Defense is the action of defending or resisting attack. Yet, as men, we often feel that we don’t need to be on guard for anything especially when it comes to marriage.
On the other hand, women not only are they on guard for the things that happen in their marriage, they are on guard about everything that happen in their lives.
Men, for those of us that watch and understand sports, we know that defense is very vital important part of the game. It’s the only way you win. We all know the phrases, “A good defense beats a good offense.” “Offense wins games, defense wins championships.”
If a fruitful long lasting relationship is what we desire, then we must realize that at some point our relationship will come under attack. In order to win, we must apply these 10 principles to ensure our marriages last.
- Defend against not knowing your spouse
So we must understand your partner’s strengths and weaknesses as well as your own. Pushing and encouraging your spouse to be great can be very difficult if you don’t know your own. Marriages can be challenging when you are constantly focusing on your partner’s weaknesses.
- Defend against not supporting or protecting her freedom.
We must understand that even though we both need and enjoy our spouse and vice versa, it’s also important for us to maintain our individuality. In particular, we need to feel like the decisions we’re making are truly coming from us. According to John Knee in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, when people feel forced or coerced into making choices — like they didn’t have any real choice in the matter — they’re less happy and less fulfilled. And, as you might have guessed, that lack of happiness is problematic for relationships.
- Defend against not voicing your wishes, desires, fears and dreams.
We must understand that we have needs, fears and desires outside of our spouse. Our partners will never fully deeply understand us if we never voice them. It’s that lack of deep connection the leads to our relationships ending.
- Defend against sacrificing your needs out of obligation just to make her happy.
Once you figure out what your needs are, discuss with your partner how your needs can be met. This can be easier said than done because your spouse will have her own needs and it may come in direct conflict with yours. So be aware that fulfilling your needs will involve difficult sacrifices on her part.
Make sure that when you do make sacrifices you do it only with love and care, and not with reluctance or resentment. If can’t make sacrifices for the right reasons, it’s probably better not to make the sacrifice at all.
- Defend against not being there for your spouse when she needs you.
Your partner will rely on you the most for support. If you aren’t there when she is distressed or that soft place to fall, she will find someone else to do it. Rather it’s other women or another man. Then she will begin to think. What does she need you for?
- Defend against not nurturing her goals and ambitions; supporting her through misfortune and celebrating triumphs.
Your partner wants to feel support when it comes to taking risks. There is nothing more secure when your partner can go out and conquer their goals, and there is a cheerleader pushing them and congratulating them.
- Defend against a boring, passionless marriage.
It’s no secret that couples are happier when they engage in new, interesting things together. You are basically telling your partner that you promise not to let your relationship fall into a rut. We’re going to keep dating each other, keep travelling and exploring together, and keep sharing novel and interesting experiences with each other for the rest of your lives
- Defend against bailing when times get tough.
This is where the better or worse come in; in other words, to stay committed to each other. When a couple sees themselves as a permanent partnership, their perspective on problems tends to shift from being about battling against each other to being about “ride together or die”. Having this type of commitment helps people to stop treating conflicts as all-or-nothing, instead keeping the wellbeing of your partner and your relationship in mind. Acting as a team, puts you in a better position to face challenges together.
- Defend against callousness and unfairness because, you are a team now and for always.
In other words your marriage isn’t about carefully keeping score to ensure that we’re each contributing to the relationship fairly and equally. Instead, you’re promising to always strive to contribute what you can, based on the needs of your partner. You have to trust that your respective efforts will more or less balance out in the long run.
- Defend against taking your marriage for granted.
When you appreciate your partner, you’re happier and more committed to the relationship. When you express gratitude to your partner, they feel more appreciated, and that makes them just as happy and just as committed. So promise to never take each other for granted, but rather to appreciate what you have and express early and often.
These ten things are the best defense to the offensive attacks that can ruin your marriage over the long haul. As Osho says, “The fully matured man has no fear defense; he is completely open and vulnerable.”
Keith Dent is a relationship, life coach at www.strive2succeedcoaching.com . He has appeared on sites like Your Tango, The Good Men Project, MamMia and The Real Dad’s Network and is the author of the upcoming book In The Paint – How to Win at the Game of Love.