A lifetime investment

Love for lifeLove for life

Lisa Leonce is a career and personal coach offering training workshops and coaching sessions in Wanstead and Woodford. Here, Lisa asks if you are investing in your marriage.

We invest in all sorts of things: our homes, vehicles, education and even experiences, but do we invest in our marriages or is marriage no longer worth investing in? I believe enjoying the ongoing love, support and commitment of another is definitely worth investing in.

How did you meet? Why did you decide to marry your partner? Memories filled with joy and laughter fill our minds with these simple questions. Nevertheless, relying solely on first encounters or past moments does not provide a resilient foundation for ensuring your marriage is 'successful'. There are many unanticipated circumstances that can destroy your love and commitment to each other.

So, how are you investing in your marriage? Have you both made a commitment to each other and now just go along with the flow? Do you make time for each other and support each other like you once did? Marriages tend to go through the following stages.

  1. Euphoria: the early days, when everything is great; the wedding day, the honeymoon, moving into your first marital home, going out to dinner, having regular sex.
  2. Exhaustion: children arrive! There's now tiredness from lack of sleep and you're both learning on-the-job parenting skills.
  3. Enticement: neither of you have had much time to invest in yourselves, let alone each other. Compliments, praise and thanks are few and far between.
  4. Explosion: allegations, denials, lies and half-truths are spoken. Will your love be enough? Counselling and mediation are talked about, which is better than expensive lawyers and having to sell the house.
  5. Endurance: remember your vows. Hang in there, talk, forgive quickly and refuse to give up. The children are growing up, you have family time and you're a lot better at sex.
  6. Entropy: adult children! But they still depend on you and can't really afford to move out. In parallel, your own parents are ageing and need your support.
  7. Enlightenment: adult children are 'settled'. You get to enjoy your grandchildren and take great pleasure in handing them back. Some rewards for staying together: having someone in sickness and in health, affection, companionship and mutual respect.

So, no matter what stage your marriage is at, if things are good or not so good, it may be time to invest.

Lisa, the founder of efiL Coaching, will be hosting a 'Marriage Retreat MOT' from 9 to 11 February at Gilwell Park Country House (£195 per person). For more information, visit efil-coaching.com

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