Early mornings and late nights, can lead to a lot of stress in marriages. I recently talked about how the long stressful days caused a division in my marriage and how we decided that we were moving forward. In marriage, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of putting everything before one another/forgetting why you married one another in the first place. However, it’s important to address these things head on if you can. It’s not always possible or even comfortable, once your marriage is on the rocks to try and salvage it. But if it’s something that you want to do, there are ways you can (if it’s something you BOTH want).
Even if your marriage is floating along happily, these are important tools that I have found to be useful. It’s worth at least taking a glance at, right?
We don’t neglect the other person’s love language.
If you have ever read about the “5 Love Languages”, then you know that everyone has a primary and secondary love language. For my husband, his primary is “Words of Affirmation”, while his secondary is “Physical Touch”. In order for me to ensure that I am being what I need to be to him, I must first make sure that I am meeting those needs. Whether it’s me telling him how grateful I am for everything he does for us, or simply giving him a hug when he walks in the door; my putting my energy into meeting those needs is more important to him, than me having dinner on the table when he walks in the door at night.
Complaining about one another to other people.
People don’t seem to understand how big this one is. And if I can be transparent, I struggled with this for quite some time. We may think that it’s okay to vent to a friend or family member about your spouse or significant other, but honestly, it is the WORST thing you could possibly do. I only learned about how bad this was at a community group (bible study) meeting through my church. It’s been nearly 5 years, and while I am still working on it, I have gotten better. My husband doesn’t do it at all, which I admire him for. So my ensuring that I don’t is important to me, as it is me making sure that I give him the same respect that he gives me.
We realize just how valuable each of us is to the other.
Society already undervalues the worth and work of stay at home moms, the last thing I would want is for my husband to do the same. Luckily for me, I am extremely blessed that he recognizes just how important my role at home is. He knows that he couldn’t handle being at home with two young children while still managing to keep up with everything that needs to be done (cooking, cleaning, homework etc). So he ensures that he reminds me daily of how glad he is to have me here to do it. On the flip side, I am appreciative of how hard he works to make sure that we are taken care of. Even if it means a lot of time away from us. The nights that he comes in dog tired, I try not to make it a pissing match of who has had it harder that day. We both understand that we BOTH are exhausted and had a rough day.
We remember that just as much as we need one another, we need other things and people as well.
Just because marriage is forever, that doesn’t mean the two of you have to be up in each other’s faces forever. My husband has his hobby’s and I have to keep in mind that he deserves time away from the family, just as much as I do. Now granted, I never really go anywhere or do anything. But if someone wants to meet at Starbucks or have lunch somewhere, he always makes sure that I don’t make any excuses and I go. We love one another dearly, but the last thing either of us wants is to push everyone away that was there before marriage.
We learn to let sh*t go.
There are things that he does that will just irritate my soul to its core, and I do the same to him. There are days where we will hardcore argue about it, but once the argument is done, we move on. We try not to go to bed mad at one another, and while it’s not always possible, we definitely don’t let the other leave the house without at least saying “I love you” or acknowledging their existence, even if we are still a tad bit upset. Life is too short, and not to be all morbid, but the last memory either of us wants is to know we were mad at our spouse, or that they were mad at us.
My husband and I have had our share of ups and downs over the last eight years, but one thing that is for certain, we will always work through whatever problems arise. We aren’t perfect, and we don’t try to be. We also don’t try and change the other. We understand each other and for us, the biggest thing is to just remember to show grace daily.
Love of impromptu dance parties, 80’s cartoons, and horizontal life pauses (aka naps); Natasha Brown is a stay at home mom of 4 kids, and wife to one lucky guy! In her spare time, she is co-editor of Grits & Grace, as well as editor for The Mother Hustler Blog and Creative Director for the Mother Hustler podcast.