Hmm, did I get your brain thinking on that title. What practical marriage advice for today? Do I need practical marriage advice for today? Haha Take a listen to the episode all about marriage. Yeah, I said it. We’re going there.
Alright, I want to preface this by saying my marriage is built on a solid foundation with mutual trust and sometimes mutual understanding. Although there are still times I wonder what in the world was he thinking. Like the time he put a pan used for pancake batter in the dishwasher without trying to rinse it out first. Ugh or how he manages to take his pants off with his underwear and socks still in them. He’s a freaking miracle I know. Lol now all these instances sound like marriage isn’t that great but I’m here to tell you that after almost 6 years of marriage, 13 years of being together total, one child, a house, three dogs, and a little farm it is okay that I have a little issue with his idiosyncrasies.
But, what I really want to talk about is this, practical marriage advice for today. Marriage is hard. And, I mean really hard. At first you get engaged and the wedding planning is such fun. Then the wedding day comes, and it is literally over in the blink of an eye. Everyone thinks that they will remember every detail and emotion from that day, but the truth is you don’t. Thank goodness for wedding photos!
After the wedding is the honeymoon and the beginning of the honeymoon phase. This is a wonderful, blissful time and your bond will never be as strong as it is in this moment. Everything is coming up daisies and you scoff at anyone who tries to tell you any different. This is also the phase where he stills remembers to put the lid down and you try to look fresh in the morning. You cook meals together, share in the cleaning and chores, and want to spend every SINGLE second with each other.
Then, comes the next phase. This is where you have been married for a while, about 3 years give or take. I wouldn’t call it a plateau it’s just that life gets super busy. Maybe in this phase you both decide it is time to have children. You might have one or two or more…your life starts looking a little like less time for the two of you and more like chasing around your little ones.
Now for a dose of good ole fashion honesty. There are rough patches at every stage, but they are each a little different. The first phase you weather storms separately. The second stage there are very little storms, but if there are you choose to weather them together or at least try to weather them together. The last stage, you have this stuff down to a science. You know that you are better, stronger, and tougher together. Like two T-rexes you work together to attack your prey (the problem) because you know there is little to noj chance of your prey getting the better of the two of you. Plus, at this stage you have more knowledge and can pull in help from various sources to help you overcome your problem if you need a little help tackling that bad boy. This isn’t anything new just some practical marriage advice for today.
As you might have noticed a trend but if you haven’t let me point it out to you. Marriage is successful when you have two people who love and care about each other. You know that. However, did you know that your marriage is successful when other people (like friends, coworkers, family members) build up and respect your marriage as well??? It’s true in order to have a successful marriage it requires two distinct pieces. First and foremost, you both must put in an equal amount of work into the relationship. It can’t be all on one person. In fact that is when the trouble sets in. When one person in the relationship does everything or feels like they do everything it can put a big strain on the relationship. The second part is having a community that rallies behind your relationship. Now I don’t want to say that relationships can’t work if they are surrounded by negative Nancy’s but it will take a lot more work for those to be successful. Not everyone will be supportive of your relationship. Especially when it comes to friends, they may be jealous which leads them to portray negative emotions towards you and your significant other. If you let that get to you, it will ultimately play a role in the dynamic of your relationship. Not every relationship will be perfect and you don’t need to ask for approval, however it will be an easier transition into the marriage if everyone gets along or at least pretends to.
Along with that let’s dive into talking about the changes that will happen once marriage is introduced. After you settle in to your new normal, there were be some changes. There are the obvious ones, like your last name changing potentially, moving into a new home, working together on household chores, and multiple methods of agreement. You might notice little things about your significant other that annoys you. Trust me it happens to everyone, hence the clothes situation I talked about earlier. In the beginning stages of our marriage, I used to get irritated and would voice my complaints to my husband. Which would then lead to a bigger argument with no one getting anywhere and us having to apologizing to each other before bedtime. I have since started a new process of helping to shape my husband into a civilized man lol. I will tell you something, that asking instead of nagging leads to more positive results. Imagine that. Lol. It also works in his favor as well. The less nagging he does and the more asking instead, helps to combat my negative feelings and lets me become aware of what I am doing and how to fix it.
