One of the most common mistakes made in marriage, or perhaps any relationship, is to expect your spouse to accommodate you and your ways, and to be able to read your mind. These two bad practices alone are the cause of much undercurrent strife and perhaps resentment in marriage. There are at least two ways to mitigate this in your marriage, which I will share with you now.
Help By Communicating
The most important thing that you can do to help your spouse is to communicate. He or she cannot read your mind. Your spouse can not determine how you feel, except for perhaps angry outbursts. Tell your spouse how something makes you feel if it is important enough. You don’t need to express every single feeling you have for every encounter. That may become annoying and cause more conflict.
Your emotions are not so much the issue, but rather what your spouse did to make you feel that way. For example. Your husband does something that angers you. Merely telling your husband that he made you angry is insufficient. However, telling your husband what he did to make you feel angry is more informative. The act is tied to your emotions. Your spouse can control what he or she does, but not how you feel about things.
Communicating with your spouse about how you feel, what you are thinking about things in the relationship or household in a non-confrontational way will benefit the marriage. They cannot read your mind. This will help them more effectively interact with you without causing extra unintentional drama.
Help Your Spouse
Marriage is not about me. It is about us. Therefore, stop expecting your spouse to do what you want and be sensitive to their needs. For example, a husband may be upset because he doesn’t have enough sex with his wife. He may then act out his frustration in passive-aggressive or outright aggressive ways.
However, if he would stop to empathize with his wife, he may discover that there is a good reason that she doesn’t seem to be interested in sex or whatever the issue may be between the two. Instead of making the marriage about you and your desire for sex, make it about the two of you and start working together.
Wash the dishes or clean the house together. Start doing normal household chores and responsibilities together. It shouldn’t necessarily be the wife’s responsibility to wash dishes, wash clothes, clean the house, cook, etc while her husband sits around watching television or hanging out with his friends. He should help her wash the dishes, etc. It should be the husband’s job to take out the trash, fix things, mow the lawn, etc. The wife should get involved with those things as well. I was never taught the idea of a woman’s job or a man’s job. The only thing my mother wouldn’t let me and my brothers do was wash the clothes. We washed dishes, mopped floors, cleaned the bathroom, etc. To this day, I still wash dishes, take out the trash, mop, sweep, vacuum, etc.
Help your spouse to accomplish their goals as well. If your spouse wants to open up a business, then find a way to work with them to make it happen. Perhaps even become a part of the business. A married couple should be sensitive to each other’s needs and work to help each other.
Too often marriage becomes a relationship where the husband does his thing and the wife does her thing. They are more like coworkers than soulmates. Instead, they should be together, though alone time is important too. The couple should work together on things when possible or practical.
Instead of complaining about your marriage or trying to get your spouse to submit to your ideals for marriage, reach out, and meet their needs. Help them in the things they do so that those things become “the things we do.” Be together as a couple and not mere coworkers in Household, Inc. This, I believe, creates an environment where romance and intimacy has a better opportunity to flourish.
Marriage & Making it Work
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