Throughout my many years as a counsellor,  therapist and as an ordained minister I have performed marriages for couples and I have counseled still many more.  I have seen many of the same challenges for couples repeatedly.

The institution of marriage has been around as long as the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve have been.

In the beginning… there was marriage.  What is marriage versus simply living together?  Marriage and cohabitation aren’t the same, even by definition.  Cohabiting with someone does not involve commitment, loyalty, and faithfulness for life.  Animals cohabit for the sake of reproduction and rearing of a family.

Marriage isn’t marriage unless the following happens:  there is a presiding legal authority (preferably one also of spiritual authority), at least two witnesses, an exchange of words consisting of promises in front of those mentioned and….once that is complete, then the presiding authority legalizes the marriage.  The final step is where sexual intercourse takes place between the wedded couple.  There is now a covenant bond between the two.

Covenant is more of an ancient term, which is stronger in its implications than a contract between two parties.  The word covenant, at its root, means ‘to cut’.  This signifies that blood is involved.  To understand more about covenants it would be advisable to read some of Dr. Livingston’s stories of his missionary travels in Africa.[1]

Unfortunately, in western civilization, marriages (and in particular happy marriages) are becoming less and less popular.   When children are raised in a secure home where both parents love each other and are evenly tempered we see happy and secure children and a happy and secure marriage.  At the writing of this article I am celebrating with my wife our 28th wedding anniversary.  I am glad to be married and am glad to be married to the woman I love and who is my best friend.

John Gottman, Ph.D. has said that he can usually tell within a few minutes of seeing a couple if they are going to stay together or not, based on how they fight.[2]  All couples fight.  Yes, there are disputes and disagreements, but it is how you fight that makes all the difference.  This is dependent on each person’s emotional maturity or EQ (Emotional Quotient).  Call us today, you’re worth it!

Steps to emotional maturity as a couple requires each person to begin taking steps toward getting qualified help to increase their EQ or emotional maturity.  Without having both persons involvement usually means a failure of the relationship.  In our society that has a lack of proper boundaries almost everything is ok to believe or to do.  The motto of the day is ‘if it feels good do it!’.  As a result of this prevailing thought, couples need to be better equipped through education and counselling to help make their marriage an oasis in a troubled world.  Marriage should be a taste of heaven on earth.

First, you should realize that you are an equal partner of the marriage and therefore have equal responsibilities.  Second, fighting is okay when you do it properly. Third, understand what love is.  Fourth, understand and meet your spouse’s needs.  Fifth, consider what bad habits you have that are counteracting all the loving efforts you are doing, then work on ridding yourself of them.  Sixth, get your priorities right.  Seventh, be sure to get regular qualified help through counseling, workshops, etc.  Eighth, agree on the 5 basic essentials of life, and Ninth, get your spiritual life in order.

The difficulty that every couple will face at some point in their marriage will require professional qualified help.  Your next step will take some humility and courage, but I urge you to contact us so that we can help you to thrive!  We offer non-judgmental, private and confidential counselling and psychotherapy. Call us today, you’re worth it!

References:

[1] Trumbull, Henry Clay.  The Blood Covenant; A Primitive Rite and Its Bearing on Scripture (original 1885),(Paperback – Oct 2010)

[2] Gottman Ph.D., John.  The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert  (Paperback – May 16 2000).