10 WAYS TO MAKE LOVE LAST
1. COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY AND LOVINGLY.
Don’t start your marriage by holding back your feelings or your words. Express your feelings, your concerns, and your love. And listen empathetically to your spouse.
Marriage consellors have repeatedly warned couples that one of the greatest threats to a loving, long-lasting marriage is lack of communication.
LINDA UPPERMAN – ROSS, a licensed clinical social worker in Hawthorne, California, says that open communication is extremely important, “it is important to have the ability to talk about what you feel and what you like and dislike. Talk about what upsets and disappoints you, and what your expectations are” she says. However, she and others advise couples not to use “Fighting words” when talking out a problem.
Love does not mean brutal; be tactful, sensitive and caring with your criticisms. She and other counselors agree that it is far better for the individual and the relationship if you speak up rather than let the pressure cooker explode.
DON’T SULK – “people must deal with issues and work them out,” says Ms. Upperman – Ross. “When they don’t, you have a negative, snowball effect”. A couple’s ability to talk over problems effectively is most important to Compatibility. However, counselors, warn against “over communicating”, that is, over-analyzing your problems.
2. KEEP ROMANCE IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP
Saying “I do” doesn’t mean good – bye to your romance, KEEP FLIRTING, teasing and making loving gestures. Surprise your wife with flowers for no special reason. Keep your HUBBY interested by wearing sensuous lingerie and perfumes.
Many couples make the mistake of falling into a routine pattern of behavior. Keep love alive by being playful, spontaneous and sexy. Go on a second honeymoon to an exciting location, such as Freeport and Nassau in the Bahamas; Lacampagne Tropicana Resort in the Lagos Area, or enjoy the exciting nightlife and romantic beaches of other Caribbean islands, such as St. Thomas and St. Croix in the U.S Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Bermuda and Barbados.
“Remember the things that attracted you to each other in the first place, and use them to keep the relationship alive”, advises ELLEN HAMILTON MALONE, a marriage counselor and clinical social worker, CALIFORNIA. “Keep your appearance up. Remain sexually active and attractive, flirt with each other regularly, be seductive and romantic to each other.
3. KEEP FINANCES UNDER CONTROL.
Unfortunately, financial problems rank among the leading causes of marital discord, with your mate, work a Budget and stick to it. Regardless of who is the primary bread-winner, you and your spouse should sit down and work out a plan for your financial future that you both can live with. Establish your financial priorities at the beginning of your marriage. Some men are disappointed and distraught when the professional woman they married announces that she doesn’t want to work anymore. Along the same line, the pressures of children and a big mortgage also can create tension in a marriage.
Don’t despair. Work it out-together. And both spouses should refrain from spending binges without consulting the other.
4. KEEP OUTSIDERS OUT.
A surprising number of marriages owe their demise to meddling friends and relatives. You are both adults now, so act accordingly. Work out your differences and make your own decisions. Don’t run to ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ when you can’t have your way.
That can only create resentment and hostility that usually lasts long after you and your spouse have made up. In addition, don’t Back-bite to those close to your marriage and your mate will feel even closer to you. But learn to handle your situations your own way and keep outsiders at bay.
5. SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH YOUR SPOUSE & AWAY FROM EACH OTHER.
But quantity as it is said is as important as quality. Many husbands and wives innocently rationalize themselves as they sleep together each night.
In today’s marriages, work environments and offices seem to take substantial time away from couples.
What would a loving wife/hubby expect of a loving hubby/wife who spends on a daily routine up to 10.00p.m in the office only to get home tired at 10.30p.m. only to begin to think of the next day’s duties?
Quality time as a matter of the relationship is as important as the substance of the relationship itself.
If this is not considered, no sooner than later would you begin to find a partner beginning to search for an ‘alternative’ to fill the vacuum created thereby. Experience shows that this has marred about 50% of marriages the world over.
Share sports, hobbies, and other leisure activities. Just because you are married doesn’t mean you can’t continue to enjoy your mate’s company anymore. Play games together and even spend time smiling and winking for each other.
6. DON’T TAKE ANGER INTO YOUR MARRIED LIFE.
Anger and disagreement are two phases toward destruction of life and marriage. These cannot be ruled out of any relationship. But when they do arise, sense of maturity and parenthood must be allowed to naturally play out. A tactical approach is rather essential.
When angry, you and your spouse should express it, analyze it and then resolve it. The worst thing you can do is hold it all and not make your extreme meet, and those couples who explode in anger at the slightest provocation.
VENT your frustration, but then do something about the cause of the problem. And be willing to compromise. Marriage is NOT a 50 – 50 proposition; be willing to give 60 percent and settle for 40. And remember that the ability to compromise indicates strength, not weakness.
7. BE SENSITVE TO WORK – RELATED STRESS.
In today’s progressive society, it is more common to find two – career marriages than traditional ones in which the wife stays home and cares for the house and children. So both spouses should be sensitive to the other’s job – related pressures, and act accordingly. If your wife works all day, don’t expect her to keep immaculate house and cook dinner every night. Share house hold duties.
If you know that your spouse is experiencing difficulties on the job, then go out of your way to make life easier for him or her. Talk to each other about your work and the problems related to it
“Most professional people live highly – stressful lives that it is inevitable that they take stress home with them”, says Howad University Sociologist, Dr. Joyce Ladner. A lot of the frustration from the job is directed at the mate, and this creates a bad situation in new and old marriages. What one should do is elicit support, empathy and concrete assistance from his mate. Stress has proven to be quite a potent force that must be dealt with in marriages.
The couple must find a non – destructive way of dealing with stress,” says Dr. Ladner. She adds that if one feels that he should consider talking with a therapist. “A lot of people don’t know where the stress is coming from and how to deal with it,” she says. “Sometimes a good neutral third party can help work things out.