But at some point in our relationship, we both felt that something needed to change in order to keep our relationship growing into the next level. Now one of my friends from work told me about this fantastic book called the Love Dare. I definitely recommend it for anyone who is getting married or is married for any amount of time. It is a book that walks you through all the areas needed in order to have a successful marriage. But, it first starts out with you and your partner taking a quiz on you in your marriage. I mean who doesn’t love a good quiz. I have to say I was disappointed in my score and Jeremiah got a much higher than me. In all honesty though, looking back I shouldn’t have been surprised. Jeremiah is definitely more of a lover than a fighter at least when it comes to our relationship. He is also my cheerleader, always letting me go after my goals while putting his aside. Now the book directs you to read a chapter a day and complete a daily challenge. I have to say that reading a chapter every morning with Jeremiah was something I looked forward too. We have since finished the book and still use the strategies when we need them. If you would like your own copy of the book the link with be in the show notes. Trust me you won’t regret it.
But for now I want to leave you with some action steps that you can use today. First is to be patient. No one is perfect and that should come as no surprise. We don’t have control over other people, but what we do have control over is how patient we are with them. So, when my husband leaves his clothes on the floor, instead of saying something about it, I should take a deep breath, count to 10, and realize that it really isn’t a big issue. By saying nothing negative, you are opening up the door for more conversation between you and your partner.
Next, is to be kind. This goes without saying but I think it is important to mention. Plan a simple act of kindness to show your significant other. It doesn’t have to cost anything or take real elaborate planning. Just something simple like a text or phone call to let your partner know that you are thinking of them and appreciate them being a part of your life.
Another actionable step would be to curb your jealousy. It is easy to get tied up in your partners successes and aspirations that you start to feel like they are forgetting about yours. A marriage is a partnership and everyone in the relationship should feel valued. When one person starts to become jealous of the other that my friend is a recipe for disaster. Instead of becoming jealous, make sure to keep an open line of communication because then they will know exactly where you stand and how you feel. Your partner is also your biggest cheerleader and can help you reach your goals too.
In closing, I want to end this episode with talking about the most important aspect of marriage which is communication. Constant and deliberate communication with your significant other lets both parties feel heard and valued. If one of you is better at communication than the other, this may be a major pain point of your marriage. I love talking about goals, dreams, aspirations, and the past with my husband during dinner time. Now, of course the dynamic has changed since we had our daughter and most of our time is spent on her. However, you still need to keep the communication line open and facilitate when you can. Maybe that means getting up at the same time to share a cup of coffee together before you both rush out the door. Maybe it means making time to call them during your lunch break just to check in and to see if they need anything. One thing is for certain, if you have good communication with your partner, everything will run smoother and you won’t have as many conflicts. Notice I didn’t say any, because as much as I like to believe, at the end of the day you are both two individuals who came together as one family but still have your own thoughts, desires, and goals. They may be way different from the single you, but you still need to feel validate by reaching those goals. Now, you just get to reach them together. Which is awesome because you will always have someone to celebrate with.
I hope you enjoyed this episode all about practical marriage advice for today, as it is a little different than my normal topics, but I figured that it was important to cover the before children aspect of life too. I am a strong believer in a marriage is successful if both parties work together to form a healthy and strong bond. Adding children to a marriage provides a stronger glue to hold everything together, but at times it can add it own stress to the situation. We will dive into that topic more at a later date. But for now, I ask that as you go through the rest of your week to be patient, kind, not jealous, and communicate with your partner.
Did you know I love reading your reviews of my podcast? Be sure to leave a review and I’ll read some of them on my next episode. Until then, go love your partner and I’ll see you back here real