A Happy Marriage – What you and your spouse deserve

Happy marriages last. They do not end in divorce. They are strong and stand the test of time. Happy marriages lead to the establishment of happy homes. They constitute an immeasurable source of unending satisfaction and wellness for husband and wife. They provide the foundation for a stable society. Children from happy homes are more likely to grow into happy balanced individuals than children from unhappy and dysfunctional homes. We owe it to our children to create a stable loving home environment. We owe it to our children and generations to come to leave the legacy of strong marital unions and secure stable family units from where individuals will emerge to make a healthy valuable contribution to society.
In this day and age one may ask, is it possible to have a truly happy unending marriage? Can one really expect to be genuinely happy with their wife or husband for the duration of their lives ’till death do us part’?

What we need realise is that to a large extent we have the wherewithal and ability to orchestrate our lives and our marriages. When both partners have this understanding and commit to doing what it takes the results are truly awesome. So in reality, we have to decide to have a happy marriage. But you may say, no one decides on purpose to have an unhappy marriage or broken home. That may be true, but we live in a universe which the reap the benefits or have to deal the consequences of our actions which are determined by attitudes we hold.

If we have the right attitude and align ourselves with the understanding that we can have a happy marriage. These steps if followed will near enough guarantee
H – Hand over your life to the Lord.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28)


Realise that you when you have entrusted your life and your marriage into the one who created all things you are drawing on all the resources of heaven and are giving yourself a much greater chance to succeed. God has given us the template for marriage. He designed the created the institution and has the wisdom and understanding we require to be fulfilled and happy in marriage

A – Appreciate your partner for who they are including their strengths and vulnerabilities.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬


Make a decision to be your partners lover and to value all the aspects of their person not only those you find attractive and make a commitment to cover for any of their weaknesses whether these have been acknowledged or not.

P – Pursue connectedness with your spouse.

The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Genesis‬ ‭2:23-24‬ ‭NIV

Have a desire to have a deep connection with your spouse. Your understanding of each other should be given utmost attention as the frequency of physical contact and profound sexual intimacy. A connected couple in love will have the earnest desire to meet each other’s needs. Giving of ones self to ones spouse becomes the daily goal.

P – Plan your happy life together.
So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun. ‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭8:15‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Fun times generate happy memories. The more you do together that creates an experience of pleasure, laughter and joy the happier your marriage will be overall. Be intentional in the development of recreational times and breaks as they will create memories that will help carry you through any challenges.

Y – Yield to your partner in everything.

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans‬ ‭12:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Having the attitude of preferring your partner is the sure way of ensuring that your love and respect for them is real and practical. When in a relationship you are both of the mindset ‘it does not have to be all my way’, you are fostering an atmosphere of consensus and agreement where challenges do not have to result in arguments and differences are resolved amicably.

Let us all use the H-A-P-P-Y approach to ensure we can enjoy happy, fulfilling marriages for all our days.

Lots of love,

Ike and Linda

Power and Beauty TM is the creation of Ike & Linda Nnene. They teach on principles of living that can bring us success and fulfilment in our personal lives, families and career.

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Being a mum and a wife…dealing with life in the mid forties

I am still wide awake at 0105hours. It has been a busy day but things have been constantly served up on the to do list all day and all the time in the day seems to have just run away. I can see eyes wide open in shock! This is an example of the few changes that may be happening to some of us.

Being a mum and a wife can frequently take its toll. Incessant demands, never ending chores and pressure to be the indefatigable supermom, can at times create a weariness that tends to pull one down both physically and emotionally. I believe our focus should be what we do those times when we think “no one is looking out for me”, “no one acknowledges the things I do around here”, “I am exhausted”, “get me out of here”. Need I go on? Do these statements resonate with you?

You are in your mid 40s and there are a few priorities in our lives. We want to ensure that our children are safe, happy, content and quite frankly doing well in every area. It is generally considered that once you are in your mid-40s you are at the top of the hill, perhaps at the zenith, major milestone achieved. Do we need reminding that we still have many years to go until our children are ‘fully sorted’ and frankly does this ever happen? I see the 40s as a ‘changing time’ in my life but not the end of the striving.

How do we cope with ourselves? How do we move through perimenopause to the full-blown menopause? Suffice to say this is a treacherous time. It is unpredictable on so many fronts and has the potential to manifest quite severe adverse consequences.

