Marriage and children don’t come with instructional manuals. There’s not a day to day guide for you to follow for a successful relationship. Each person you’re in a relationship with has different needs of you. The way you showed love to your ex may not work for the next. It’s best that you discuss what you expect, need and want out of a relationship before you even think of marriage. Marriage is lifelong commitment and shouldn’t be taken lightly. It is no doubt for ADULTS ONLY! I haven’t “mastered” marriage but then again, who has? My husband and I met 15 years ago and we still face small challenges, together! We’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. However, I put together some tips to help keep you out of hot water with your spouse. Trust, there’s a lot more but let’s roll with these (in no particular order):
Let the MAN BE THE MAN
Yes, I said it. If you can’t acknowledge your husband as the head of your home…well, to each their own. Ladies, if you feel he can’t lead then ask yourself, why did you get married to a man that you can’t respect?
When I say, let the man be the man, I mean allow him his right to be the leader of the home. I’m not saying women have to sit back and take orders. I’m talking about the man who will lead, guide and make appropriate decisions for his family. Men are called to be the Head of the home, anything less than that is not his place. Sometimes, women have a hard time of thinking of their husbands as the Head. I am not that one. I expect for my husband to help me make wise decisions, provide for me, keep me grounded, protect me and our children, cover us with his prayers and allow God to lead his footsteps. I myself, have no problem (in most cases) with my husband saying “no, we don’t need a new couch” or “please stop spending so much money.” I can respect that! It’s not taking orders at all, it’s respecting his words and acknowledging my husband. Don’t get so wrapped up in the title “Head of the House,” that you lose sight of reality. A husband was made to lead and a wife was made as a helpmate. When you’re with the right one, you will continue to complement each other. There is nothing wrong with a man being man and a woman being a woman.
Give your spouse the love they need.
There is no such thing as a one size fits all when it comes to love. For example, let’s take a look at Valentine’s Day. A lot of women like a special delivery of flowers and the whole nine yards. I’m not that woman. As a matter of fact, I really don’t like flowers. If my husband were to come home with flowers, I wouldn’t know what to think. After all, “roses really smell like boo-boo.” 🙂
Again, there’s no one size fits all to love. You have to find out your spouse’s “love language.” What really gives them the notion that you care? For your wife, is it a surprise cooked meal? A nicely vacuumed house? A detailed car? A mini vacation? You, her husband, actually going out and buying her a dress? You as the husband must figure it out. The same applies for the wife, what does your husband like? My guess is sex on the regular and quiet time for television. Just a guess though. Whatever it is, be willing to give it. Acknowledge what your spouse needs and wants from you. There’s nothing wrong with giving your spouse what you want them to have but giving them what they desire is even more special.
No outside interference.
Yes, when you get married, you marry each other’s family. However, there are boundaries. Your spouse is number one. Your mother, father, friends and siblings shouldn’t be apart of your day to day. If your spouse has to hear news about you from someone other than you, you are in the wrong. Keep your family out of your marriage. When you disagree, that is not the perfect time to go home to your parents and whine. Man up or put your big girl panties on and talk it out with your spouse. Otherwise, when you run and tell others your marital business don’t be surprised when they’re acting all kinds of shady towards your spouse. Keep everyone out!
Date each other.
This should be easy but it’s not always easy for everyone. Date like you’re trying to win each other over again. My husband and I met our freshman year of college and things have changed over the last 15 years. Our busy schedule doesn’t allow us to go out as often as we did “pre-children,” but we make time. It can be as simple as put the children to bed early, have dessert in bed and watch a movie without interruption. It’s nice to go out on double dates or group dates every once in a while but one on one time is critical for marriage survival. When you’re out with others, you’re obligated to converse with them which doesn’t allow time to talk with your spouse. Then, your spouse is sitting there listening to you tell the same story for the fifth time. Make time for each other.
Choose your friends wisely.
People think their friends have nothing to do with their marriage. Wrong! You are the company you keep. If you want a successful marriage, surround yourself with those who have a successful marriage. You made the grown up decision to get marriage, so make the grown up decision and choose wisely. Ladies, my suggestion before you even get married is to let go of your bitter friends. There are many females out here who throw all men in the same category and they’re angry behind the choices they made. How many times have you as a married woman sat and listened to your single girlfriend(s) about her experiences? There’s nothing wrong with that at all. However, be sure you aren’t traveling down memory lane and bringing up old mess into your marriage. Be careful not to let her attitude influence your relationship. The same applies to the fellas! Your friends have experiences with women but that doesn’t mean your wife is the same as their women. Let your wife be your wife and not your boys’ standard of a female. For both men and women, not only do your friends influence your life but also what you feed your mind, like television. All those “reality” shows aren’t healthy for successful relationships. Next thing you know, you’re suspicious of your mate because of what you saw on an episode of Real Housewives. You also need to watch your attitude after watching those shows. The last thing your spouse needs is for your attitude to change like the weather.
Compliment each other
Sounds easy enough right? You’d be surprised how many men and women find this hard to do. Compliments without prompts are the best! Ladies know what I’m talking about. We know we look good when the bedroom door opens and we step out. We REALLY know we look good when our man looks and says “dang, when did you get that dress?” “You look good.” Those compliments when we take time to look good and even the times we don’t, are needed from our spouse. If your spouse cooks dinner, compliment the meal. The one cooking shouldn’t always have to ask you how does the food taste. Compliment without prompts. Fellas, just be careful not to compliment another females food too much like your wife doesn’t cook. You might be hungry for a few days. Ha!
Support each other.
This is the last thing I’m going to write on. It’s so important in order for a marriage survive. If your spouse has big dreams, you need to believe it with them. My husband and I both are very creative and come up with different things all the time. However, we don’t discourage each other from pursuing it. We may disagree on small details and orders of execution BUT that’s all in a supportive manner. Just because you offer support for your spouse doesn’t mean that you’re giving up your dreams. You are simply helping your spouse make their dreams come true. We’ve all heard the phrase: “teamwork makes the dream work.” If you want individual dreams to come true while you’re married, approach it as a team. Owning your own salon may be your dream ladies, but the support of your husband is vital. Your husband wants to go back to school. Wife, he needs you. Let your spouse know that you believe in them and you’re proud of the steps they’ve taken. A marriage is a team, #teamus. Let no one come into your locker room (home) and stir up confusion. Work together and be marriage champions. You will have good days and not so good days but hang in there. Love each other hard and even harder when you have children.
Make time for your spouse. Take care of yourself for your spouse. Do random acts of love for your spouse and you’ll spend a lifetime together.
~I love my life as his wife.~
Peace, love and a lifetime of marriage to you all.