Warning: Work Ahead

by: Janeen Diamond

Quote: “Why does marriage have to be so hard?" I was talking with a friend the other day who was expressing concern over some problems she and her husband had been having.

She stopped for a moment and asked, “Why does marriage have to be so hard?

Well, there is some comfort in the answer to her question. All relationships take major amounts of effort in some form or another to be successful. None of us are immune. Even the ones that look easy from our point of view actually take huge amounts of work to make them appear that way.

So don’t despair. Just knowing we all experience that same discouragement from time to time throughout life helps us feel we are not alone. In my experience, there are three major areas where we just can’t let up if we want a successful relationship.

Trust: If we want to be trusted by our spouse, we have to be trustworthy. To me, that means we tell the truth about everything; we share details about our lives with each other; we do the right thing every time; and we allow ourselves to be totally transparent in our relationship. Trust is, without exception, the most important element in any relationship.

Thoughtfulness: It can be easy to let this one slide after you’ve been together with someone for a long time. But thinking of things to brighten each others‘ day will keep you close. Even if it’s just a phone call each morning or a back rub after a long day, these are the things that matter over time. Once the thoughtfulness leaves a relationship, it’s very difficult to keep things in a good place.

Affection: Nothing can replace the kindness and tenderness that exists between a couple who are truly affectionate with each other. Everyone needs to be loved, and we thrive when we are touched in the form of hugs, hand holding, an arm around the waist, or any other small gesture that lets us know we are special. The loss of affection in a relationship starts to leave room for resentments to build.

Trust, thoughtfulness, and affection. Think about those three words for a moment. If you were getting all of these things, wouldn’t you feel happy and secure? And if you were giving all of these things, would it change your life and your relationship for the better?

The next time you find yourself asking, “Why does marriage have to be so hard,” ask yourself instead, am I trustworthy, thoughtful and affectionate. It might get you making some changes that will lead to greater happiness in your marriage. And remember, you only have the power to change you. Sometimes making changes to our own actions can lead to changes in our spouse. So hold onto that, and get to work!

Janeen Diamond, Author “Save Your Marriage in 30,”  was newscaster for KUTV News until 2001. Since that time, she has been actively producing commercials and special programming through her company, “Your TV Spot.” She has hosted several television and internet productions, and has been a spokesperson for several products and companies. Janeen authored her first book, “Save Your Marriage in 30,” hoping to help families have greater success and live happier lives. She is a leader over the youth in her church and takes a special interest in helping kids stay on track with their lives. Janeen is currently co-creating “Teen Impact TV,” a website for high school students to give them a creative and emotional outlet. Janeen is a contributing expert for HopeAfterDivorce.org, FamilyShare.com, LAFamily.com, and CupidsPulse.com. Follow her on Twitter @janeendiamond and FB at http://www.facebook.com/janeendiamond. 

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