John and Mary met at a mutual friend’s party. He worked at an advertising agency; she was a receptionist for an attorney’s firm. They started dating and seeing each other quite a bit as they enjoyed each other’s company.
Six months flew by and they realized how much they loved each other. John and Mary started talking about what options were available for them to stay together as happy as they were now. They decided that moving in together was the best choice. There were other options they could follow but considering travel time to work and time in getting together, this would be their best option.
In our society, why would this scenario be considered okay? The institution of marriage is important for stability in a relationship yet many choose not to get married. Studies and research have shown over decades that without the binding legal contract of marriage between a man and a woman, our nation will buckle under confusion and instability.
Long ago marriages were officiated and anointed by spiritual leaders as a sacred union between husband and wife. They understood it provided a real bond and a strong sense of belonging that would tie generations together. This bond gave family members a stronger sense of identity and purpose. Family ties were now real which shaped the lives of loved ones.
Marriage is an important starting point for developing and building a happy and safe family. Marriage is meant to be a true expression of love and commitment between husband and wife.
Native American Fatherhood and Families Association (NAFFA) believes in strengthening communities through healthy relationships and marriage is one of those.
These core characteristics build healthy marriage relationships.
1. Loyalty: Loyalty between husband and wife is critical to bringing unity to the family. Loyalty builds a positive relationship and is vital to a happy, healthy, safe and lasting marriage. Loyalty is the foundation of a last love for a partner.
2. Appreciation: Appreciation is communicating to another that you understand what they have done and thanking them. Everyone loves to be appreciated and complimented. This is true for married couples. Marital relationships are perhaps one of the most critical areas where appreciation by a spouse is most desired and needed.
3. Attitude: Attitude greatly affects and impacts one’s ability to understand our partners. We learn attitude from our family, friends, and culture. With a good attitude we can overcome the challenges in our life and make better choices. There is nothing that will have a greater immediate impact on our happiness and success in life than our attitude.
4. Joy and Laughter: Laughter, as any medical journal will state, is good for the body, mind and spirit. It is proven to boost the immune system, clear the mind and provide relaxation. Laughter literally helps heal your body. When two people share a funny story or a comical situation, a unique bond is formed between them. In marriage, studies show that couples that laugh together, stay together much longer.
Marriage is an important institution. Choosing a partner is one of the most important decisions we will ever make in our lives. A long-term committed relationship will be one of the most fulfilling experiences life has to offer. With loyalty, appreciation, attitude and joy and laughter, we can have a lasting, marriage which will bring a stability and joy to our life.