Appreciation and Respect
For as long as my husband and I have been together, I have learned to accept him as he is and some of his quirkiness. He has done the same of me. There is so much we love about each other that it outweighs the little stuff. If something is a big deal, we TALK about it. My husband is great at always telling me how much he appreciates me and what I do for him and our family. In turn, it reminds me [the more stubborn one] to show him my appreciation. He is great with words, and I am great with actions. Sometimes we have to reverse those roles, because we both deserve that from each other. Mutual appreciation and respect for one another is key. If you start losing that in your marriage, it may be hard to get back!
Do Not Talk About Each Other But TO Each Other
Everyone needs a venting outlet, and most people talk to their family or friends. When my husband and I have issues, we talk to each other. If it is really big issues, we email each other exactly how we feel and then discuss in person later. Sounds crazy and maybe robotic, but this is what works for us. It helps both of us avoid confrontation, and we get it out of our system without having to argue in person or in front of the kids. However, sometimes people need to talk to a third party, such as a friend. But if you don’t want your significant other to talk bad about you with his/her friends, then don’t do that to them either. It’s one thing to share a frustration here and there, but it’s completely wrong if you are putting them down in the presence of others.
I’m at home and around my family all of the time, but I’m not actually HERE all of the time! What I mean is that physically I am, but mentally I’m planning a birthday party, jotting down a grocery list, thinking about what we need to do for the house or family, on social media and so forth. Being present is different than simply being there. Sometimes we need to disengage from the world and focus on what’s important and right in front of us. We try to have a meaningful conversation over a cup of coffee and nothing but the two of us! More of us without distractions. While this is super hard with kids and obligations and all you want to do is curl up in bed after a long day, it is worth it. When the kids are all grown up and daily obligations are few and far between, you want to be able to truly enjoy each other. Have true pleasure in your time together and not be so used to being distracted that you won’t even know what a conversation over a cup of coffee feels like anymore.
There is nothing more demeaning than a spouse who talks down to their partner. I know personalities are different and everyone handles frustrations differently, but there should absolutely be no reason for name calling or down grading each other. What kind of example are you setting for your kids? Is this what you want them to see as “normal”? Not in our house. We get frustrated, we get upset, but we walk away if it cannot be resolved in a civil manner. As that old saying goes, if you cannot say it nicely, don’t say it at all. I never want my husband to feel like I’m making fun of him or putting him down.
Most importantly, love each other like when you first met! Remind each other why you are together. Simple gestures such as bringing flowers on a regular day, not just a holiday. Making a favorite meal and surprising them with a date night in. Jot down all of the things that they do that makes you happy and share it with them. Send them a quick text to say you are thinking of them. But whatever you do, don’t let frustrations of everyday life ruin your marriage. Talk and make time for each other. Be there for one another. LOVE each other!