Add These 7 Major Ingredients to Your Marriage and Discover Your Own Recipe for Success

BY: - 7 Dec '16 | Marriage

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You’ve probably heard time and time again that marriage isn’t easy. As cliché as it sounds, it’s actually true. If it were easy, there would be far less divorce. People everywhere would be compelled to just stay together for life.

But hard doesn’t mean happily ever after is impossible. And when something is hard, it also doesn’t mean that it can’t bring you joy or that it isn’t worth nurturing. If you married the right person, the toughest moments don’t have to destroy what you have.

And although some marriages will fail despite best efforts, many marriages fail because best efforts aren’t put forth. Many unions fall flat because couples are not taking the time and putting in the effort to build a strong union.

Happily married couples don’t just happen. They aren’t just lucky people. Luck is a bunch of crap. People who are blessed enough to stay married for a lifetime manage to do it because they put in some serious work. They made wise choices. They fought the good fight.

Ever read a recipe that had all the makings of a winning meal? But then, you tried it out, and it just fell flat—only to discover you left out a few key ingredients. Well, I believe that is what sometimes happens when good marriages fail; they aren’t cooking with all the right ingredients.

If you believe you married the right person and you want to put in the work needed to make your marriage as close to bulletproof as possible, here are seven key ingredients you need to add.

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Communication

Effective communications skills are the cornerstone of every successful marriage. Learning to express yourself effectively is critical. And what’s more critical is the ability to truly listen to what your partner has to say. Once you make communication a priority and you put in the effort to improve your communication skills, you are on the right path.

READ: Communication: How We Went From Fussing and Fighting to Being Happily Married for 10 Years.

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About the author

Martine Foreman wrote 485 articles on this blog.

Martine Foreman is a speaker, writer, lifestyle consultant, and ACE-certified Health Coach who specializes in helping moms who want more out of life but feel overwhelmed and confused. Through her content and services, Martine is committed to helping women embrace their personal truth, gain clarity, and take action to create healthier, happier lives. For more on Martine's candid views on life and love, visit her at candidbelle.com. To work with her, visit her at martineforeman.com. Martine resides in Maryland with her husband, two kids and sassy cat Pepper.

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How Well Would You Score on a Marriage Performance Review?

BY: - 8 Dec '16 | Marriage

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One of the things I look forward to every year on my job is seeing what my manager thought of my overall job performance. It’s beneficial to me because I am reminded of my strengths, but I’m also enlightened on my areas needing improvement. I’m usually aware of the things I could do to make me a much better employee. Sometimes discussing those things is necessary for my personal growth.

The same can be said for my marriage. There are actions I could take to make me a much better partner. However, I might get caught up in my own ideas of being a good wife if I don’t ask my husband what he needs more of or what he wants to see less.

When you think about a job performance review, many of the sections can easily be transferred into our homes and within our marriage. Let’s break it down.

On a typical review, you’ll find a rating scale with the following scores and explanations:
1 Unacceptable (fails to meet standards)
2 Needs improvement (frequently fails to meet standards)
3 Satisfactory (generally meets standards)
4 Outstanding (frequently exceeds standards)
5 Excellent (consistently exceeds standards)

If we were talking about your marriage, what rating have you honestly earned so far? Next, ask yourself what you did to achieve that particular rating. Follow that up by asking your spouse what rating he/she would give you. Be sure to also ask your spouse to be clear on how you achieved that particular rating as well. Keep in mind, this information is necessary.

After you’ve secured a score, it’s time to get into specifics. How is the performance of your key job duties in your marriage? As a spouse, part of reviewing your role includes being clear on your responsibilities. Do you manage the finances? Are you responsible for handling certain chores around the house? Whatever you are tasked with, in your marriage, how have you performed in that area? Have you displayed any of the following: dependability, teamwork, positive attitude and initiative? Again, it’s important to be honest and to also receive feedback from your spouse.

Once you’ve secured your score and discussed your performance, you must focus on creating annual goals to ensure your marriage continues to stay on track. Think about what you want the next year of your marriage to actually look like. Now decide what you specifically have to do to contribute to that goal. Share your annual marriage goal with your spouse, and share some specific ways he/she could help you in that area.

And just like in a work performance review, there should also be recommendations for improvements from your spouse. It’s crucial that you just receive this information without reacting or becoming upset. If it’s how your spouse feels, you’ll have to respect it.

We all know why performance reviews are needed on the job. Employers want the absolute best out of their employees. Don’t you want the absolute best out of your spouse and vice versa? If so, a marriage performance review might work for you and your spouse. Why not implement something into your relationship that measures your performance and holds you both accountable for achieving the goals you set for your marriage.

BMWK, what are your thoughts on a marriage performance review?

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 620 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and Author of A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex and Conflict Available on Amazon . She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Essence and Ebony Magazines, and named one of the top blogs to read now by Refinery29. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two daughters. To find out more about Tiya, and her coaching, visit www.thelifeandlovecoach.com and www.theboldersister.com.

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