NOT to over emphasise but, frankly all life depends on relationships. It is our duty to be soberly involved in building sound relationships in order to enjoy life.
In today’s world if there is a place where relationships are suffering, it is the family.
When the family is sick, society is very sick. Family relationships are what drive societal relationships. In other words family relationships are foundational. I want to briefly talk about the husband/ wife relationship and its importance in family and society building. I call this the spousal relationship.
One reason why a lot of families are struggling and collapsing is because of neglecting the spousal relationship. Many people when they get married get so preoccupied with other things and forget the real relationship in a family.
You are a family because two of you got married or love each other. This means that the family is based on this relationship.
Keeping this relationship, alive and solid is what keeps the family solid and growing. Neglecting this relationship also means the family is struggling and neglected.
One reason many couples struggle is that they are too busy for their relationship. They are too busy for the thing that connects them together and expose the relationship to so much vulnerability. They do not have time for each other.
They are busy with trying to survive, work, children, relatives, bosses, sports, church, ministry, and sometimes even with helping others at their own expense.
Very few couples take time to attend to each other in love. Whenever they do, it is either giving instruction or quarrelling. Very few couples will take themselves out and leave behind everything so they can revive themselves and refocus. Very few tell each other they love each other.
They come home every evening too tired to be meaningful to their own relationship. Others come home too drunk to participate in the small details of a spousal relationship. Before they know it, things are falling apart.
It is important to attend to your spouse on a daily basis. It is important to guard your relationship and do not allow anything to come in between. The other challenge is that many of us still priorities friends and relatives and our work ahead of our spouses.
This is a recipe for disaster. You need to understand what is now priority to you. Your spouse is your number two priority. What do I mean?
First priority for any living person is God. The second priority is your wife or Husband. Your third priority is your Family. Your fourth priority is your job/work. I think this is a very healthy order.
Let me suggest a few things to help us pay attention to our spousal relationship. This will help minimise chances for divorce.
- Always tell your spouse you love them. It works in the morning, noon and night. Love is communicated all the time. Do not take for granted they know. It is hard to know until they are told. The first time you proposed, you spoke it. Keep speaking it therefore.
- Always found out if your spouse is okay. Sms, WhatsApp, call etc. It is good to ask. It shows you care. One reason you are spouses is so that you can care for each other. Do not assume they are okay.
- Give each other gifts. Love is a giver. Do not wait for the birthday or Anniversary or Christmas. Gifts should be the order of the day. This shows you are thinking of your spouse. After all many of us men, forget these crucial days. What gifts sir? Find out what your spouse likes and make use of that. It can be a chocolate, a drink, etc. Communicating love through giving is inspirational.
- Get time out together without children or friends. Just be the two of you and just love each other. Avoid talking about your debts and problems, but concentrate on your relationship. Take a walk, a drive, hold hands and show great intimacy and appreciation.
- Be the best friends ever. Keep no secrets to each other. I mean share secrets also. This builds trust and you are always covering each other’s back. Be a team. Let each one of you know what the other is doing
- Learn to forgive each other and keep no grudge against each other. Learn to say sorry and move on.
- Share ideas together. Share your dreams together and help each other to accomplish the dreams. Do things together and enjoy doing things together.
It is a long walk to learning and doing some of these simple things but you can walk it if you want to. Your spousal relationship is very foundational.
Perhaps you can stop where you are today and re-adjust some things and attend to your spouse. Let nothing take your spouse’s place in the order of your day. Never be too busy for your spouse.
Kilton Moyo is a pastor, guidance and counselling consultant and author of Responding to Personal Crisis. Call or WhatsApp on +263 775 337 207/ 712 384 841.