Wednesday, April 3, 2013

6 Things To Help Your Marriage

Now I'm no professional marriage counselor, nor am I the perfect wife, but I do know one thing, I take my marriage very seriously. All the marriage equality news makes me consider myself very lucky, that I had the freedom to marry the person I wanted to. It's so sad that in a country as "free" as ours, our privileges are being withheld...

ANYWHO, the point of this post is not about that, it is about fixing what is already there. If you are not having problems, maybe these could just help the two of you grow closer.

If you are very close to me, you know there have been times within the last two years, that I have had my doubts. I married young, purely by choice.  I was not pregnant, no one was going into the military, etc. I felt no rush or "need" to marry, other than I found my prince charming, and was ready to settle down. It is tough though for several reasons. One, I was still in college. I planned on graduating and getting a job, so our wedding fell in perfect with that plan. However; I decided to go back to school to pursue a different degree. This brought on problem number two; money.  I am frugal by nature and Kyle and I had our finances figured out, but with moving out, I worried I would not be able to afford a home, working, and going to school, so that added extra stress. Three, we got pregnant exactly one month after we got married. Figure that one out. After Liam was born, things calmed down, and we were content.  Then, things in our town started getting scary.  Six murders in five months, gang activity, robberies, etc. As a new mom, I took a stand. We moved an hour and a half away from everyone and everything we've ever known to a play where we knew no one and had only visited a couple of times. As you can imagine, this added a slue of problems.

After about 18 months into our marriage, I strongly considered divorce. I knew I loved my husband, but 9/10 times, I could not stand him. Some days, we said no more than two words to each other. There was no romance, intimacy, or even love it felt like.

I thought back to June 10, 2011. The day I became his wife. The day I had waited for my whole life. The day I vowed to him, our friends and family, and God that I would stick with him through good or bad. This was that bad time people talk about. Instead of throwing in the towel, I decided to face my problems head on. Here is what I did.

1. Take Some of the Blame-
It is so easy to say, "It's You". I constantly thought to myself, "if he didn't act like this, I wouldn't be mad all the time."  I had to stop blaming him. It was not all his fault. It was OUR marriage. It was partly my fault. If I didn't get mad over every little thing, maybe he'd try harder. If no matter how hard he tries, I get mad, he will soon give up trying because I can not be impressed. By taking some of the blame, you admit that you were a part in some wrongful doing, but you are willing to work on it, for your marriage.

2. Address the Problem-
Guys can be so modest sometimes. I would constantly say things about stress and how we weren't getting along and he would say, "No, we're fine." Believe it or not ladies, some guys don't see it! They may not know they are bugging the ever living crap out of you, even though it is so obvious to everyone else. Have a real conversation. Let him know what you are thinking and feeling, and ask how that makes him feel. He may feel open enough to address some things that have been bothering him also.

3. Reconnect-
My favorite part, probably the most fun step, was reconnecting. Hubs and I usually get a date night once every other month, if we're lucky. I mean a real date night! If you're on a budget, check out my post on our at home date night. No matter where you are, or what you're doing, be sure it's just you and him. Keep your phones off, make sure it's a convenient time/day (like not during March Madness or the Superbowl), and let yourself loose. Have a couple drinks, just be you two. Pretend like it's one of your first dates again. Either way, just make sure it is you & Hubs time! Try to do these at least once a month. Set up the same day every month if you have to. Either way, you have to make time for it, it is very important.

4. Time For Yourself-
This is also very important. Having some girl time is crucial to your marriage. The same goes for him. Luckily, we live with our besties, so when I need some time away, Jess is there, and vice versa. Whether it be going to lunch with a friend, seeing a movie solo, or even hitting the town for a night, you need some personal time, and some kid free time too. Not saying you of your spouse should go clubbing every weekend, but Jess & I go out downtown about every 6 months, and hit the mall or lunch at least once a week. It is important!

5. Be Spontaneous-
I probably have the least romantic husband, ever. I have accepted this fact. In fact, I accepted it the day I said "Yes" to his not so romantic proposal. Not that is wasn't nice, just not ideal. Either way, he does do things that make me go, "aw". We, as women, are taught from a very young age, to expect romance. Romantic comedies, fairy tales, my own parents, etc. We also need to realize, that guys like surprises and spontaneity just as much as we do! Like my "Dude's Date Night".  Not only was it a surprise, but he got to pick the movie. Something I don't usually do. I hate action movies, but at the beginning of our relationship, I would watch them, and usually like them, so that I could make him happy. Once you've been married awhile, it feels like you forget that your spouses happiness is important. He was so excited! And we got to cuddle through the whole movie, an added bonus for me! Romance is different to guys than girls. Guess what? Once I expressed that not only do I love romance and surprises, but that it also brightens my day, I received a nice scavenger hunt after a bad day at work. Totally turned my day around! Communication is key. Which takes us to our next point.

6. Be Human-
Accept the fact that your husband is human. Hubs said this one day during an argument, and it really stuck with me. When I make a mistake, he forgives me and doesn't make me feel bad for it. This is something I desperately needed to work on. I needed to realize, he will make mistakes, and I need to accept them and even love him for them.

Some other things that helped me were seeking God. We started going to church again, praying, and even praying as a couple. In our case, it has made a huge impact on our marriage.

A resource that also helped was buying the book, "The Love Dare".  It is from the movie Fireproof. A movie I would recommend to any married or soon to be married couple, religious or not.

Marriage is a job. You must work at it. If it is neglected, it will not be in the best shape.

I promise, trying these tips will help your marriage. He and I are both 10x's happier with each other, and in general!  We used to fight almost everyday, and now we have little arguments here and there, but nothing like they used to be. If you or your partner is not willing to work at it, I would strongly consider counseling.

I wish you all peace, love, and a happy marriage! =)

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  1. Wonderful post Kelsey! I blog over at red cottage chronicles, and found you through The Inspiration Exzchange! After 27 years of marriage I couldn't agree more with so many of your points. Marriage is work, sometimes the hardest work you will ever do and sometimes the easiest......I am so glad that you have figured out so early in your marriage and rather than run from hard work you embraced it! Looking forward to spending some time exploring your blog and soaking up all your frugal ideas and advice!

    1. Thank you for stopping by and thanks for the comment! I am definitely one of those people who don't like feeling the same way day after day, and would rather fix it than run away from it! Thank you for the kind words and glad you enjoyed the post!

  2. Love this post!! I would also like to add :: Give your man his own room. Jordan and I almost divorced in the first year of our marriage. Almost all of the stress came from the fact that his "man" stuff was everywhere! He needed a place to call his own. Somewhere he could escape. And I needed it to be somewhere where he could close the door and I wouldn't have to deal with it (or worry about cleaning it up) It is so worth it to me, to even pay extra in our rent, for him to have his space. It literally saved us.