Marriage… a topic gone viral over the years.. Everyone has advice; people pay lots of money to see “specialists” in their field to grasp the last little bit of hope to save the one thing that use to be important to them. People want quick fixes. “What is your secret?” is the burning question couples would ask elderly couples celebrating decades of love.
Inspired Women speaks to Sue & JP Duminy about Love and Marriage:
Question 1: What is Your Advice for a Healthy, Happy Marriage
The first and most important thing in our lives (yes before our marriage) is our relationship with God. If I am not OK with him, I cannot be OK with my husband. My whole being, my soul, my character stems from God. My mood, my thoughts and my make-up is rooted in his image. My motto is, try and be like Jesus, if you find yourself in a situation just stand for a second and think, how would He react? Most of the time your answer will be – with LOVE. Show love towards everyone around you. That person who cut right in front of you, have you ever thought for a second why? Maybe that person is rushing to be with a loved one in hospital. It is easy to create a perception that suits you. Learn to give people benefit of the doubt. I promise you your life will become a happier place!
When you find God, you find a whole new world. A world of love, peace, happiness and contentment. Fulfilment fills every corner of your body and mind. An overwhelming feeling of protection and presence warms your heart. Your thinking changes and your reactions becomes more controlled.
Marriage – the word some hate, the word some dream of and the word some cherish.
You must first be the best version for yourself before you can be for your spouse and for your marriage.
A bitter, sad women or man influences and affects everyone and everything around them. No one wants to be in a relationship or marriage where a partner constantly has to walk on eggshells.
Imagine a Godly women and a Godly man entering a marriage based on the virtues that “love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonors others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Love Love Love oh Love! Not to be confused with an emotion as emotions come and go from seconds to lasting a couple of hours. Love is a bond, it is a commitment, and it is lifelong. Love can endure A LOT of things. Love is constant.
Question 2: Describe your version of love:
Love for me is an intense, overwhelming feeling that literally warms my blood and fills my heart.. It is a rush of endorphins; it is an incredible excitement of happiness and peace when you find yourself in that bubble of love. Love for me is when I see my husband and when I see my daughter.
It’s an overwhelming feeling that is difficult to explain but better felt. A warm sensation in yourself that is out of your control, but you know its there.
Question 3: What is your secret to a happy marriage?
Always have God as the foundation of your marriage. I am sorry to say but he is my number one man! My relationship with God directly influences my marriage. If my mind and heart is in the right place, so my marriage will be. Never ever loose respect for your partner. Always make time for each other, especially if you have kids. Talk to each other; say if you don’t like something or if they say something that you don’t like. LISTEN!!! When your partner tells you something they don’t like, listen, understand it and make a change. Marriage is all about constantly adapting and changing but with your partner. Always make sure you grow in the same direction. Marriage is also about compromising, yes girls that means letting him go on a boys fishing trip, or trying out that golf swing you wouldn’t even want your goldfish to see. Marriage is about putting the other person first, thinking about that person before you make any decisions; it is about being totally unselfish.
Having God at the center of your marriage and know that your foundation is rooted in him. In my experience it is having a selfless mindset and understanding each other and giving each other the freedom to grow as individuals.
Question 4: How do you resolve conflict?
I use to be bad at this. I will just keep quiet and let it go but I have learnt to talk. I feel so much better talking about a conflict situation, stating how it made me feel and then finding a common ground where we both acknowledge what we did wrong, apologizing and letting it go. Marriage needs to be constantly evaluated and adjusted; it requires deep conversations on a constant basis. Marriage thrives on vulnerability, honesty and trust.
This is a difficult one in one’s marriage because as human beings we always think that our opinion is the right one. Having the mentality of first listening before you react goes a long way. Take time to think about what you want to say before responding on emotion. This is something I often get wrong. But having this goal to work towards as a couple when you do find yourself in conflicting situation is a step in the right direction.
Question 5: What would you tell someone going through a bad patch in his or her marriage?
Talk Talk Talk.. Say how you feel, how he/she made you feel, always talk with love and respect towards each other. Let him/her know your life goals, what you expect of them and how you can work towards it together. If you want more support from your partner give examples of how he/she can do it! Always remember why you fell in love with that person.. And the most important part for me, pray together… Pray for each other, everyday…
Often our egos get in the way thinking that we can always deal with any situation all by ourselves but if you are not finding any direction or answers maybe it is time to seek council. Expressing ones insecurities and vulnerabilities is a scary thing. What I have come to realize is that it doesn’t show weakness it actually shows character and strength.
Question 6: What advice can you give to young men/women out there looking for a partner?
Look for a man who treats you with respect, who never puts you down in front of others, who supports you, motivates you and will fight for you.. Find someone with good morals and values, with good work ethic. The right man will make you feel like a princess.. Everyday.. I prayed for a husband, for a very long time. I prayed for immense love and for happiness, God answered my prayer and gave my JP.
Your soul mate is out there; we should trust God that he will bring that person across your path. Sometimes we do get things wrong by relying on our own strengths and our own judgments so with prayer, trust and belief we can relay on God that the right person will come along.
CREDITS: Dress by CINDY BAM COUTURE
SUE HAIR & MAKE-UP – ERANE HOBBS
PHOTOGRAPHY: Cape Town Photographer Shireen Louw