Building Loving and Enduring Relationship

By

Margaret Oliwe

Photo Credit: BetterHelp
The bible says in Hebrews 13:4 that ‘marriage is honorable in all…’ whether you have been married five years or fifty, you know life with your spouse is filled with its different seasons. We have to be frank, life is not a bed of roses, and even a bed of roses is not without its thorns. There are moments of happiness that last as long as can be imagined while they are sometimes short-lived. Rise and fall are the essence of drama and so also the essence of marriage. There is no perfect marriage, as far as no individual is perfect. This is especially when marriage institution is one where you are issued your certificate before your learning process begins. Couples break up and make up, disagree and agree. There are moments of outright miscommunication and downright conflict. Sometimes, the need for intimacy isn’t the same for the two people involved due to different pressure being faced in the course of struggles for survival, then frustration or discouragement sets in. Sometimes the relationship suddenly seems one-sided, becomes sidetracked by something as seemingly harmless as fascination with social media, parenting problems and all the likes. The act of continually knitting together the busy lives of two imperfect people into a healthy Christian marriage can be a great task demanding loads of hard work, creativity, and reliance on God.
To build a lasting home full of joy and happiness, we need God at the centre of it. Remember that God is the architect of marriage, He is the creator of everything including each spouse, it does not matter how that marriage is contracted God can take charge if you let him take the centre stage and He will turn your frustration into fulfilment.
There are two basic needs of every successful marriage, which include communication and need to satisfy sexual gratification of each partner.
Communication
“Assumption kills” goes the saying, couples sometimes take each other for granted and assume the other party should know what we know, what we are thinking about or our perspective about a matter without effective communication. The breakdown of communication in many homes is the architect of avoidable problems being faced in families today. To make communication effective in any marriage relationship, couples must develop what is called listening ears. You must not assu me what the other party has in mind or jump into conclusion without listening to your spouse point of view, this kind of attitude can result to anger which is not pleasing to God. The word of God teaches us to be quick to listen but slow to speak and slow to become angry. Therefore, to be an effective listener we must prayerfully strive towards the following:
  1. Be slow to speak, quick to listen
We need to really slow down to listen well. Pay close attention to what your spouse is saying.
  1. Curiosity
Being curious keeps your attention on the person speaking. Curiosity as to the reason for what is being said, why it is being said, the importance of what is being said as well as the benefits embedded in what is being said.
  1. Respect
We must understand that our spouse deserves our undivided attention when we are being communicated to. Therefore, our attention must be given to the one communicating with us, if our communication will be effective. We must understand that listening is the highest form of love and respect. We listen because we love and care.
  1. Understanding
It is highly essential to understand our partner. It is therefore important to ask questions when confused and be very patient to avoid judging them.
  1. Sensitivity
To listen means to be sensitive about our spouse’s point of view, it helps us to ask questions when necessary and when to be silent. Sensitivity breeds healthy relationship.
Listening is the foundation of every loving relationship, so it is not optional for two people who profess to love each other, it is mandatory.
Sexual Intimacy
The problem of sexual intimacy in marriage relationship is an age-long complaint. Men crave sex and feel entitled to it, while women crave trust, safety, and intimacy. Often these needs collide, creating undue marital stress.
Sometimes, men complain of their wives withholding sex as a way of punishment for what they have done or not done. However, individual party in marriage must seek to understand how each person is wired. As a man, have you asked yourself some salient questions that will make you understand your wife’s position better? Is she truly depriving you or is she seeking a more intimate relationship with you?
I believe sexual relationship should be a bye-product of a man’s tender loving and care. For example, how do you relate with her and how do you manage her feelings. Know that when there is physical intimacy between couples, sexual intimacy will be spontaneous.
While God created us to enjoy emotional, spiritual, and sexual intimacy, He also created us to love one another selflessly. “Love does not seek its own way” (1 Corinthians 13). Love builds the other up and offers protection. Love is not demanding, but understanding and caring.
Therefore, to build a lasting sexual relationship with your spouse, you need to consider the following:
  1. Explore all the factors involved in the situation
It can be tempting to reduce a complex situation with simplistic explanations. Pull back and seek other explanations as to why your wife withholds sex, other than to punish you. Women have many reasons for lack of desire, including exhaustion, feeling dishonored because their man is looking at other women and pornography, feeling unloved, or feeling unprotected emotionally.
  1. Make sure you are showing her sacrificial love
Again, love does not seek its own way. You must be certain you are creating a climate in your marriage where lovemaking will naturally occur. This can be achieved by helping around the house, you don’t leave her to do practically every chore there is in the house. She will definitely be exhausted and loose interest in sexual intimacy. Women needs protection and sense of security, a woman that feels unprotected and unloved by the husband may find it very difficult to yield to the man’s need for sexual intimacy.
  1. Work together to have a fulfilling sexual relationship
It takes two to tangle, therefore, you both must work towards ensuring a vibrant, healthy sexual relationship which is achievable when a couple talks openly and respectfully about this aspect of their marriage. Share your feelings and needs openly. You need to work together to create a mutually gratifying sexual relationship.
  1. Maintain a strong emotional connection
Women crave emotional connection and cannot feel open sexually unless they feel loved. If your wife feels unloved, she is not likely to want sexual intimacy. If she withholds sex, it’s probably not an act of rebellion or punishment. It is likely emotional issues are at play, and you must explore what they are and remedy them.
God wants us to have a close, intimate, loving relationship with our spouses. But, the atmosphere in our homes must be such that we feel respected, loved and cherished. We therefore must do everything in our ability to make our homes safe places for love to thrive.
Above all, God is the architect of our lives and marriages, we must turn everything over to him, allow his fear to rule our hearts. When we love God, it will become easy to love our spouses without condition and then our marriage will become heaven on earth and we will enjoy the bliss it brings. In this way, our offspring will grow in the atmosphere of love and peace.
About the author:
Margaret Oliwe is the Human Resources Manager at Rich-Rotoye Group.  She can reached her email: margaret.oliwe@gmail.com and her phone: +2348034672565.
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