First Comes Love
"Will you marry me?" asked my boyfriend of five years. Then he flew overseas to serve with the U.S. Army for the entire next year.
After he returned I became Mrs. Richard L. Webb on December 31, 1967. As we drove from the ceremony in our new VW, we thought we knew a lot about married life. After all, we were in love!
Then Comes Marriage
Yet through the years we've discovered a few tips about how NOT to do our marriage relationship. I'm sharing them with you this New Year Day 2014. Perhaps it will make a difference in your marriage, whether you're a newly-wed, empty-nester, or still waiting.
- Blame your spouse for what is really yours to decide and change. (You can do this silently or loudly.)
- Neglect your own personal and spiritual well-being.*
- Believe that the growth and health of your marriage relationship is all up to you. OR believe that it is all up to your spouse. (Black & white thinking limits enjoyment.)
- Refuse to negotiate.
- Focus (or obsess) on your "idealistic" (unreasonable expectations) for wedded bliss.*
- Shame, intimidate or bully your spouse into being and doing what you think he or she "should" be and do. (Often these are related to your unreasonable expectations.)
- Pretend to be someone you aren't or that you enjoy something when you don't. (You can be authentic and still choose to enter into an activity that is not your favorite.)*
- Compare yourself, your spouse and your marriage to other couples' lives. (Remember, you only see from the outside!)
- Always respond to disagreements in the same way you did in your family of origin.
- Live each day trying to avoid your spouse's disapproval, ire, or unhappiness. (Your mate's responses to life are his/her responsibility to own.)*
- Believe that your spouse and your marriage have the capability to be perfect 24/7, just the way you envision it. This is a sure-fire way to be consistently disappointed with life, marriage and your mate.*
So you can relax and stop over-trying, over-helping, or over-controlling in order to make your spouse and marriage-relationship be "just right." I find this such a relief!
Which one of these 11 tips do you identify with this New Year? (I'd love to hear from you!)
* When you see an asterisk, click on the sentence to take you to a short link that gives more information about what this "tip" means.