10 couples share their secrets to lasting marriages
Couples love to share their personal secrets to lasting marriages with anyone who cares to listen. Long-term marriages are beautiful. But the most difficult aspect of such relationships are efforts put into them to ensure they stand the test of time despite all the challenges that crop up over the years.
Marriages will have moments of conflict, but in healthy relationships, the husband and wife search for answers and create areas of agreement because they love each other.
For couples who want to spend all their lives together, love is not defined by emotional highs and lows, but is dependent upon a steady and unchanging commitment to the union.
10 Nigerian couples gave Feminine World insight into their marital relationships that has spanned over decades.
Glory: We have weathered many storms by laughing at our foibles
My husband and I have been married for more than 25 years. Our marriage longevity secret actually isn’t a secret at all. We make a conscious effort to remember that it’s not about “me” but it’s about “us”. With this philosophy and the ability to laugh at our many foibles, we have weathered many storms.
Chukwudi: Our 21-year-old marriage has continued to bring us joy
My wife and I just recently celebrated our 21-year marriage anniversary. Our marriage continues to bring each of us such joy and happiness that we share with our 3 sons.
Our relationship worked because it’s a 50/50 relationship, with plenty of love, trust, honesty and fun. We enjoy spending time together, take anniversary trips and make sure we have date night every weekend.
We love movies and can finish each other’s thoughts out loud. I pray that we continue to be a good example for our sons so that they can also have successful relationships with their wives when the time comes.
Marriage is a commitment, and when couples are committed to each other, it becomes very blissful.
Adebola: Physical attraction is important
The first time I saw my wife, I was attracted to her beauty. To me, a relationship begins with a physical attraction of some kind.
That doesn’t mean you have to be movie-star handsome, but your spouse needs to look at you and be attracted instead of getting more angrier because of the way they look as you both age.
Maintaining the physical attributes involve maintaining a healthy weight and looking as good as you can for your partner, especially if you want to keep the sexual spark alive in your marital relationship. My wife and I did just that. We have been married for 24 years now and I still desire her like I did in the past.
Margaret: Communication is our secret
My husband and I have been married for over 35 years and we never stopped communicating. No matter how mad we were at each other, we talked. And through the years, we have maintained that policy to never stop talking to each other.
Abiodun: Friendship is as important as love
I married my best friend. My wife and I enjoyed our marriage because we were first friends before anything. As humans, we typically look forward to being with friends, we relish their company, we relax with them, we share common interests and we talk openly. So, cultivating friendship among married couples remains one of the secrets of a lasting marriage.
Think back to the playground when you were a child. Your spouse should be that other child you would most like to play with. All marriages undergo a transition from the initial thrill of romantic attraction and overwhelming sexual desire to the stages when couples need to make conscious efforts to make their happily ever after a lasting process.
The most important thing is for couples to be good friends. It makes things easier. All the romance and the butterflies in the stomach stuff are nice but they don’t last. For a lasting marriage, build friendship.
Vincent: We treat each other with respect
My wife and I have worked hard to master effective communication for almost 30 years now. By December 31st, our marriage would be 30 years old. When it comes to communicating with your spouse, it doesn’t mean just talking, but it involves conscious listening.
Over the years, we have also made generosity and kindness habitual, committing small acts of service, like cleaning up without being asked, saying thank you and please when we should.
We are both humans in a marriage, we have to be courteous to each other and not take each other for granted. We have also forgiven each other’s faults and failings. Our union is lasting because we treat each other with respect.
Jane: Love, respect and humour kept us going for over two decades
Even after two decades together, my husband and I carve out time as a couple, take an interest in each other’s passions and take steps to foster intimacy.
We take steps to keep our marriage interesting by introducing activities such as date nights, movie nights, party time and bathing moments where we bathe each other and scrub each other’s bodies lovingly.
Love, respect, and humour all came into play as we faced the challenge of raising three children while building demanding careers. My husband was a top administrative staff at a multinational company, while I was a school principal.
Our marital success came down to working it out, sticking it out, learning when and where to find common ground or just leave it alone.
Henry: We support each others’ interests
Having been married for 26 years, my wife and I have learnt to support each other’s divergent interests. She’s a huge sports fan, while I love music and movies. I like going out, being outdoors and attending parties, while she is introverted. We support each other’s interests and allow one another enjoy our individual activities. This has kept us going during hard times.
Felicia: We go out once a month to maintain our bond
My husband and I have been together for 27 years. Sometimes, I shudder when I think about how much time we have spent together as a married couple. We are friends, we are respectful of each other and we talk. That seems to be the underlying message of any successful partnership.
We go out once every month to maintain our marital bond. We always make sure to have our moment together no matter how busy we get. We don’t let go of each other. It’s special, and helps us remember that even if we are upset, we are in love.
Bernard: We don’t take each other for granted
I have known my wife for 32 years and married for 28 years. One of our secrets is not to look down on each other or take each other for granted.
Many times, when couples spend decades together, they start to second guess one another and start taking each other’s feelings for granted.
After our 10th anniversary, my wife and I made a pact not to take each other for granted no matter how old we get. I listen to her grievances without looking down on her, while she pays attention to mine without interrupting or making light of the situation. This stand has helped us stay committed to each other amidst the many challenges we face.