Why marriage? That is a question that many people have yet to find the answer to. Marriage is definitely a sport where only the strong survive. Entering into a union with very little knowledge of what is going to keep it from falling apart is probably one of the main reasons marriages fail. Couples are happy and content when the ride is going smoothly and traffic is flowing nicely, but once the vehicle starts running into potholes and speed bumps they are ready to switch vehicles. They don't understand that the road may be rough for a little while, but as long as they keep the maintenance up on their vehicle, it will run smoothly again. The letters in marriage can definitely give individuals a starting point on how to make their marriage succeed.
M is for marriage. A union that is between two people that have decided that they want to build a lifetime together. They are no longer living for themselves completely, but are also living for their spouse and any other lives they bring into their courtship.
A is for accepting. In a marriage, being accepting of your spouse and their flaws is a must. If they did it before the wedding, it won't disappear after the wedding. Once the vows have been uttered, both parties are stating that they accept the other as they are and will continue to grow together as one from that point forward.
R is for respect. Respect each other enough to know that even though one spouse may not find it important, the other one may. So many times, a spouse feels disrespected because their significant other treats them differently because they don't bring in any income or because they feel their spouse isn't poised or educated enough. Regardless of the situation, respect goes both way.
R is for reliable. If a spouse can't rely on the person whom they vowed to spend the rest of their life with, there is a serious problem going on. A spouse should know that if no one else is there, their spouse has their back and will do whatever is necessary to ensure their peace of mind. Honesty and trust can be so easily lost and so hard to gain back.
I is for individuality. Being married does not mean that the people involved lose their individuality. They have to remember who they were as individuals to be able to grow together as a couple.
A is for allies. Couples should know that they may not always agree, but they definitely need to be on the same side. When raising children or dealing with each others families comes into play this couldn't be more important. When children know that they can play their parents against each other, they will, and this could cause a huge divide. Families are one of the biggest arguments that married couples have. One or both of the spouses allow their families to disrespect their significant other. If the couple aren't allies and don't get these issues taken care of, they will definitely be walking down separate roads in their marriage.
G is for giving. Spouses should give of themselves freely and unconditionally. It is definitely easily said than done in a marriage. People tend to expect and take so much, that they forget to give a little. It doesn't mean keep tabs, but if one spouse feels they are always on the receiving end, they may need to return the favor. If a person feels they are always giving, they need to speak with their spouse immediately. No one wants to feel they are being taken for granted.
E is for equality. Each person in the relationship should feel as though they are equal. No one person should feel they have more authority than the other. In turn, each person should make sure they are contributing equally to the relationship.
When a couple decides to say, "I do", they should at least start with the foundation of M-A-R-R-I-A-G-E. They should continue to grow with one another and remember that this should be something taken lightly.