Thoughtful Thursday – The Spouse

I had my hair done today by a nice woman who was going through many things in her life.  She was telling me about how she and her husband were in the process of getting divorced.  Her four-year old son was having a difficult time with the many changes and inconsistencies going on in his life.  My heart went out to her.  Not only did she have to deal with all of her own feelings about what was going on, but she also worried a great deal about what her son was going through.

As I sat there, pretending to read a magazine while she worked with another client, I began to think about how much parents’ relationships can affect children.  I’m not writing this post to bash single parents.  Their jobs are more difficult than I could imagine.  Instead, I really wanted to encourage those parents that are lucky enough to still be married to keep going!

Marriage can be difficult!  It is something that really needs to be worked on daily.  Spouses that have good relationships really can instill a sense of stability in their children.  I encourage you, no matter where your relationship is at right now, to work at it!

This is a topic that I went over in my small group at my church in the past year.  We discussed that the marriage relationship should take priority over the relationship between parent and child.

No one is perfect, and unfortunately, I think many of us yearn for perfect partners.  I know I have.  Realistically, I feel blessed to have a partner that is willing to work to improve himself and our relationship.  I’ve also found that focusing more on improving myself than on what my spouse needs to improve upon really makes  our relationship better.

In no way am I a relationship expert, but I’ve read a few books, gone through a few groups, and will be celebrating our ten-year anniversary this summer.  Each year I find myself more appreciative of the man my husband is and I’ve enjoyed growing together with him over the years.  There is not doubt that having children was challenging for our marriage.  We certainly had to establish more ground rules for certain situations just to get us through some days.  We choose to honor our vows in those bad times, but we have seen the rewards that work on our marriage can have.  We hope to give our children a sense of security through our marriage.  We also strive to be good examples of spouses to them, so that when they are looking for mates, they choose the right kind of person that can respect and love them.  Finally, we work on our marriage so that one day when our children have moved on, we still know each other and are excited to move on to the next stage in our lives.

So I thought maybe some quick tips on how to keep your marriage strong would be nice.  I have a few, but I’d love to hear yours!!!

– Pray together.  Keep a prayer journal if you can.  You’ll have a chance to connect and talk about what’s going on in your lives and minds, and to stay connected in your goals.  You also have the chance to connect together with the maker of the universe, which is pretty awesome.  The couple that prays together, stays together!

– Learn what your love languages are

– Kiss each other like you mean it

– Be intentional about weekly time together (sorry, had to throw and intentional in there)

What are your tips?

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3 responses to “Thoughtful Thursday – The Spouse

  1. I don’t have any tips that come close to yours. We’re hitting 3 years this summer. But my advice to newlyweds would be to really REALLY get to know the person you are marrying its a lifelong commitment. There’s a reason the vows state a positive and a negative together, because there will be both and you have to find ways to hold together instead of fall apart. Silly analogy, its that favorite old t-shirt you can’t bare to throw out and you wear all the time. It’s faded, worn out, and the washer is killing it. It might even have holes in it, but if you take the time to patch it, and restitch the holes, it’ll last you another couple of years. Every time we as spouses take the time to make an effort to keep the marriage going, it improves and the bond is strengthened.

    And Kevin and I watch Fireproof anytime we’ve had a big fight and made up just as a reminder, that times get tough, but you never leave your partner especially in a fire. 🙂

  2. Hey Jess,

    Funny, I was just thinking about this recently myself. Our spousal relationship definitely took a backseat immediately following the birth of our darling boy, but slowly we began to refocus on it. A few things we’ve never stopped doing that I think have really helped:

    1) Whenever one of us leaves the house for just about any length of time, we kiss each other (and our son) goodbye.

    2) Whenever we return from somewhere (even a 10 minute trip), we kiss each other hello.

    3) At night before going to bed, we kiss each other good night and say “I love you”.

    4) Whenever we talk on the phone, before hanging up we say “I love you”. Sometimes I hear people talk on the phone and when they hang up I get a little urge to say to them: “You forgot to say I Love You”.

    We do all of these things no matter how angry, annoyed or upset we may be with each other. I find that it forces us to stay connected. When you’re angry, giving someone a kiss and saying “I love you” helps that anger to dissipate a lot quicker.

    I also find that the longer you go without doing these things the easier it becomes to simply stop doing them. When one of you finally reaches to kiss the other after a long absence it almost feels strange, uncomfortable, or awkward. This has happened to me in previous relationships…..try not to let it reach that point.

    Appreciate each other because when you leave the house you never know if that might be the last time you see one another. Don’t you at least want to know that you had a chance to kiss each other and say I Love You one last time?

    We will celebrate our 12 year anniversary in August. The last 3 years have been harder than the first 9 combined, but we are committed to keep working at it.

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