A few months back I needed time to work on my marriage, it wasn't that we had BIG issues but the daily little things where really getting to us, we where arguing a lot, you know the drill. There is a few things we learned in the process and I think it would be good to share, not only for you guys but as a reminder to myself that we constantly have to work on these things.
I am going to give some pointers, even for those who are dating because not only am I the sibling of 4 girls, but have seen the same mistakes made over and over again.
#1 The Wedding is just ONE day. Make sure you work on the marriage/relationship first. I'm not saying you can't have a beautiful big weeding, is just I have many friends and family that sadly, have work on getting this huge party, spent thousands of dollars and get divorce on the first year. A big party does not guarantee a good marriage. Make sure you get that.
#2 get to know that person, ask the important things. I'm not talking about favorite colors or Zodiac sign but the REAL deep things. Even though I feel so sorry for Kim K. I could not believe they have got married and not discussed where they wanted to live. I have many girls around me that get divorced so easily and then come back with "oh, I like to go out and he is a homebody" or "we have different views about our relationship", or "he wanted me to stay home and I wanted to work". this after dating for 5-7 years. I don't get it.
#2A- do not approach this topic on your first date, but once you know you are serious ask the questions: do you want to live in the city, the suburbs, do you want kids, how many, how do you feel about religion, drinking, smoking, parenting styles. By the time the Hubs and I move in together we both had a clear picture of what we both wanted.
#3 PEOPLE DON'T CHANGE. Do not get in to a marriage thinking you are going to change the other person. That he or she is going to settle down. People can modify their personality and traits but they usually do not change. As stated above, if you know he does not like clubbing, or camping, or like animals, or kids, do not go in thinking "Oh, he will change for me. He just need more time to get in to it". Same for you, if you are , lets say a city gal, do not think "Oh for him I'll move to the country and raise chickens" you will be unhappy and resentful of whatever you had to give up.
P.S: there are exceptions, but rare ones. Again those are the exceptions NOT THE RULE.
#4 “When it comes to men who are romantically interested in you, it’s really simple. Just ignore everything they say and only pay attention to what they do.” ― Randy Pausch
This is so true, no matter what they say, is what they do. I know that my Hubs loves me, not just because he tells me but because EVERYTHING he does reflects that. I'm first in his book, even when it comes to simple things like food shopping, he takes in to consideration the things I like, the things I need. Show each other how much you care.
#5 The Only person you can change and control is you. You cannot made people do what they don't want to. One of the big eye openings on this married life was to say to myself: "What can I do to make things better?". On one of our big arguments I told him just that and just the fact that he saw I was willing to do this automatically brought things to perspective for him to. Ask your self what can you do to make the relationship better.
I'm a type A personality, I also very organized and clean. The Hubs does not care about those things, so I have to learn what things I can let go of. i.e. when he cleans the kitchen and forgets to clean the stove instead of being irate because he didn't do it, I say to myself: " Yay, he clean all of it and now all I have to do is clean the stove". It's all about perspective.
#6 Care for each other interest. The Hubs is a big sports guy: he watches it on tv, listen on the radio, he looks on the net, he has the magazines. He loves anything from Baseball, basketball, soccer, football, wrestling and boxing. Me? I cannot care less. But I know who his favorite teams are, favorite players, etc. He tries to make more interesting for me by telling me the stories about the new kid who is a prodigy, how he got into the NBA, etc, he knows telling me his point average would not caught my attention.
He, in return, knows what brand of boots I want, knows how excited I get about nail polish, tells me if there is a new Episode of Poirot. He gets what is important to me and shows interest in learning about it, even if is nail polish.
#7 Take care of each other. Besides the obvious things... being there when you are sick, listening to each other when there is something stressing you out, doing the little things that would bring a smile to that person. It's always nice to see the Hubs saying: "let me stop here to get Ice tea" -he is the only one @ home who drinks this- and I tell him I already got it for you. He knows I am always looking out for him and he for me.
I'm not the lovey dove type but he is. It drives me nuts that he wants to hug/kiss me while I'm cleaning, cooking, etc. but I know this is how he is. I make a conscious effort to say "I'm lucky he loves me this much". I do things that I know will make him happy. If kissing him back is going to make him happy, then heck why not?
#8 Support each other.
There is not one thing I can tell the Hubs that I want to do that he doesn't support. Paint the house? sure, try a new dish/restaurant? Fine with him. He wants to find another job? OK.
Yes, we do discuss the bigger things and make sure it works for all of us, but we always listen to the why and we support what each other wants to do.
#9 Do not discuss your problems with either family. Now I know this is different for everyone but in my opinion, telling lets say a Sister about your problems whit your Hubs is not going to leave a good impression and she may look at him different. Last year I made the error of talking about our issues with my SIL and I regret it. I know not everyone is the same but even I have a different view of my Sister's Hubs after she told me certain things and their arguments. I suggest an honest friend for these kinds of conversations.
#10 Marriage and relationships are hard. So is anything worth working for.
My Friend Jeanette has been married for 20 yrs, together for 25. They met when she was 15. I always admired her and one day commented how happy they always seem and how it must be easy for them. She say to me that yes, they where close, they love each other and mostly got a long great but that in true all marriages need work, some more than others. They are always working together on their marriage, and even though is easier now they don't just sit there and assume the other one is happy.
After last year I learned to not take things for granted to work on things, to talk to each other, take time for each other. I know this is the person that I want to spent my life with, and I want to make sure it is the best life we both could have.
Hope this has help you a bit, and if you want to suggest anything else that works for sure, please share!
Over & out