If you haven’t seen the movie Fireproof I totally recommend it. A lot of people think Kirk Cameron is a Bible-pushing fanatic, and to be honest I may have actually believed that until I saw this movie for the first time. There are a lot of lessons that can actually be learned in general, with regards to marriage, and a lot of lessons that you can learn especially if your marriage is on the rocks.
So, with that said – I decided to go ahead and compile a little list of the lessons I’ve learned through my experiences being married to The Mister.
1. Pick and choose your battles wisely.
Being married can often seem as though one is inside a battlefield and there are bombs going off all the time. Yep, as we all know, arguments can and will happen. The one thing I’ve learned super fast is that as a spouse one needs to pick and choose their battles wisely, because at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter that those washcloths are curled up in the side of the bathtub (for example) but it does matter that The Mister is still coming home to me each and every night to be by my side. Let go of the unimportant pet peeves.
2. Always start and end the day with a kiss, a hug, and a quick “I love you”. I think that this is a forgotten tradition in the American family. So many are drifting apart or packing their schedules too full, that they forget what it’s like to just take the time to kiss and hug your loved one and tell them how much you really care about them. Take the opportunity to do this, because we never know how soon that person could be taken from our lives. Life is way too short.
3. Communication is key. Without consistent communication within the marriage, there will be consistent problems. I probably should have moved this point to #1, as this is pretty much the number one reason, I think, that marriages fail. If two people are not willing to communicate their feelings to one another, then there is not going to be any plan of action set into place that allows for healing. And having good communication doesn’t have to stop with just the marriage as it is a necessity in pretty much every other relationship you will have.
4. Date nights are a must. You may not always have the money to go out and have the traditional date, but you can always improvise. A picnic, a meal cooked together, or a simple backrub while you watch a movie from Netflix. It all works! Taking the time out to really appreciate one another and the amount of effort that each spouse puts into the marriage is a wonderful way to not only grow closer, but build a stronger foundation for the future.
5. It’s never to late to start dreaming. One of the many things I love about my husband, is the fact that he is a dreamer. He dreams out loud and loves getting me involved on his thoughts, and this soon leads to both of us dreaming about our home, our pets, our children, our future, and everything else on our minds. It’s a wonderful thing to dream with your spouse. This helps you to become closer with one another while sharing similar hopes and aspirations, and possibly even set a game plan for the future.
6. It never hurts to be two completely different and individual people, as long as you can come together and compliment one another as a whole. One thing a lot of people don’t realize, is that a person doesn’t love you any less if you are sitting in the same room with them with no words spoken, and those same people are doing two completely different things. While the husband and I communicate on pretty much every subject out there, we do have evenings where he will get on the XBOX and play with this friend, and I will sit on the couch next to him while I blog, etc. It doesn’t mean that we are at odds with one another, it doesn’t mean that we don’t value each others’ company. It just means that we are taking break from routine, and doing something different for a change.
The same goes with some of our likes and dislikes – just because we are married and we consider each other best friends, doesn’t mean we have to like every one of the same things. The Mister is into cars, guitars and computers. I am into blogging, DIY, and movies. I don’t particularly care for the stuff he’s into, and he certainly doesn’t care about the stuff I’m into. And that’s okay because you can have different hobbies and have a successful marriage.
All that matters at the end of the day, is that you can compliment the individuality and help make your spouse a better person through the life that you live with them.
7. Even if the other person knows you are supportive, appreciative and you love them, never hesitate to show or say this on a frequent basis. One person told me, when they were having difficulties in their relationship, “I shouldn’t have to tell them I love them, they should already know.” My response to that statement went soemthing like this: If I never tell you that I like the clothes that you wear, do you know that I like the way you dress? Their answer, of course, was no. So why would that not work the same way with a relationship? If one never tells the people dearest to them that they are loved, there will always be some sort of question in their minds as to whether or not they really are loved. Think of it this way as well – if the person you hold dear to your heart was to die tomorrow, would you know with undenying certainty that they knew you loved them?
Always tell the people that you hold dear to your heart, that you love them.
8. Let your vows mean something. Don’t let them be mere words.
For better and for worse, through sickness and in health, through richer and poorer, you took those vows when you were married. Don’t let them be mere words. Don’t bog your spouse down with negative feelings, rather be their biggest fan and support them in all that they do. You desired to spend a lifetime with them because you loved all the admirable qualities that make up who they are, don’t let pet peeves, hard times, bad health or a financial struggle make you change your mind. Together you can stand and be strong.
So now that I’ve given you the lessons I’ve learned from married – what are some lessons you have learned?