HAPPILY EVER AFTER


Welcome to Purposeful living today. Our mission on this blog is to inspire you through the word of God and by the power of the Holy Spirit to discover and fulfill your purpose on earth with the gifts and abilities of God in you. Our vision is to see people live a fulfilled and balanced life in all areas of life only in Christ Jesus. Join us in making our mission and vision a reality by sharing this gospel of love and purpose to your friends on your social media platforms. Thank you and God bless you. We love and celebrate you.


You guide me with your counsel, and afterwards you will receive me to glory - Psalm 73:24.





For many of us that see movies, remember when Cinderella and Snow White found their Prince Charming, fell in love in the forest, then got married and lived happily ever after. Well no one ever told us what happens after they live happily ever after. They don't talk about the work that it takes to maintain the love and romance once the newness has worn off.

In this article, you will be introduced to five basic and useful steps that are necessary to build and maintain a healthy and long-lasting relationship with your significant other, and be happily ever after because this is the will of God for you.

Step 1: Know thy self.

Oftentimes people get into a relationship before taking the time to figure out who they are and what they need. They may spend more time researching their perfect car, which they will have for a short time, than they will researching their needs, wants and goals for their perfect relationship, which they expect to have for a lifetime. Therefore, step 1 is about self-discovery.

First, you must ask yourself, “Why do I want to be in a relationship?” Am I running away from something, or myself? Am I running toward my desire to have a companion to share a life with, to start a family and grow old reminiscing over our lives together? Perhaps you want to be in a relationship because that is what is expected.

Once you discover your reasons for being in a relationship it is important to explore your goals and make sure your partner has a similar vision: for example, a long-term committed relationship versus friends with benefits. Next you should examine your beliefs about relationships that oftentimes are influenced by your family values. Your expectations and values are also important concepts to consider. You cannot expect your partner to be something that you yourself are not. For example, if you want your partner to be faithful, you might need to consider your own track record with fidelity.

See also: The Most Important Question Of Your Life.

Step 2: Identify a healthy relationship.
Once you have explored why you want a relationship and what you are looking for, you are ready to learn how to find a healthy one. A healthy relationship is considered interdependent, while an unhealthy relationship is considered codependent.

A codependent relationship is one in which both partners are dependent on each other for their identity and the fulfillment of their emotional needs. Imagine two people inside one hula hoop---they cannot function as two separate individuals. The boundaries become blurred and identities become lost. This type of relationship can create unhealthy family dynamics to include domestic violence and substance abuse.

An interdependent relationship is one in which each partner is whole and complete. They know who they are and have developed an independent lifestyle. Now they are ready to share their lives with another partner who has also created an independent life. Interdependency means each individual maintains their own individual identity while at the same time creating a shared life together.

See also PURPOSEFUL COURTSHIP

Step 3: Understand the differences between the genders.
Now that you have found your healthy partner it is important to understand the inherent differences between your genders. There are three major differences that will be briefly covered, which include physiological, verbal and social, all which can have a significant impact on communication.

Physiological: Men and women respond differently to stress based on the chemicals that are released in the brain. When women are stressed they tend to become more nurturing and protective as they derive their self-worth from adequacy of relationships. Men, on the other hand, tend to experience the “fight or flight” response when stressed as their self-worth is built around adequacy of performance. This means that when a woman, in her best intentions, asks a man why he is doing something a certain way or going a certain direction, it may trigger the man’s stress response, causing him to yell or withdraw. A man who yells or withdraws may create a fear response in a woman causing her to continue to say things that reinforce a man’s feelings of incompetence. This can create a vicious cycle, where the man continues to withdraw even more and the woman continues to attack in attempts to preserve the relationship. If both partners are aware of this difference, this type of conflict can be avoided.

Verbal: When communicating, men tend to focus on the main points, while women tend to focus on the details. Also when it comes to communication, men are action oriented and tend to focus on a solution while women are discussion oriented and tend to focus on verbal processing. To overcome this difference it is helpful for the man to listen to his partner about a problem or situation and then validate her feelings. Ask her what she needs or what would be helpful before moving on to problem solving. You may find all she wanted to do was talk. Women might consider informing their partners what they need from them at the beginning of the conversation, so men can be prepared to either just listen or work on a solution.

Social: Men and women are socialized differently from childhood. Boys play in teams or groups, while girls typically play in dyads. Therefore if a conflict ensues and a boy leaves the group, there are others to play with; however, if a girl leaves the group, the other girl may find herself alone. This behavior indicates a tendency for men to feel more comfortable in parallel play where women are more comfortable with interactive play. This means when a husband and wife are sitting on the couch together watching T.V., the man may feel more connected with his wife, viewing this activity as good quality time. However, the woman may feel ignored as she needs more interaction to feel connected.

These are just brief highlights of three major gender differences and it should be noted. There will always be exceptions.


Step 4: Learn effective communication skills.
The number one complaint couples have is their inability to communicate effectively with each other. Communication is one of the key ingredients for building a strong foundation in a relationship. The weakest skill in communication is listening, where only about 10% of what is said is actually heard. This weakness is oftentimes due to environmental, verbal or non-verbal distractions. Therefore, before trying to have an important conversation with your significant other it is helpful to ask if this is a good time to talk. This way you can ensure his/her undivided attention. One rule of thumb, if either of you is hungry and/or tired, this is definitely not a good time to talk.

Once you have your partner’s attention, it is your responsibility to communicate your feelings using I-messages, which are blame-free statements that you use when you own the problem. Following the I-message, your partner needs to clarify your statement to ensure you are both on the same page. Once on the same page, your partner then validates your feelings. Keep in mind, your partner does not have to agree with how you feel, but you do have the right to be validated. Following the validation, you and your partner can proceed to problem solving if this step is warranted.

It is important to remember that communication is a skill, so be patient with your partner while you both learn to communicate more effectively. It is also important to note that communication is too large a topic to be addressed in the scope of this article.


Step 5: Become comfortable with conflict.
Many couples struggle with conflict; they either fear it or avoid it. This is usually due to their misunderstanding of it. A conflict is a disagreement in perspectives, beliefs, values and ideas that generally occurs when one’s needs are being infringed upon or not being met. What causes escalation in a conflict are the strong emotions that are attached to it.

The most effective way to broach a conflict is by using the communication skills that have been briefly addressed in step 4.

In this article, you have been briefly introduced to the five most important steps to building and maintaining a healthy relationship with your significant other. If you follow these steps you will be on your way to your "Happily Ever After".

But beside these steps, God Himself ordained marriage and He alone can lead us to living happily ever after despite we have to make our own efforts. His Grace makes the difference. His Grace cannot be with you if you do not have a relationship with Him through the acceptance of Jesus Christ as you Lord and personal Saviour.

You can begin a relationship now with the lord Jesus Christ and experience His love for you by saying this prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ I acknowledge that I am a sinner, I believe in your death and resurrection. I ask you to forgive me my sins, I reject the devil and all his works and l welcome the Holy Spirit into my life. I declare today I am born again and I am a child of God in Jesus name. Amen.

 

If you just said that prayer I welcome you to God's family. Look for a Bible believing church where God's word is taught and fellowship there.

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IT IS ALL ABOUT JESUS CHRIST.

 

 

 



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