there!
How do couples in thriving marriages be there for each other then, is the real question? By serving one another with the basic necessities of giving oneself to the other. And that in no way has any underlining meaning about losing independence, losing other people, or losing space in our lives. There’s only ONE meaning to this, and that is, you took the decision to take each other as spouses, and now you both have to understand co-existing in happiness with someone you love!
You see, that’s the problem. People think love is enough. It is the source, yes, of any building relationship and beyond. But is it enough to thrive? No. We need fulfilling one another’s needs as a couple, as people. That need could be anything, from wanting the space to be you, to wanting to spend time together. If the two people in the marriage can fulfill these needs, it is ENOUGH.
Couples in thriving marriages ensure on following these practices so they can enjoy being married to one another and happily so! Here are some of the things they do, including me and my husband. (And write this on our anniversary, to mark the very joy, and we’re so okay with the word “marriage” and “serve”!)
How couples in thriving marriages serve each other?
1. To Listen Attentively
One of the best ways to serve your partner is by being an attentive listener. Nobody wants to have a conversation with someone who walks out on you when talking, doesn’t remember what you say, cuts you off in the middle of something so they can put forth their opinion, and the like. Couples in thriving marriages know that marriage is the kind of commitment that requires being good listeners, which means simply being there. Not all times are about responding. Sometimes, it is just to let your partner know, that you can feel lighter, and take it all out in front of me.
There have been instances when married couples have fought about, “You never listen,” and it does not always end well. Can you practice just listening? Being there in the moment? Looking into your partner’s eyes, nodding along, or holding hands? Just BE THERE!
2. Being Unfiltered Selves
A rich relationship is one without any layers. Couples in thriving marriages serve each other by being their unfiltered selves before their spouses. It doesn’t mean they talk all day! It only means they remove all filters before conversing with their partners. Whether it is about something they’re feeling, deciding, thinking, or planning, being this open version before our spouses give them a free pass to understanding how important they are to us. There is this unsaid intimacy and trust that grows because you become capable of having a conversation where you don’t have to worry about judgments.
What is the worst that could happen? Probably, they would not agree with what you say. But that would still mean that it is a healthy communication that tip-toeing about your feelings. There is nothing that can beat this feeling of being “Free” in love! Unfortunately, many people consider marriage as just the opposite of freedom. If only they find someone who also believes in the concept of a thriving marriage. Ask couples in thriving marriages, and they’ll tell you!
3. Accepting each other’s worlds
Accepting each other’s worlds is such a blissful thing to do to serve a spouse. The restrictions that people “think” should come with marriage are all in the head. The moment one declutters from such thoughts, it’s all good again. Marriage is all about accepting each other’s world without trying to change it.
There is a difference between making some changes to accommodate our partner’s in our lives. It’s not like nothing will change. It will, and that’s the entire point of it. If not why not just live the way before? What is important is you accept each other’s worlds- lifestyles, friend circles, needs, jobs, finances! And after accepting, be there! It’s a whole other feeling for couples in thriving marriages who say that when we accept each other “completely,” there’s lesser to argue about because we know the person deeply.
4. No competitions
Couples in thriving marriages have even healthy arguments. Is there something like healthy arguments? Yes, there are. They are the ones that allow two people to put forth their points but without any toxicity. There’s never the blame game or the competition about who does what better and who did what and when. The conversations are limited to that situation only and the focus remains on resolving ONLY that matter.
Thriving couples know that bringing up the past or keeping an account of what you do for each other is an absolutely baseless argument. Both partners do enough in their own ways and the more we accept that the easier is the relationship. So, there is no scope for competitions. It is just about resolving the issue at hand.
5. Respect each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and boundaries
Who wants a partner that is constantly nagging or making fun of their spouse’s strengths, weaknesses, or boundaries? Couples in thriving marriages make it a conscious and mindful decision to make respect the source of their happiness. And that also includes the boundaries. If your partner cannot stand certain jokes, conversations, or people, don’t enforce them to be a part of it. If they like being left alone when angry, that’s their boundary to deal with their emotion, respect it. Things can always be sorted out when calmer.
There’s nothing like a partner who is all praise about your strengths and a comforter when overcoming a weakness. And that is what couples in thriving marriages understand. Crossing this line of respect opens the doors for all the negative that is best when blocked out.
Which of these habits have you and your partner included in your marriages? Are you one of the couples in thriving marriages? If you are, then kudos to you. If you are looking to thrive and find the “real” happiness that hides behind the fears of being married, then all you need are these secrets that I just revealed to you. Every other small and big thing will just work itself out. Things will automatically fall into place. Try it! You saw serving your partner in ways like this is only about thriving by being there.
For professional help on setting goals for your relationship/marriage, including wanting to thrive, book your coaching sessions with me at firstname.lastname@example.org! Let’s work through whatever you want to overcome together.
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