A friend of mine is shopping for an engagement ring for the special lady in his life, so for now, he’s fixated on those four famous Cs (Color, Cut, Clarity, and Carat Weight). As he obsesses over how to get the perfect combination of each for just the right price, I couldn’t help but think about what those 4 C’s become once you’ve got the ring, you said yes, and you made it to and from the altar.
What are the 4 C’s of marriage? What four aspects of a marriage can be varied, manipulated, and combined to create a union that shines as bright as that rock you wear on your finger?
I’m going to take a stab at it – based on what works for us, of course – and after you give it a read, let me know your thoughts. And, whether your 4 C’s of marriage would be any different.
The 4 C’s Of Marriage
Perhaps the most obvious of the four, it almost goes without saying that a marriage doesn’t have a leg to stand on without clear and functioning communication. If you don’t bring it up, you can’t discuss it. And, if you can’t talk about it, I can assure you, your problems won’t get resolved. The more communication you have, the more likely it is you’ll find your own shortcuts through the rough patches in your marriage, and the more you’ll enjoy the highs. I believe in Gary Chapman’s five love languages, and I’m telling you, it’s imperative that you decipher yours, and learn how to make them work for you, and for your marriage. How you communicate with each other is 100 percent up to you – there’s no rulebook here. However, as my husband and I continue to learn every day, what’s most important is that you always find a way to do it.
We have a simple saying at my job that caught on like wildfire and quickly became our staff mantra: “Teamwork makes the dream work.” It holds true at work and at home. Whatever plans you make, or whatever goals you’re striving to achieve, you absolutely cannot make it there alone. You need each other’s support and strengths to get there. You’re a unit, for life. Whether you’re teaming up to tackle debt and finances, or saving up for that long-overdue vacation you’ve been fantasizing about, you both need to be proactive and collaborative within your marriage. Where cooperation lacks, failure often lies. The tricky part here is that being a team player isn’t nearly as easy as it sounds. Your personal needs can and will get in the way. It’s often those days your partner needs you most that you feel the least capable of providing a shoulder for them to lean on. But you push past it. Life can weigh you down – but this is the part where the teamwork earns its keep. Every moment you sacrifice devoting your energy and love to the other person’s needs or goals, you can take comfort in knowing the favor will most certainly be returned if you have a healthy marriage where you function as a team. The day will come when you’re down and they’re up, and you can look over and they will be there. Knowing that you can depend on each other to achieve the small things, and the big ones too, is what will get you through it, promise.
In a marriage, when you face an “obstacle” (we hate to call ‘em problems) the solution you seek won’t always be right there in front of you. Instead, the situation will often challenge you to think outside the box and discover new ways to work through it and find your way back to that happy place you love so much. Creativity counts for so much in a marriage. For instance, finding new ways to “debate” a reoccurring dilemma or decide on who gets stuck with weekend errands can make all the difference between getting by and enjoying your marriage. Marriage is forever, and if you don’t keep reinventing the fun and excitement and honing the strategies it will get stale.
A marriage must always be handled with care. You care for your spouse, they care for you, and you must always remember to handle the most sensitive issues between you with the utmost care. It should be a care-fest, quite honestly. Whether you’re in support of your spouses decision or choice, or vehemently against it, either way it shows you care about them because you’re having a reaction of some kind. The day you stop giving a hoot altogether, your marriage may be in serious trouble. One thing I never say to my husband (in a serious manner) are the words, “I don’t care!” That’s because I do, and I always will. I care if he’s hurt, unhappy, sad, excited, proud, frustrated – whatever the emotion – and I know that he’s equally as in tune to my emotions. Before you two can make any progress, break any new ground, or truly enjoy and appreciate each other, you must love and care for one another completely.
Note: Initially I considered making “commitment” one of the 4 C’s, but upon further consideration, I felt it’s just too much of a given. You got married because you chose to commit your life to another person, and them to you. So that’s done, day one. It kind of goes without saying, no?
What are your 4 C’s of marriage?