My husband always says that society is built on the family unit. Stable families lead to a stable society. The wife’s or mother’s wellbeing are a key determinant of family stability. Therefore, if that is the case, it would not be far wrong to say that the family unit is built on the female’s hormone! Think about it people, mums are jack of all trades – you are the chauffeur, secretary, receptionist, chef, pastoral leader/manager, husband helper / ego soother, school liaison officer, trouble-shooter, wren. We are selfless. Therefore, when perimenopause to menopause comes it is often like a hand-grenade. No one prepares you.

There are so many articles that have been written on this topic but I would like to focus only on an issue that many take for granted and perhaps would prefer to draw a veil over. Slowly the mummy-sagacity is moving on. We can see this happening and so can the rest of the family.

The symptoms you may notice will include, persistent sad or anxious mood, irritability, sleeplessness, or not enough sleep, fatigue, aches and pains, forgetfulness or a lack of concentration, worthlessness or feeling guilty, weight gain or even weight loss. No amount of Christian praise and worship will miraculously make any of these symptoms disappear or tranquillise your nerves. Our bodies change also – oestrogen levels fluctuate, signs of aging, hair challenges, flat belly becoming not so flat.

We just need to prepare ourselves. This is one topic mothers do not talk about and it takes their daughters by surprise. There must be a certain age where we should be speaking openly about this to our daughters. However, I am still uncertain if it would prepares us well enough for the change.

Accept the change. We are unable to run away from this change. We are unable to deny that we are experiencing changes in our bodies. Denying it can only affect us negatively, mentally. It could also bring about confusion. So, what you are going through the ‘peri’ stage! Accept the change and continue saying to yourself “I am beautiful, I have reached an amazing age and the changes are beautiful”. As a Christian, I go through scriptures that help me. Philippians 1:6 tells me categorically tells us He who began a good work in me (and you) will perfect it. What a promise!

Get closer to your spouse. A lot of times we imagine things that are necessarily not there. Your husband still loves you the way you are. You both are going through changes however you need to both remain committed. This means your journey is his journey. Get closer to him, talk to him, let him know how you are feeling. I am still learning to depend on his robust assessment but I am glad we are going through this journey together, developing in every area of our lives together.

Learn to relax and reduce stress. Exercise is such a wonderful thing. We all are extremely busy but we must find time to exercise. A mix of exercises will be good for us. We all know the benefits of exercising – good sleep, managing stress better and more energy for work and play respectively, it makes us look better. Do not forget your pelvic exercises!

Woman to Woman. I am completely blessed that I have my mother whom I run to when I need to chat, gain objective knowledge, gossip and more. I can speak to my mum about anything and everything. When we initially chatted about ‘peri’ and ‘meno’, her initial response was “oh I went through it, every woman goes through it”. We laughed and the conversation began. I have a mum who is able to teach, mentor and show by example. Find an older woman who has been there and worn the t-shirt! Every young woman needs an older wiser woman who can teach, mentor and show by example. When you feel overwhelmed you may need a shoulder to cry on or just someone who is not your spouse. The older woman has been on this road and will be the right person to encourage and inspire you. For those of us who believe and even those who do not the bible speaks of this in Titus 2:3-5. Quite frankly if you thought certain principles are not in the bible, they are!

Professional support. Occasionally this may be needed. Doctors and other women’s health professionals are here for a reason. For those of us who believe, my message here is trust in God through the medical professionals. We must listen to them and consider their diagnosis. Seeking professional help does not mean you have no faith. God uses medical professionals to provide skill, proficiency aegis and care. Every treatment modality suggested needs to be fully evaluated with as much understanding of the issues at stake as possible. It has been stated that in this day and age society is quite accepting of

Medical history and tests. Throughout your 40s medical tests can be very useful to help in the diagnosis of medical problems. Correct identification of treatable problems like thyroid disorders and vitamin D deficiency is valuable. You will get tired and frustrated but every test is important. Be it blood counts for anaemia, cholesterol, diabetes screening, thyroid hormones, blood pressure endeavour not to overlook these but ensure that you know ‘that your tests are okay’.

