My husband and I met while we were in college. We knew each other for two and a half months before we started dating. We dated for three months before he proposed. We were engaged for one year and one month before we were married. To many people this seemed quick and by most of the world’s standards we didn’t know each other long enough and our marriage was destined to fail. Now we have been married for going on eight years. No, it may not have been for very long but I knew from the beginning that our marriage would be for the long haul. How? Because I know we both want to make it work forever. We made vows to one another and both take our vows seriously. This doesn’t mean that we haven’t had our ups and downs. While dating we had some obstacles we had to overcome. The first few years of our marriage were also difficult in some ways. After only a year and a half of marriage our first born and only son passed away. If anything was going to break us that would have been it. But we persevered through it. Through the grief. Through the heartache. Through the darkness. For better or for worse. We both came out stronger and our marriage became stronger as well.
I know that we have a strong marriage for many reasons. One of the main reason is because I make it my job and #1 priority to safe guard my marriage. I do this a number of ways and I want to share these ways with you. I have learned some of these lessons the hard way and some of them were advice shared with me before I was married. Either way I know that practicing these things have helped my marriage grow and stay strong. ‘
1. I PUT GOD BEFORE HIM.
God is important to both of us. It is vital that we each have a good relationship with the Lord and we maintain that relationship before anything else. When we put our relationship with God before anything everything else falls into place.
2. I PRAY FOR MY HUSBAND ON A DAILY BASIS.
Every morning when I wake up I pray for the day as well as my husband and children. I pray the Lord gives him guidance and courage. Strength, humility, grace, patience and anything else that I know or feel like he may be needing prayer for at that time. It is important to pray for the person you spend your life with. I want the same thing from him so why wouldn’t I pray for him? There are some areas that I know my husband needs prayer in that he may overlook or maybe the Lord speaks it to me without my husband knowing. Either way praying for my husband is a number one priority.
3. I NEVER PUT MY KIDS BEFORE MY HUSBAND’S NEEDS.
I know that this is a controversial topic for many women. Notice I said before my husbands needs. I do want to clarify that my children’s needs are always met first and foremost.However, my husband is number one only after God in my life. This may seem downright wrong to some people. What could I possibly mean I put my husband before my kids? Like I said, my kids needs will always be met first. But what I am talking about is I refuse to invest all my time and energy into my children while ignoring my husband’s needs. Some may say well he is a grown man he can take care of himself. In most cases yes that is true. But my husband does have some needs that can only be met by me. Whether it’s physical affection, my undivided attention or even making sure he has time to himself. I can meet those needs so why wouldn’t I? I have heard of several women who have invested all their time and attention into their children while neglecting their husbands then once their children grow up and move on, their marriage is broken and distant and they are lost. I knew my husband before I knew my children. I married him before I had my kids and I chose him because I wanted to build a life with him. I cannot build a life with him if I neglect him in the process.
4. I NEVER WITH HOLD PHYSICAL AFFECTION.
I once read a story about a woman who was angry at her husband. She wanted him to do something for her around the house but he never did. So she decided to with hold sex from him until he did it. I don’t know how that worked out for her but I can imagine that it just ended miserable with a bitter husband and angry wife. I never with hold sex from my husband or any other kind of physical affection. The only time we abstained from sex was after giving birth to our children for the minimum amount of time the doctor recommended and while I was on hospital bed rest. First and for most I never want my husband to feel rejected or unwanted. Even if I’m tired. Being turned down may not be a huge deal to us as women but to a man it can be. It is also not a sure fire way to get a man to do anything except maybe go somewhere else for what they aren’t getting for you. That may seem harsh but don’t you want your husband to meet your emotional needs? Their physical needs are to them what our emotional needs are to us. So why with hold it? I desire to feel wanted and needed by my husband. I know he desires to feel wanted and needed by me. Those desires may be met different ways for each person but most men feel desired when their wives show them they are through physical affection. Just like women are shown they are desired by emotional connection. If we expect our men to strive to give emotional connection to us. Shouldn’t we give them what they desire as well?
5. I DISCUSS ALL DECISIONS WITH MY HUSBAND.
I never make a decision without speaking to my husband about it first. Most decisions affect both of us as well as our children. I would be furious if he made a decision that affected our family without me. So why wouldn’t I give him the same respect? After all he works hard and provides for us. He deserves to be consulted about decisions. I also seek his wisdom and guidance when making decisions. He is a very wise man and he may see something that I don’t see at the time.
6. I NEVER SPEAK BADLY ABOUT MY HUSBAND TO ANYONE.
There is nothing more awkward in my opinion than when someone tells you something negative about their spouse with such ease. Or when I’m scrolling through Facebook and I see something negative written about someone by none other than their spouse. It is better to keep arguments and pet peeves and private things between your spouse and yourself. Because when a family member or friend hears about an argument or something negative about your spouse said by you, chances are they will side with you and feel upset for you. When you and your spouse make up they now know about the argument, negative thing, private thing etc. And their opinion on your spouse may be a bit lower than before. So unless it’s abuse (because if you are experiencing abuse of any kind I urge you to seek help immediately) keep your arguments to yourself and don’t run to tell your parents or best friend about them.
7. I NEVER DEGRADE OR HUMILIATE MY HUSBAND IN PRIVATE OR PUBLIC.
My husband is my best friend. We share our life together. We have children together. I respect him and he respects me. There may be things about me that he isn’t fond of and vice versa. That doesn’t give me permission to degrade or humiliate him in private or in public. If he was to do that to me I would be hurt deeply. Same goes for him. I never talk down to him or make him feel as though what he thinks or how he feels is not relevant or important. I always cringe when I see a post online that is degrading to a person’s significant other. If a person will say some of those things in public or online I can only imagine how they treat their spouse in private.
8. WE DO NOT ARGUE IN FRONT OF OUR KIDS OR ANYONE ELSE.
Arguments stay private. Even if I am fuming mad at my husband I keep it between me and him. If we are at a public place or with friends or family we put our argument on hold. It can be hard. There have been times where we were in an argument and our daughter walks into the room. The last thing I want to do is hit the pause button and act like I’m okay but I have to. It’s for my daughter’s benefit. We don’t argue in front of family or friends either. I can be easy to read so this can be difficult to accomplish when I’m upset. However, in order to keep my family or friends out of mine and my husband’s business and avoid making them feel awkward it is necessary. We keep private things private.
9. WE DON’T KEEP SECRETS FROM ONE ANOTHER.
This one is pretty self explanatory. We may have surprises, for example my husband threw me a surprise party about a month ago. But we never keep secrets from one another. Trust is an important part in safe guarding a marriage. You can’t have trust if you have secrets.
10. WE HAVE FUN TOGETHER.
My husband is the funniest man I know. I laugh at all his cheesy jokes even if I’ve heard them before. He always knows how to brighten my day or make me feel better when it has been a rough day. We make sure to make time for one another and to have fun together. Whether it is watching one of our shows together during the week, going out on a date, or doing something fun with our girls. When we have fun together life is more fun which makes our marriage more fun.
These are important steps I take to safe guard my marriage and keep it strong. What are some things that you do to keep your marriage strong?
Until next time!