I attend Eastlake Community Church and a few years back the following list was talked about during a message series on marriage. It struck such a chord with me that these have been on my fridge since the Spring of 2010. I think this list is a great regardless of how long or short you have been married or what state or stage your marriage is in.
1) Don’t communicate.
As parents, we become so invested in our children that sometimes we put communication on a back burner. My husband and I even joke that we will catch up with each other when our kids go to college. But open communication is crucial. The number one reason my husband and I will argue is over a lack of communication, which then typically leads to me feeling overwhelmed about something…which always leads to me having a short fuse.
2) Forget your commitment.
I love my husband every day. Not every second of every day, that’s for sure. We certainly have our typical frustrations with each other. Marriage doesn’t mean you will be happy 100% of the time. But it does mean you will be committed 100% of the time. Try to remember the reason you chose that person. For me, when I am feeling overly frustrated in my marriage, my “default” thought is always the laughter that my husband brings to me. In those moments where I am annoyed, feeling defeated etc, I try to remind myself of that. Even in those moments where it’s hard to do so.
3) Be selfish.
This does not mean you can’t have “me” time or have days where you are feeling more overwhelmed than usual. We are human. But marriage means we have chosen someone else to share a life with. It means that we always have someone else to be thinking about and, in turn, someone else is always thinking about us. That’s a reassuring feeling, in my opinion.
4) Ruin the finances.
I have known people that keep secrets from their spouse regarding finances. Spending, debt when they entered the marriage, gambling addictions and so on. Times may get tough financially but keeping your spouse in the dark is most certainly not going to have a good outcome.
5) Don’t have sex.
I’m not going to go into this one. Being a mom is exhausting, I know. But this is an important component of a marriage and the bond between a husband and wife.
6) Don’t work at it.
Marriage is hard sometimes. Throwing in the towel and not working on it will only lead to more work. I would rather work a little bit every day in my marriage than come to a point where I realize some large repairs are needed.
There is no such thing as a perfect marriage. Marriage requires work every single day. As a parent, it is easy to forget this. We get so busy and pulled in so many different directions. It’s easy to take your marriage for granted because you trust it will always be there. But a strong marriage takes constant effort. I don’t know what challenges life has in store for me but I pray that my husband and I will always have a shared interest of keeping our marriage a priority. We strive to put our marriage first, then our kids. In our relationship, if we are strong then it typically means our kids are cared for and happy. There is no perfect formula and every marriage is different. But the above “Six Ways” really seem to be something that can speak to any marriage.
Communication is difficult sometimes in my marriage. What do you find to be the toughest in yours?