I never understood the flack Steve Harvey got for giving his thoughts about relationships and marriage, despite being married three times.
You hear people say, “well he’s divorced two other women, what could he possibly have to say about having a successful marriage?”
Well then by that logic, I shouldn’t have to listen to any of you about parenting, job interviewing, weight lifting, cooking, etc.
Because rarely does anyone get these types of things correct from start to finish.
Failure is the greatest teacher.
By and large we are a judgmental society, having opinions on the actions of others failing at things, the average person doesn’t even have the skill to attempt.
Where do we get off criticizing Lebron’s last shot when we didn’t even make the JV basketball team?
That’s how I look at people who always bringing up another’s marital issues.
With that soapbox rant over, let’s get right to it.
- Rarely is it Ever 50/50
A common misconception going into marriage is that everything will be 50/50.
Although there will be many areas where the burden can be managed evenly between the two of you.
There will often be periods where decisions, including life altering decisions, will not fall in your favor.
And you have to be ok with that fact.
Because marriage is the last place where you want to be “keeping score.”
Let’s say my wife promises to keep the number of family events we attend to a reasonable amount.
If a string of important events come up, and I can’t just be like, “Welp, your aunt’s funeral was the last straw. I’m out.”
There is a sacrificial element to marriage that one must be able to harness.
For the good of the marriage, that’s what comes first.
And hey, even the areas where roles and responsibilities are set between couples, who is to say one won’t get tired in a year to two.
Ideally you would want your spouse to pick up on when the scales are out of balance, but if they don’t, just handle it calmly.
But in general, be flexible.
Be ok with not getting your way.
- Embrace Each Other’s Individuality
You were your own person before you got married.
So was your wife or husband.
So, don’t try to constrict who that person is for the sake of matrimony.
Me time is so important.
I’m a strong believer that one of the components to growing as a couple, is being able to chase the same interests and ambitions you had when you were single.
If the timing of one of your interests or passions conflicts with the other person, then it should be discussed (see the 50/50 recap above).
I like to workout in the mornings. My wife likes to workout in the afternoon.
I’m a loner. My wife likes to hangout with friends and family.
I do my best work at night. My wife can work whenever.
In our quest to be the High Value Men and Women the marriage requires; we allow each other the space and time to accomplish what we need to.
One does not make the other adapt.
We optimize what we like to do, with trust that we are doing what’s best for the marriage.
- Love People the Way They Want to Be Loved
If you take nothing else away from this blog, let it be this final point.
This plays a lot into the love languages Gary Chapman has discussed in his books, but I want to iterate those points in a blunter way.
If you don’t pay attention to how your spouse wants to be loved.
You’re wasting your time.
A wife can be cooking, cleaning, take the kids to practice, doing the taxes, painting the shed, playing host to your husband’s annoying mother-in-law, etc.
Thinking she killing the game.
But all the husband wants you to do is stop leaving lights when you’re done in a room.
You have failed.
A husband you can have all the bills paid, grass cut, cars washed, errands done, etc.
But all the wife wants you to do is spend a little more time with her.
You have failed.
You must pay attention to what scratches the itch of your spouse, and not what you think makes you look amazing in their eyes.
We get so caught up sometimes in looking like a great partner, to everyone but the one that matters.
So, there you have it.
I tried to provide more than the cliché, “always date your spouse,” “never go to bed angry,” “be nice” advice you always hear, and give you something a little more practical.
Let me know your thoughts, and leave some others I didn’t mention.
Weather Your Storm, Maintain Inner Reign -E.