Mindset . Our disposition and mental attitude will determine our responses to situations. Each day I reflect on the positives that have worked well. I sometimes make a list of this and hope to use those positives the next day. It could be the most mundane things. You have been suffering from hot flushes, weight gain, mood swings. So what?! Think positive thoughts by being aware of what you say to yourself. Be grateful with your body and your health. We must also learn to have some ‘me time’ where you set aside time for you and you alone.

Practice Gratitude. This is a topic Ike and I teach quite often. It is applicable here. Celebrate the fact that you are alive and well.
For those of us who are married perhaps it is also time to focus on our husbands. He is also confused and concerned. I have to sometimes remind myself that he is also going through ‘my uncertainties’ so I must try and be nice, friendly, patient but mostly treat him with love.
The truth is that we are all growing up, developing and changes will occur. When this happens let us embrace it. There is life beyond this and I choose to be happy and celebrate. I am still realising this.

Love and much blessings to you,

Linda

Husband Tips For An Enduring & Blissful Marriage

By the grace of God we mark the twentieth anniversary of our marriage later this month.  The memory of the day we said ‘I do’ on the sunny summer afternoon in North London, UK remains fresh in our minds. We do not take lightly the milestone we have attained considering that the statistics for marriage survival in the UK are not very pretty. According to statistics published in 2012, 42% of marriages in England & Wales end in divorce and 34% of marriages are expected to end in divorce by the 20th wedding anniversary.

Sadly, being in a Christian marriage does not guarantee that ones marriage will stay the course and not end up in divorce. Looking back over the years at our marriage we have been blessed beyond measure in so many areas, but there have also been instances where difficult situations could have gone from bad to worse giving that feeling of despondency which have led many to feel they had no option but to call time on their marriage. We can boldly proclaim that it is the grace of God that has seen us through to this point and we rely on His grace to help us in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.

Of the many lessons we have learnt over the years we believe that unwavering commitment to the union is what will keep you together when you might have several reasons why splitting might seem an attractive option. It is clear that remaining married just to avoid the problems that come with divorce, while a useful leverage point in one’s mind to help maintain your resolve, is not the ultimate goal of your relationship.

Husbands have a pivotal role in keeping their homes intact and happy. While that seems a startlingly obvious truth, that role when neglected can lead to a weakening of the fabric of the relationship, which can frequently result in problems which over time may appear insurmountable.

The truth is that husband and wife work best together to strengthen their marriage and make their home a fortress. There are several factors which can help create a wonderful relationship between husband and wife.

We have used our own experiences to identify 20 tips, one for each year of our marriage 🙂 , which will help husbands to become and remain  effective spouses keen to see their marriages not only survive but thrive.

  1. Love your wife unconditionally.
  2. Always pray for your wife
  3. Be full of praise and adoration for who she is
  4. Always celebrate her achievements and express gratitude for what she does
  5. Make an effort to appreciate her point of view before giving a response on any matter
  6. Be patient in all your dealings with your wife
  7. Strive for peace and the rapid resolution of any conflict. Be quick and earnest in apology
  8. Commit to spending quality time with your wife
  9. Pay attention to the things that affect your wife.
  10. Be open and truthful in all your dealings with your wife
  11. Practice gentleness at all times – being ‘brutally honest’ is not always a sensible approach
  12. It is more important to get in a kind, loving word than the ‘last word’ in any exchange
  13. Do not take to heart anything said by your wife in frustration or in the heat of the moment
  14. Talk your wife in a manner in which she feels respected and not demeaned
  15. Have your wife’s well being at the top of your priority list. Commit continually to meeting her needs
  16. Desire intimacy and do your utmost to create an atmosphere for spiritual and physical closeness
  17. Let your wife know that she is more important than other important things in your life
  18. Do not emphasise or magnify your wife’s shortcomings or any errors but prayerfully commit to being there for her.
  19. Commit daily to being the spiritual head of your home and be an example to your wife in all things – faith, character, speech and attitude
  20. Be available for your wife in all things and be sure to let her see your commitment to her, your children and your home

With this non-exhaustive list of tips part of your code of conduct you will be well on your way to being the husband that your wife needs and desires.

The Spirit of the Lord in the life  of a man will allow every committed husband to become the best companion, partner, lover, friend, confidante, support, helper, breadwinner and all round hero to his wife which will help create marital bliss.

We hope to expand on these attitudes and share additional insights via subsequent posts for the benefit of both husband and wife as we seek to encourage you to have the best marriage possible.