By Kathy Carlton Willis
The mega-millions spent by Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, and Katy Perry and Russell Brand, on their lavish and exotic weddings failed to guarantee a long and blissful union. But they are not alone. Recent statistics show a decline in couples getting married and staying married for more than a few months or years.
Can marriages survive in today’s culture? Long-wedded author, Poppy Smith, says “Yes.” Here are Smith’s tips for building a marriage that not only works, but thrives:
- Readjust your expectations. You didn’t marry your clone. Naturally, your partner will view some things differently. Be willing to flex and accept their right to be themselves
- Appreciate your different strengths. Analyze your personalities, your backgrounds, and what’s important to each of you. Identify each other’s strengths and affirm what these add to your relationship.
- Learn to communicate so you’re heard. Women tend to explain and expand. Men tend to edit. To be heard, communicate according to your spouse’s desired style, not yours.
- Understand each other’s feelings about money. Does money signal fun? Symbolize success? Guarantee security? Or ensure power? Knowing what it means to both of you helps in settling money battles.
- Practice a conflict resolution style that works for both. Clarify what the conflict is about. Listen to each other’s reasoning and feelings without interrupting. Then decide what best builds your relationship.
- Recognize the emotional needs of your mate. Both men and women want to be valued, admired, respected, and listened to. Discover what makes your spouse feel loved and special, then find ways to meet that need.
- Prioritize romance and sexual intimacy. Sex matters. It gives physical and emotional pleasure, strengthens love, and deepens commitment. Make time to play or be silly or sensuous in bed. It pays rich dividends.
- Share your Dreams. What is it each of you longs to achieve? Are there some dreams you want to accomplish together? Be encouragers to each other and discuss steps you can take now toward your goals.
About Poppy Smith:
With her fun personality and passion for communicating life-changing truths, Poppy Smith inspires believers to thrive spiritually and personally. Poppy’s practical how-to messages (in print or in person) uses colorful examples from her own struggles to be more like Jesus. She encourages others to grow in every kind of situation—whether joyful or painful! Poppy is British, married to an American, and has lived in many countries. She brings an international flair seasoned with humorous honesty as she illustrates Bible truths. A former Bible Study Fellowship lecturer, Poppy’s teaching challenges women to look at their choices, attitudes and self-talk. As a result, God’s speaks, changing hearts, changing minds, and changing lives. Watch for Poppy’s upcoming book release, Why Can’t He Be More Like Me: 9 Secrets to Understanding Your Husband.
Kathy Carlton Willis grew up in the heartland of America and married young. She attended Bible College and received the Key Award as outstanding female student. She and her husband Russ have enjoyed serving in local church ministry and recently he joined the KCWC firm. Kathy has always enjoyed fiddling with words as: writer, publicist, writer’s coach, speaker, and more. She’s built a network of industry connections and is frequently invited to speak at Christian writers’ conferences. She has affiliations with Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Christian Humor Writers, CLASSeminars, and others. A variety of her columns and articles have appeared online and in print publications. Kathy is a contributing author for The Reason We Speak, It Happened By Design: A Series of God-Incidence Stories and Groovy Chicks’ Road Trip to Peace. Kathy shines, whether she’s shining the light on others through her communications firm, or reflecting God’s light during her speaking opportunities.