In addition, clip newspapers, magazine articles that relate to your work or other interests. Avoid unnecessary fun-times that are likely to upset you or your spouse at work unless it is necessary but don’t, fall into the trap that catches you too soon; many two – pay check couples don’t have much time and energy to their job because they are literally too tired for each other. Set aside specific times for Love – making, just as you do for the other important aspect of your busy life.
8. DON’T TAKE YOUR SPOUSE FOR GRANTED.
Whisper “thank you” when he or she does something you might normally take for granted; such as ironing your shirt or preparing your breakfast. Say, “Please” when asking your husband to wash your car or take the garbage out. Common courtesies go along way toward marking love last in your marriage.
Don’t assume that your wife won’t mind your bringing unannounced guests home for dinner, and don’t assume that your husband wants to see a particular concert. Ask. And NEVER criticize your spouse in public, when you must criticize do so in the spirit of love – and at home behind closed doors.
A Houston, Texas Attorney thought he and his wife had established a wonderful, caring and open relationship in which they could talk freely about most matters. However, he realized he had stepped over the line when he rather nonchalantly criticized his wife’s cooking in front of his close friends. They were baffled as to why she suddenly became distant and hostile. Later, at the extreme, she exploded in anger. After she came down, they agreed to refrain from public reprimands. “She explained why she didn’t mind my criticizing her as such.
9. PAY ATTENTION TO THE EMOTIONAL AND SEXUAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN YOU & YOUR SPOUSE.
Every man and woman should have a basic knowledge of the male and female anatomy. God has never put a premium on ignorance.
There is only one point in a woman’s body to which a man ought to pay attention to when preparing to make love to his wife – the ‘clitoris.’ Women, too need to acquaint themselves with the male anatomy – especially the reproductive organs.
I have to admit that I find it unbelievable that so many men don’t take the trouble to find out some of the most basic things which make the difference between a HAPPY and UNHAPPY sexual relationship in marriage, it is important to note that if a man and woman set out in their sexual relationship to bring pleasure to the other partner rather than gain pleasure for themselves, it will bring their love – making into a new and thrilling dimension.
I’m convinced, ‘says one writer, ‘that the average male could probably have sex and reach a climax right in the middle of a bitter argument with his wife, or even while watching television’. To a man, when the sexual urge strikes him, the mood and surrounding circumstances make little difference. Men tend to isolate sex from other emotions by placing it in one of life’s ‘compartments. There is a time to work, a time to eat, a time to read one’s Bible, a time to pray, and a time for sex.
But for a woman, sex is of a different order. She sees sex in far wider setting than the bedroom – she sees it in the total setting of her relationship with her husband in every aspect of her marriage.
‘I wish you’d begin making love to me during the day, even at breakfast, ‘said one woman to her husband in a fit of anger. ‘Then perhaps I’d be a little more passionate at bedtime. ‘What did she mean? She was trying to tell her husband that, for her, sexual arousal does not begin in the bedroom. It may end there, but it begins in an atmosphere of love and tenderness hours before a sexual encounter is experienced.
While a husband may be able to move straight from an argument into sexual intimacy, a wife needs to be courted and wooed. Successful sex, to her, is much more than just the experience of an orgasm; it is the entire setting of intimacy surrounding her marriage. A man tends to believe that a good physical relationship is necessary for a good all-round relationship, but a good all-round relationship is the proper basis on which to build a physical one.
Oliver, an elder in a Church I once pastured, confided in me one day that the sexual side of his marriage was dull and unexciting. “Whenever I watch my wife undress,” he said, ‘I am ready for sex immediately, but however hard I try to arouse or stimulate my wife, she seems to show no interest.’ My advice to Oliver was similar to the advice I have given to many other men in this position:
‘Prepare your wife for love-making not in the bedroom but in the living room’. You see, I went on, ‘whilst a man is turned on sexually by what he sees, a woman is stimulated more by what she hears. This means that to have an enjoyable sex life, don’t just wait until your wife gets into the bed-room before you tell her that you love her. Say it in the living room, because the setting and the mood from which a sexual union is initiated is crucial to her.’
Oliver did as I suggested, and although at first his wife was a little suspicious, she came to enjoy her husband’s loving and romantic attentions. Even though this incident took place twelve years ago, I still remember the twinkle in Oliver’s eye when he told me one day. ‘It used to be me that couldn’t wait to get into the bedroom at nigh-not any more!’
In counseling women over the years and listening to their deep concerns in many hours of interview sessions, I have come to recognize that women have a basic fear reverberating deep inside them-the fear of being treated as an object and not as a person.
‘All my husband wants,’ they say, ‘is sex – and when that is over he shows no further interest in me. ‘when a man steps out of his own self-concern and unselfishly focuses on understanding his wife’s needs and ministers to them, he never loses, but always gains. The same is true for the wife. When she seeks to understand the differences between her and her husband and adjusts to them, she too will enrich her relationship with her husband and add a new dimension to her marriage.
I said earlier that a man is turned on sexually by what he sees. A wife who recognizes this and wants to please her husband will overcome any inhibitions she may have about undressing in front of him. And at times, if for his sake and not for her own sake, she will allow him to make love to her… with the light on!
10. DEVELOP SPOUSAL INTIMACY AND CONCENTRATE ON A GOOD TECHNIQUE IN FOREPLAY.
It has been said that there is no such thing as a frigid woman – only a clumsy man. This is a generalization, of course, but there are a tragic number of marriages today that bear out that statement. Selfishness and ignorance on the part of the husband can drive a woman to literal aversion to sexual contact.
The all-important world in foreplay is tenderness. If agape love (i.e. love which finds as much pleasure in giving as receiving) does not rule your heart, then sex will never rise higher than the sensual perceptions.