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Friday, 29 August 2014

Three C’s of a Healthy Marriage


Marriage is a beautiful experience once it is entered in with two people who love each other, and is willing to keep the love alive.  Here are my three (3) C’s of a healthy marriage.



Compromise


Healthy marriages require partners having an attitude of give and take. When it comes to compromise; out of love, you put aside your wants and consider your partner’s wants first. This will only work in the favor of the marriage, if both partners keep this concept at the forefront of their minds and act up on it. Sharing “one flesh” doesn't mean sharing one brain. As such, there will be disagreements as you are two different people. So, for the sake of being able to boast of having a healthy marriage partners must learn the skill of compromise.
To strengthen the marriage, openly discuss your problems and fix them. Many can be fixed with compromise.


Christ-centeredness


I say this without apology; it is extremely difficult to have a healthy marriage without Christ at the center. In order to have Him at the center Husband and Wife must have Him in their lives personally. The sinful human flesh is unsurprisingly selfish.We are inclined to think about our personal best interest first. Sadly, our selfishness is a killer in relationships. For marriages to work we must be willing to put our partners needs above our own. That is an essential part of unconditional love.
We definitely need Jesus at the center of our relationship, to help us get rid of our selfish nature. No matter how we use every trick available to us for motivation, removing selfishness from our lives is not something we can do by ourselves. For the success story we must surrender our lives to God, sounds strange? This secret is THE powerful truth. With Christ in our individual hearts, a strong connection to the family altar, learning to love like Him, selflessness will definitely be achieved. 


Communication


Obvious? It should be. However, it’s worthy to emphasize. Solid communication builds successful marriages. Listening is an important skill of communication to learn. It’s easy to find good talkers, and difficult to find good listeners. Within marriage, you are sharing your lives together. Communication is the backbone of keeping your spouse closest to you. You should be able to go to your partner openly and talk about any and everything. To give the confidence to your partner for him/her to talk to you freely, you must intently listen when they speak.
Hearing is a passive, natural physical process. Listening is hard because it is much more than hearing. It is a conscious choice, it requires concentration to really understand what the other party is saying, catching the meaning fully.

Certainly I have not exhausted the C’s of a healthy marriage. But this is the start hubby and I are working on.


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Thursday, 21 August 2014

Money Matters in Relationship


Even if we ignore it, the fact still remains that money matters in a relationship. So each couple must have productive money conversations throughout their relationship. Money talks are important because money can cause strain on a relationship. This strain can come from varying angles, such as loss of steady income, inequality in earning, too much spending, attitude towards money differ, among other things. These things can lead to arguments and resentment.
Here is what I have learnt so far in my three plus years of marriage, my top three to lessen money conflicts.
1.    Talk Often about Money
Schedule if you must “money talk time”. Treat this aspect of your relationship like a business. Talk about everything in detail. How much income each person is making, how much each person is allowed to spend without consulting with your partner, who pay what bills, how much to spend on entertainment etc.
Come to a conclusion about what works for your relationship and stick to it. This might not be the most pleasant conversation but it is necessary. You’ll be thankful later.

2.    Financial Infidelity
This is hiding debt, purchases and secret accounts from your significant other.  Doing this breaks down the trust and intimacy in the relationship. Be open about everything in your relationship. Money matters definitely should be an open topic.

3.    Spend Money to Enjoy Each Other

Ever so often, budget some of the money for distressing purposes. Use it for romantic dinners, concerts, taking the children to new places, etc. Spend the money to create lasting memories, than on material things that won’t last forever. Happiness is found during the experiences and long after when reflecting on the memory.
Please share with me how you deal with money in your relationship to lessen money conflicts.
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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Dating with children: Part 3 (Final ) Striking a balance

A single parent has a huge responsibility of taking care of their child’s heart when dating. Striking a balance between parenthood and dating should make this responsibility less stressful.


If your priorities are made straight and you are vigilant about keeping them that way, you and the child will be happy and healthy. As an added bonus, you will be displaying role modeling that’s not short on positivity. You will have less damage to both you and the child emotionally. Though the child should come first, don’t forget that you are deserving of happiness too. Balance is the key to this happy medium. The best approach is age appropriateness with being open with your child. Not forgetting to take each step slowly with precaution and thought. This way the transition from being “new friend” to “special friend” should be smoother because by this time your special friend is someone your child doesn't mind having around.

Your behavior around your child must be consistent. Doing so provides the child safety in this hard family transition. Example, if you found it age appropriate to explain the reason for a break up, be extra cautious not to start dating someone again who is similar to your previous love. The search for love can be heart-wrenching, it can also be exciting. However, as the parent you should ensure your child is exposed to much less “heart-wrenching” experiences. For the child it must be fun and safe.

As a single person with no children, you are free to gamble in the love game. But if you are a single parent, toying with your child’s heart is not an option. To achieve the fairy-tale ending to the love story, it must be written slowly, thoughtfully and started with healthy balance between you as the single and you as the parent.
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Saturday, 9 August 2014

Dating with children: Part 2 Taking it Slow

Dating with children has so many twists and turns, navigating yourself through them is definitely not promised to be smooth sailing. As such, part two of this three part series speaks on taking things slow.

Understanding might be mutual if both parties have children. However, this should not be assumed. People’s values will differ and as you continue to date this potential mate, the values or lack thereof, will unfold.

Things will get even trickier if the other party has no children. Their learning curve will be steep, plus you will have to go through an adjustment period. The adjustment of always having to arrange a sitter and sitting your child down often enough telling them you are going to have a meal with a“friend” might very well take the spontaneity and heat from the process of dating. But so what if it does?
If it is that you don’t live with your children because of shared custody, use those times away from them to do the exciting and spontaneous things. It is my suggestion that you don’t use the time you have the children to have sleepovers. Things should go even slower with your potential partner if your children do not live with you, as it would be harder for them to share you since they are not around you all the time.

This adjustment I believe should be the driving force to slow you down, causing you to kiss fewer frogs, so that “the one,” will be fully worth it. This keeper will not only be right for you, but the entire family that will be blended.
Remember, you will experience the best of both worlds, if you endeavor to date smart and take things slow.