Give your marriage a present this year

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 12, 2010

It’s that time of year again; flowers, jewelry, balloons, chocolates, stuffed animals and other gifts are being purchased by countless individuals to show affection for others.

With the world moving at such a frantic pace, it is almost surprising that marriage is still of concern. We live in an era where many things have replaced the gratification that a mate can provide. Technology has become so common that many do not leave home to choose the gifts or flowers for their mate.

The simple click of a mouse takes the place of going to a store and selecting the arrangement of gifts. Many simply pick up something on the way home, giving little thought or effort to make sure it is something that will please the mate.

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Cupid is no longer considered the symbol of love, but merely an image that is only thought of on Valentine’s Day.

We at Families First and the Department of Human Services are celebrating Marriage Week this week. The time has been set aside to encourage and strengthen marriages.

Many will ask the question, so how do you strengthen a marriage? For each married couple the answer to this question will be different.

However, there are some universal things that we all can do to help our marriages survive and remain strong and healthy.

4Take time out to talk to each other about unusual things that don’t really matter in every day life.

4Get away as much as possible. Have a couple’s retreat.

4Don’t be afraid to have a life away from the family, but be encouraging to the other person in the relationship when they find something to engross them. Don’t strip the other person of things that may be valuable to him or her.

4Don’t be totally honest. Know when to speak and when not to; also, know when to stop and when to keep going.

4Remain flexible and spur of the moment. Don’t get caught up in routines. Couples who live their entire lives on a schedule hardly ever make it.

4Bring home flowers, candy, chocolate and whatever your spouse likes. Nothing feels better than knowing that your spouse is thinking of you even when you are not around.

4Let go of the past. Don’t look back; don’t hold old anger. Don’t return to old conversations. Try to forget things that have hurt you and always remember things that make you happy.

4Remember that each day is one of rebirth.

4Take out the time and have date night when time permits.

If these suggestions are not practical for you, brainstorm for ideas that will strengthen your marriage and help you and your spouse become happier and healthier.

Once again a marriage that does not grow is one that goes. Marriages are a lifelong commitment. It takes effort and work to keep marriages healthy.

A Healthy Marriage Course is being offered by the Adams County Families First Resource Center at the main office located at the Juvenile Justice Center, 320 State St., Natchez.

Available, also to energize your marriage is 10 Great Dates, a 10-session guide to building a better relationship.

Natchez-Adams County Families First is grand funded by the Department of Human Services.

By participating in this course couples learn communication techniques, how to synergize marriages and how to develop a lasting commitment. These classes are also offered in Jefferson and Wilkinson counties. The course consists of five consecutive sessions lasting for two hours per session.

Adams County Families First is here to give you some tools for a healthy and successful marriage, which will have a lasting effect on your relationship.

The Adams County Families First can facilitate discussion groups and offer lectures on subjects pertinent to successful families other than the Healthy Marriage Course. All programs and curriculums are available in Jefferson and Wilkinson counties.

Interested in attending or hosting a session? Please contact us at 601-304-7883.

Angela Ivory is a Natchez Adams County Families First programs facilitator.