By TAYLOR GRIFFING
KENNESAW, Ga. — The view many individuals have on marriage is an ideal that usually starts at the end with “happily ever after” as the goal.
A successful marriage is not about a destination in life but rather sharing a voyage through life with your significant other.
The reality of marriage is one that consists of many ups, downs, joys and sorrows. Marriage is a journey in which the two parties involved should take delight.
Mike Teston attended Florida Bible College where he finished in 1981 with a double major. His degrees in biblical education and pastoral education did not initially lead him to work with married couples.
Before marrying Kathy Marquett in 1975, Teston had no marriage experiences from which to draw wisdom from.
“In about 1994 or 1995, I began to see the need and the desire to help create healthy marriages,” Teston said.
After 38 years of marriage and raising three children, Teston has amassed a vast wealth of wisdom to impart on willing couples.
Mike Teston has worked with married couples for more than 19 years. His experience and wisdom has been shared with hundreds of couples in every step of the marriage journey.
Couples in every stage of their journey, pre-engaged to those who have been married for 40 years, have gleaned bits of wisdom from Teston’s experience in creating successful marriages.
The keys to creating a successful marriage should be sought before the parties involved say “I do.” The continual development of one’s own character is one secret to a successful marriage that individuals tend to overlook.
“When a man and women go after developing their own character and integrity, their marriage has potential to be something incredibly special,” Teston said.
Becoming the best version of the person he or she is created to be is the path down which the individuals should run.
Another key factor for success in marriage involves the couples learning to fight in a fair way.
“A key component is the ability to resolve conflict graciously,” Teston said. “A couple needs to resolve their conflicts without tearing one another to shreds.”
Assigning positive motives to your spouse rather than finding the negative intentions is a way to fight fairly. Also giving your spouse the benefit of the doubt shows the other person you are looking toward the positive aspects of your disagreement.
The ability to communicate your feelings and ideas to your spouse plays a vital supporting role in the journey of a successful marriage.
The capacity to listen, comprehend and understand what your significant other is trying to tell you is one portion of communicating. Simply hearing what your spouse has to say is not a high enough standard in a partnership.
To accurately and thoroughly communicate ones own feelings in a gracious manner is another portion of successful communication.
Creating safety inside the partnership is another major factor of a successful marriage. Crafting a partnership based on trust is the way safety comes forth in a marriage.
“People who create safety have true intimate marriages,” Teston said.
The journey to create a successful marriage starts with one being willing to focus on the weaknesses in his life. Leave your partners limitations to them.
“Get the telephone pole out of your own eye before picking the splinter out of your partner’s eye,” Teston said.
Be willing to edify and honor your partner through the struggles and shortcomings you face together will propel you to a successful marriage.