My own opinions about how to have a successful marriage.
I’ve been married almost 26 years. And it’s not always been easy. We have both made mistakes. But in the end I’d rather make mistakes with him than without him.
Of course, this is no perfect guide book but no marriage is perfect either. The sooner you accept that the better off you’ll both be.
◦ Ask yourself, can I live without them? Well could you? At the beginning of our relationship I had to ask myself this and the answer was a hard no. It was physically painful to think of life without him.
◦ Don’t hide your relationship from your kids. They need to see how much you love each other. We’ve always been affectionate in front of and with our kids. But they’ve seen us argue too. Probably more than I’d like lol.
◦ Argue. Now, I don’t mean make it a habit but if you don’t agree, then say so and get it out. If it sits there and stews, it’s only going to get worse.
◦ Never ever try to change the other person. If you don’t like certain qualities, then you need to be honest about it. See if you can live with those qualities, not change them. It won’t end well. If you can’t live with it then walk away before there are kids involved. Or better yet, before you walk down the aisle.
◦ Your job is your decision! So is his! One thing my husband and I did right from the start, was decide that we both had to be happy in our work. He has made a few moves over the years and ultimately he made those decisions. I don’t have to work at his employer so that’s not my decision to make. Of course he takes my opinion into consideration and vice versa but the decision is left to the person doing the job.
◦ Don’t undermine each other. Especially to your kids. If you don’t agree, talk about it away from them. You are both parents so you should both parent. This one is super hard for a control freak. But when the teen years hit, you’ll want to be on the same team. I promise you!
◦ Money belongs to you both. Again something that started from the beginning. Our original plan was for me to be a SAHM. Which, I was able to do for a few years. During that time, I had no income but I definitely had a job. So it’s always been “our” money. We talk about large purchases and we have made plenty of mistakes here and there, but we just paid off a huge debt! Knowing we did it together is so much sweeter!
◦ Make decisions together. This is VITAL ! Unilateral decisions can lead to a lot of resentment. Especially where kids and money are concerned. I’ve even seen the color of the wall become a huge issue. Who knew he wasn’t a fan of grey?? Now I know! No grey in this house lol.
◦ Date. And don’t use kids as an excuse. Most people have a tribe to call on that would be perfectly happy to babysit a little one so you can have a night away. You dated and fell in love. Now date to stay in love.
◦ Enjoy each other in bed. I’m pretty shy here so I’ll just say this; tell him what you enjoy and what you don’t. He can’t read your mind and faking it, gets you nowhere.
◦ Never threaten to leave. Just don’t! Unless you fully have a plan on what you’ll do if you’re told to “go ahead.” This can make a simple disagreement derail and end in a broken heart. If it’s bad enough for you to threaten it, then it better be bad enough for you to carry out.
◦ Spend time apart. Go away with friends or by yourself. Take a weekend with just your kids. He needs time with his family and his friends without you too. Most of the time they have known them longer and need to bond. I’ve taken girlfriend weekends, mother daughter weekends and retreats. I come back a better wife, mother and person. This also boils down to trust. If you don’t trust each other then you’ve got bigger problems brewing.
Phones are personal property! Don’t snoop!! Again, this is about trust. If you are distrustful about the phone, then you have a bigger problem. Technology has become a form of diary in my opinion. If you don’t want someone looking at your diary, then don’t look at their phone. Dig deep, what are you really worried about? Find your answer before you break trust.
Finally, TALK! Talk to your spouse. It’s not hard. One day it will only be the two of you. Make sure you enjoy each other and have things to talk about. My husband and I, have very little in common. Our hobbies don’t really overlap. But we talk. They aren’t always deep conversations but they happen anyway.
“Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” Ephesians 5:28