Well, hubby and I will be married for nine years this December. I know that eight full years of marriage may not seem like a huge deal to some, but we have learned a whole lot in that time and I think that there is some wisdom to be shared! Without further ado, here are 8 tips from our home to yours:
This may seem like it should be common knowledge, but it took us quite while to be able to fully communicate with one another in a way that we both truly heard and understood. Have you ever had that moment when you said something and your spouse got instantly angry and you’re not sure why? Guess what, your spouse heard one thing while you meant another. Happens all the time! Here’s a tip: learn how your spouse hears things and then speak in that way.
Ask how your spouse’s day was every single day and actually listen. I ask hubby this question every day once he gets home. It lets me know where he is coming from (if he had a bad day and therefore in a bad mood, etc,) and also lets him know that I care enough about him to want to know the details of his life.
Know when to shut up! There are moments when to bring something up and there are moments that are better to wait. For example, don’t bring up something that needs to be done around the house immediately after your spouse gets home. He or she will feel bombarded and get irritated. Know the difference!
2. Build Each Other Up
I know that I don’t feel great after hubby says something that puts me down, even if it is in jest. He feels awful if I do the same. Bottom line here: NEVER put each other down, not alone, not in front other people and definitely not behind your spouses back. Your marriage should be a safe haven, not a war zone. Instead, speak life into your spouse. Tell them how much they mean to you, how much you appreciate them, and stand behind them in their endeavors.
3. Love Language
There are different ways that every person feels love and gives love. There is a great book that talks all about the five different love languages. At the end, there is a quiz that you and your spouse can take to figure out which love languages are yours! You can buy that here: The 5 Love Languages:The Secret to Love that Lasts. Find out your spouses love language and become fluent in it. Trust me, if your spouse’s love tank is full, yours will be too!
Sex is huge in marriage. Sex is wonderful in marriage. Sex is better without pornography, I wrote a bit about that; you can read that here: 3 Ways that Porn Wrecked my Marriage. Always treat one another with respect and love in this area. Enough said.
5. Family Order
I always thought people that believed there was a particular order in which to prioritize your relationships were a little nutty. Low and behold, it is completely true! I cannot tell you how many times I have seen marriages fall apart because one spouse put their children above the other spouse. DON’T DO THAT. Here is the order that works wonders: God first, marriage second and children third. I talked about this in a blog post earlier, you can check it out here: Growth.
Yet another one that seems like common sense, lol! Every single time that hubby and I wait until later to go to sleep , we end up arguing. Sleep is such a detrimental thing in any relationship. I get irritable, emotional and, basically, become she-monster when I don’t get enough sleep. For the love, create a good sleep habit!
7. There is no “I” in MONEY
Finances are one of the biggest causes of arguments in marriages. Look it up. Both people need to be on board with where the money comes from, how the money is spent and how the money is saved. Never hide any financial decision. There is no such thing as ‘his money’ and ‘her money’, just skip that mentality. Marriage means unity in all things including money. If there is one bread winner (like in our marriage) the other person should NEVER feel like the money is not theirs as well. Get on the same page when it comes to finances.
8. Your Spouse should be your Best Friend
Hubby and I are best friends. He is the person that I can talk to about everything and anything and vice versa. We are able to share, laugh, have fun, and just hang out. We both have other friends (which is needed!), but not one compares to our marital best friend relationship and it shouldn’t! Be best friends with your spouse, it’s worth it!
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