Here they are, the 5 secrets to a long-lasting empowered marriage:
- Have your own identity
- Be a team
- A balance between positive and negative
- Being equal
- Letting go of the expectations
1. Have your own identity:
Be your own person. A lot of couples when they’re working with me, we go back and look at the history: when they met and how they met. And for some people it’s not always the case, but for some couples, those people who have just come straight out of home and got into a relationship struggle with this.
Separating from the childhood home, the childhood life and having a good amount of time where you have separated totally is very important. You will know you are your own unique individual, authentic self. You know who you are, and you are then less likely to lose yourself. What do you enjoy? What are your hobbies? What are you passionate about? What are you motivated about?
It is about actually creating space and time to get to know yourself. And that’s where spending some time alone, reflecting, journal writing, meditating, reading, podcasts getting to know yourself on a deeper level. Having your own identity and putting some energy into that if you feel like you’re losing your identity.
2. Be a team:
A team around parenting, a team around money, a team around all the different areas that make up a marriage. It’s not for one of you to carry the load.
If you’re a team you will have good communication. For a long lasting and empowered marriage, being a team is also being able to step out of the team and do things that are solely yours, individualism is just as important as being a team.
Ask yourself, are we a team or do I feel like I’m carrying a lot of the load?
You may need to start having the hard conversations. You may need to start being honest with yourself as to how you are feeling and then being able to be assertive and address it. If you find that difficult, perhaps putting it in an email or typing it and then reading it out. If you do not do that it can begin to build and can start to become quite toxic and you can begin to feel resentment. Bring it up with your partner. “I feel like we’re not a team and I sort of feel quite out of balance. Can we talk about this”?
3. A balance between positive and negative:
Being able to openly express what you’re feeling, positive and negative is vital to an empowered marriage. Balance the positive with the negative, and be able to talk about all the ranges of emotions. But remember that it’s not negative when you’re having disagreements or you’re having a strong reaction inside, that’s normal, it’s being able to openly express it, feel it and talk about it and not be concerned with your partner’s reaction if they react harshly.
The resolution is that maybe you both agree to disagree, but you found a middle ground. So balance the negative with the positive, fun, laughter and joking, all those wonderful things, that you know just make life fantastic when you have them in your life. However, if you’re just constantly in the negative and you’re not balancing it up with positive, it then becomes quite draining. That’s not an empowered marriage and often becomes quite toxic and tiring over time.
4. Being equal:
It is important that you divide up what is required in the running of a household. Say, for example, one of you is a foodie. This description isn’t gender orientated, this is about what your strengths are. You’re a foodie and you’re really good at cooking. Perhaps you’ll do a bit more of the cooking. Perhaps you’re the social one in the couple, so you’ll organize the social calendar. Dividing up what is needed in running a household or running a life and running a marriage is what empowers both partners.
Parenting can be a tricky one. Often the female will be with the baby in the first months and then it just begins that they take on that role. However, there needs to be a bit of an adjustment when she goes back to work and it’s dividing those kids tasks up. For example, one of you may do the baths, one of you may do the reading of the bedtime story. Being able to divide those kids tasks up, is important as you will feel that you are both more equal.
If there are things that neither of you really want to do and you can, outsource it. Get someone in once a fortnight to clean the house, a mower man etc. Its’s being able to talk about it, to have good communication and do what interests you and what is of value. It’s not gender, it’s nothing to do with gender. It’s about being able to balance it up, so you are both content and happy with the arrangement that you have.
5. Letting go of the expectations:
Letting go of the expectations that you have on your partner is easily said. When we have expectations and they’re not being met, we can constantly feel that we are being let down and so we’re constantly searching for that.
What results is that we’re not looking for the great things that ARE happening in the marriage. Instead, we often feel aggravated, frustrated, angry, and resentment begins to build. It all comes down to acceptance. Being able to except your partner the way they are.
And if you are not able to do that? What choices do you have?
- Leave the marriage
- Live in the pain that you’re in
- Find a way to accept it
You can accept behaviour if it is not hitting up against your own values. However, if you are hitting up against your own values, you will find it very hard to accept and you will live in terminal discontent and resentment.
Ask yourself: is this marriage life giving to me? Is this marriage supporting me emotionally, spiritually, physically and mentally?
If you are hitting up against your values, then perhaps you need to do some work around whether this marriage is right for you.
There are always going to be things that annoy you about your partner. That’s the wonderful thing about being in relationships and you learn so much about yourself. So, sometimes when we project, we also need to bring it back to ourselves and look at what is going on inside of ourselves.
Working on these 5 secrets will support you to having a lasting empowered marriage.