Three Ways to Strengthen a Marriage

Husbands and wives are often unaware of how much hard work goes into building a strong marriage. Strong relationships don’t just happen but need to be consistently cultivated over time. In her book,What Women Want Men to Know (Thorsons, 2001), Barbara De Angelis lists three ways that couples can improve their marriages. These are by showing attention, affection and appreciation.

Attention to Spouses Builds Strength Into a Marriage

Paying attention to a spouse is one of the most effective ways of showing love. It means giving a partner 100 percent concentrated attention. Couples often spend time together but attention may be divided between each other and things such as television, pets and household duties.

Paying attention involves focusing totally on a spouse, making good eye contact and asking questions. These can be as simple as asking how his or her day is going or what he or she is thinking about but needs to come across as sincere. The answer should be considered and responded to.

Paying attention shows that a spouse is valued and important and will build love and strength into the marriage.

Showing Affection and Strong Marriages

Affection is described as physically connecting with a person by cuddling, holding hands, embracing and kissing. It does not necessarily have to be sexual in nature. In marriage, affection is especially important to wives who need times where physical touch and affirmation do not lead to sex.

Affection links two people and creates an open flow between hearts. This makes them feel loved and being affectionate on a regular basis will build strength into a marriage.

Appreciation Builds Strong Marriages

Appreciation is simple to show but often falls by the wayside in marriage. By making an effort to express appreciation, couples can make each other feel loved and their relationship will deepen and grow.

Spouses normally do many little things for each other and these are often taken for granted. Here are some ideas of what to thank a partner for:

  • · Taking out the garbage
  • · Servicing the car
  • · Dressing the children for church
  • · Cooking a tasty meal
  • · Fetching the dry-cleaning
  • · Tidying the house

Appreciation also includes personal expressions of love and gratitude. These are encouraging and will strengthen a marriage:

  • · “I love your smile.”
  • · “You are always so calm.”
  • · “I feel proud when I go out with you.”
  • · “Thank you for always dressing so beautifully.”

Marriage is a loving, growing relationship that can be nurtured by attention, affection and appreciation. By consistently working on these three areas, spouses can strengthen their connection to each other and fall more in love as the years go by.


How to Avoid Repeating Your Parents’ Relationship and Marriage Mistakes

ur parents are our first models for how to conduct a relationship, and the things they teach us stick with us for the rest of our lives. Fortunately, many of us had parents who were basically good role models, even if they made some mistakes. Even parents who had successful marriages, however, pass on a few bad habits to their kids, and no one wants their relationship to be exactly like their parents’. And if your parents’ marriage was abusive or ended in divorce, you are particularly susceptible to repeating the negative patterns of your childhood. You’re not hard-wired to end up like your parents, though, and with hard work you can begin creating your own life and relationship.

Name the Mistakes
It’s easy to say you don’t want to end up like your parents, but to truly prevent this from happening you have to know what it means! Get specific in thinking about the habits you don’t want to repeat. For some people, it can be difficult to criticize their parents, especially if they have a close relationship. But knowing what you want to improve upon is the first step in actually improving.

Examine Similarities
Take some time to examine the potentially destructive traits you share in common with your parents. Are you overly anxious like your mother? Excessively critical like your father? It is these traits that are most likely to cause problems in your relationships. Being aware of them and actively working to correct them is the best way to avoid ending up like your parents.

Listen to Your Partner
Many of us are instinctively defensive when our partner criticizes our behavior. But you can learn a lot about yourself by taking time to consider your partner’s complaints. If your partner frequently airs the same grievance, this is a problem that can ultimately destroy your relationship and that may be learned from your parents.

Talk to Your Parents
Your parents are invaluable resources. Talk to them about the things they wish they had done differently in their own relationships. The particular circumstances under which a problem occurred are especially important. You may find, for example, the financial problems or excessive work sparked a snowball effect that led to unhappiness. Avoid the life circumstances that led to your parents’ problems and you’ll be less likely to repeat their mistakes.

Think About Your Own Role
Sometimes people don’t imitate their parents, but instead repeat the role they played with their parents. For example, if you lived in fear of your parents’ arguments, you might choose an argumentative person and live in fear of his outbursts. Avoid repeating the patterns of your own childhood. When you see them spring up, as they inevitably will, confront them head-on rather than denying the problem. Choose people that encourage you to grow rather than to repeat the patterns of your parents or the patterns you learned in childhood.


Domestic violence against women in eastern India


Violence against women is now widely recognised as an important public health problem, owing to its health consequences. Violence against women among many Indian communities on a regularly basis goes unreported. The objective of this study is to report the prevalence and other related issues of various forms of domestic violence against women from the eastern zone of India.


It is a population-based study covering both married women (n = 1718) and men (n = 1715) from three of the four states of Eastern India selected through a systematic multistage sampling strategy. Interviews were conducted using separate pre-piloted structured questionnaires for women (victimization) and men (perpetration). Women were asked whether their husband or any other family members committed violent acts against them. And men were asked whether they had ever perpetrated violent acts against their wives. Three principle domestic violence outcome variables (physical, psychological and sexual violence) were determined by response to a set of questions for each variable. In addition, data on socio-economic characteristics were collected. Descriptive statistics, bi- and multivariate analyses were done.


The overall prevalence of physical, psychological, sexual and any form of violence among women of Eastern India were 16%, 52%, 25% and 56% respectively. These rates reported by men were 22%, 59%, 17% and 59.5% respectively. Men reported higher prevalence of all forms of violence apart from sexual violence. Husbands were mostly responsible for violence in majority of cases and some women reported the involvement of husbands’ parents. It is found that various acts of violence were continuing among majority of women who reported violence. Some socio-economic characteristics of women have significant association with the occurrence of domestic violence. Urban residence, older age, lower education and lower family income are associated with occurrence of domestic violence. Multivariate logistic regressions revealed that the physical violence has significant association with state, residence (rural or urban), age and occupation of women, and monthly family income. Similar associations are found for psychological violence (with residence, age, education and occupation of the women and monthly family income) and sexual violence (with residence, age and educational level of women).


The prevalence of domestic violence in Eastern India is relatively high compared to majority of information available from India and confirms that domestic violence is a universal phenomenon. The primary healthcare institutions in India should institutionalise the routine screening and treatment for violence related injuries and trauma. Also, these results provide vital information to assess the situation to develop public health interventions, and to sensitise the concerned agencies to implement the laws related to violence against women.