Marriage 101

Did you know that you can save a marriage that isn’t even in trouble? I didn’t either, until I did. Two things happened. The first thing that happened is that someone I know is considering getting a divorce. I noticed that after listening to her not only did I realize how good what I have is I also started thinking of all of the things that could possibly lead us down the path to divorce. On a long drive home Rob and I started talking and I started asking him about things that bothered him and vice versa. We talked about things that we wanted out of the marriage and things that would make us both even happier. It was silly little things like me saying that I wanted a husband who filled up my gas tank and washed my car. He said that he wanted me to push down the stuff in the trash when I piled things up in there. Little things that I’m betting after years could turn into huge problems. The other thing we changed was finding Rob a new job. Rob had a great job. It paid good and it was stable. The only problem is that he had to work nights, weekends and be out of town for a week or so at a time. This was so hard because we have a baby and Rob barely got to see him. However the hardest part was that I am petrified of the dark and being home alone at night was starting to take a toll on my sanity. Rob and I barely saw each other and when we did it seemed like it was just enough to gripe about our days and say goodbye again. One day I realized this had to stop and I found him a new job. It’s only been two weeks now but the change is gigantic. We eat dinner together every night, we don’t rush to spend time on the weekends and we don’t seem to have nearly as much to argue about. Not to mention with all of his free time this weekend he washed my car and got my oil changed. I’ve noticed that even though we are around each other much more we actually enjoy being together. Like I said our marriage was no where near in trouble but I feel like these two things saved us from going to a place anytime soon that could take us there. I know I’ve only been married for two years but I feel like I still have some good words of wisdom to hand out.

The biggest thing of all that I attribute my marriage to is the ability to fight. Most couples never fight or they keep it a secret that they do like they will be considered tainted for having a fight. That is right people I’m admitting here and now that my husband and I fight and argue. We get in fights and stop talking or yell and shout and so on. It’s amazing. If you are in the kind of person that keeps everything bottled up inside I feel so bad for you. I can’t imagine not speaking my mind. I can’t imagine being angry for so long that I wake up one morning wondering If I’ve been happy all along because I can’t remember. On the flip side imagine if you are married to that person. Imagine having your spouse just blow up on you one day and getting unbelievable angry with you. I bet the first thing you would say is that you wished they would have told you the things that were bothering them all along so you could fix them. Sometimes one of the hardest things to do in a relationship is to see what you are doing wrong. The easiest way for me to do this is to look at my husband and wonder what if he was treating me the way I’m acting how would I like it. Could you just imagine waking up one day and finding out that your spouse has been unhappy for years and never bothered to tell you? This is why I say that fighting is amazingly important in a relationship. I always giggle when I hear people say they don’t fight and I giggle even more when people just pretend like they are perfect.

Something else that I think is important is to have separate lives, interests and hobbies with in your marriage. If you do every single thing together you will get so bored with each other. For instance I love to scrapbook and Rob loves to go shooting. I don’t ask him to come with me and neither does he. Everyone needs to have a place they can go and just be with themselves. Even if it is just reading a book in a different room you need a place. How does that saying go, “How can I miss you if you won’t go away”. I love this saying. It speaks so much truth. If your husband or wife is always there even if you enjoy their company you will never learn to be alone or have the time to figure out things that may be bothering you.

Another thing that I find important is to really know you. If something is bothering you, you need to know how to recognize that. If you spend eternity thinking that nothing is wrong or ignoring the wrong, you will be in for a major disaster some day. Sometimes you need to take some time out and ask yourself if everything is okay. Find out if there is something bothering you that you are afraid to admit. When you do figure out if something is bothering you then find out how to fix it right away. If it is a person then confront them. If it is your husband let him know. Let him know that it bothers you that he never eats his vegetables. Even if he doesn’t change at least you aren’t bottling it up.

The last thing that I think is important is to pay attention to your spouse’s responses. If you tell them I don’t like when you drink or when you don’t eat your vegetables and he does nothing about it you need to re-evaluate your relationship. Having the courage to tell a person what is bothering you means having the courage to move on when they don’t care enough to change. Sometimes you have to consider how important the thing you are asking them to change is for them. If you are asking them to change an important part of their life then you better make sure that you are going to be able to live with someone who is unhappy. Realize that as unhappy as you were living with them the way they were they are now going to be just as unhappy living the way you want. So pick your battles but don’t let anything go unsaid. Make things clear from the start but allow that person to make their decision. Never threaten them with actions you are afraid to follow this will only make them feel angry towards you. You don’t want them feeling like every time things don’t go your way you are going to threaten them. But you also don’t want them feeling like they can keep gong bad because you are full of empty threats.

I hope my advice is helpful. I hope that you can learn from it. I hope you won’t be afraid to do the right thing and find out how to be happy.

Remember a marriage doesn’t have to be in trouble to be saved. Live each day of your marriage like its your first. Work on your marriage every single day. It is worth working on. Remember to hold hands every day, to give soft kisses for no reason, to kiss goodnight every night, to know that it’s okay to go to bed mad. Remember to look into each others eyes, to make each other laugh and to touch each other for no reason. Remember loving someone isn’t just a word it’s a whole state of mind, its actions and embraces, words and thoughts. Remember you love someone with your whole entire being.

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