In no way do I claim to be a relationship expert, therapist, or have all the answers, because I don’t. But what I do have is simple advice stemming from years of listening to tales of “girl loves the boy, boy does wrong by the girl”. I’ve been on the wronged end before, but thankfully not for long, because I wised up ages ago, and am happily married for 9 years.
Let's get to the meat! This simple advice can be compared to a day of shopping. If you’re out looking for an outfit and trying on clothes; if you put something on and it doesn’t fit or you don’t like it, do you buy it anyway? No! You wouldn’t waste your money on buying clothes that are unflattering, not the right fit, or you don’t like. So why waste your time, and your valuable self on relationships that are not the right fit. That is the best analogy that I can think of to allow you to understand the choice you have with waiting for the right relationship, much like you would with not selecting a bad wardrobe.
Now, let's break it down a little. For those of you that think it's preposterous to compare dating with shopping, its actually quite similar. If you try something on and don’t like it, you don’t buy it, you keep looking. You wouldn’t dare waste your hard earned money on something you would never wear right? Same approach you should take with dating. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “I knew he was …..Insert one hundred bad adjectives. But, I thought he would change”. Newsflash, people don’t just miraculously change! What you see is what you get, take it for face value.
If you are married in a Christian ceremony or of the faith, one scripture you might hear is Ephesians 5:31. It reads “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” This means that you and your spouse are a united front and operate on the same accord.
A huge challenge some married couples face is being married but living as single individuals. Your spouse is not your roommate! You could be setting your marriage up for failure if you have a roommate mentality towards your spouse. Examples of this include maintaining separate finances, poor communication, and different lifestyles. As a roommate, you don't discuss personal finances, and when the bills are due you are in agreement of who pays what. As a roommate, you are not obligated to communicate with your housemate about your comings or goings. Instead, the priority is being able to share hostile free living quarters. As a roommate, your agenda does not have to consistently or ever align with that of your housemate.
When I hear people say “Marriage is 50/50; I do this and my mate does that. I keep this and my spouse keeps that,” I cringe! Why would you commit your life to your mate but only give 50% or withhold anything, including finances? 50/50 shouldn’t be a part of a healthy, trusting marriage. The union of marriage shouldn’t be two people putting in half of anything, including finances or effort, and hoping for the best. Marriage should be two people coming together with all they have to offer for the best outcome.
Here are three things that have helped my husband and I avoid the roommate mentality:
Why is it that as soon as you get married people immediately start to ask, “So when are you having kids!?” I mean honestly, the ink on the marriage licenses hasn’t dried, your honeymoon isn’t over yet, and you haven’t even opened your wedding gifts! It’s as if it’s some unwritten rule of expectancy that as soon as you say I do, a junior should make its arrival in the world nine months later.
I can speak about this from personal experience. My husband and I were bombarded with questions about starting a family for two years after we were married. We started a family when the time was right for us, not based on other’s expectations. The “right time” can be different for different people and for different reasons. Until then, it doesn’t necessarily mean the family is incomplete without children.
Should etiquette be considered when you’re speaking with a married couple without children? For example, is it polite to ask why or when children will be considered?
Are you concerned that the romance has been fizzling away in your relationship and you’ve been thinking of ways to reignite the flame? Life happens! The stresses of being a working professional, raising children, and household duties are a few reasons to leave you feeling burnt out, and in turn not much energy left at the end of the day or week towards being engaging towards your spouse.
Murphy's law tends to strike; thankfully not often,but when it does: I’ve had a busy work schedule, two toddlers in full tantrum mode, and chores that overflowed all in the same week. Weeks as such, after mommy duties, I just want to retreat to my tempurpedic mattress and drift off into sleep land.
It is a natural human reaction once you feel overwhelmed to be less than enthused towards anyone and anything else. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, you make time for what you want to make time for … and who you want. Oh my, how true that is, and making your mate feel valued and loved should be at the top of the list of what you want to make time for.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a solid emotional connection with your mate. In most cases, especially for women, our emotions influence our mood. Establishing a strong emotional connection allows room for romance and intimacy, which are all-important elements to strengthen your marriage. So if time or complacency is a factor, you’re in luck, all that is needed is effort, and what’s a little effort for the person that means the most to you. Below are a few ways to rekindle your emotional connection with your spouse without breaking the bank in the process.
Relationships are so important and help build the essence of who we are. When you build and mend relationships, you are building your character as well. Colossians 3:23 "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men."