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CJBAGGINS's Photo CJBAGGINS Posts: 33,383
8/11/14 1:11 P

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I love this one!

And the writer is very skilled - a good sense of humour, but an important topic.

cj

What if we woke up tomorrow with only those things that we thanked God for today?


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LUCYVT's Photo LUCYVT SparkPoints: (69,191)
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8/10/14 7:25 P

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Be patient! Things will change 4 the better.


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LAKENDAL's Photo LAKENDAL Posts: 8,122
8/10/14 9:14 A

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Good one!

Laura. Mio, Michigan

Lord help me remember that nothing is going to happen today that you and I can't handle together.

If ignorance is bliss why aren't more people happy


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LIKINMENOW's Photo LIKINMENOW Posts: 51,476
8/10/14 8:46 A

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5 Secrets of a Happy Marriage
by Ruth Soukup

A while back I was reading one of those articles about funny things kids say and one of the kids was asked the question, ďHow can a stranger tell if two people are married?Ē and he answered, ďYou might have to guess, based on whether theyíre yelling at the same kids.Ē

Yes.

That about sums it up.

Because as much as we walk down that long center aisle wearing a gorgeous white gown, our own version of Wedding Day Barbie, with stars in our eyes, the reality soon sinks in that sometimes marriage is hard. And those glossy 8 x 10 photos from the wedding day that sit framed on our bookshelves are the only thing that remain of all our dreams of being the best married couple ever. You know? That couple that sits holding hands across the table at a restaurant while they throw their heads back in laughter?

Sometimes I hate that couple.

This is a phenomenon known as real marriage. Itís not as pretty and doesnít always lend itself to great photo ops, but if you learn to embrace it you may find that itís even better than what you imagined. Yes, itís messier and filled with more heartbreak, laughter, sadness and joy than you imagined, but it also brings the comfort of knowing you have someone next to you to share life with all its triumphs and struggles.

My husband and I have been married for sixteen years now. It hasnít always been easy and Iím sure there have been days or even years when we arenít sure how we are going to make it to the other side, but weíve covered it in a lot of prayer, asking God to give us the strength and wisdom and gentleness we need to make it through another day. And then another year. And for the rest of our lives.

Here are a few things Iíve learned along the way:

Donít Give In to Comparison

This was a big one for me. When we first got married we were friends with another married couple that did everything together, like even went grocery shopping as a unit. And it concerned me that we werenít like that. To make it even worse, I didnít even want Perry to go shopping with me but I looked at this couple and thought they had something we didnít.

And they did. Itís called co-dependency.

Iím kidding.

The truth is they enjoyed functioning that way. It worked for them and they thrived in a relationship where they did everything together. But Perry and I are both independent and like doing things by ourselves sometimes. We have separate hobbies and interests and thatís okay.

Donít look at someone elseís marriage and let it define yours. The grass isnít always greener on the other side and your marriage is as unique as your DNA. What you do may not work for other people, but youíre not married to other people. Make the choices and live the life that is right for the two of you and let go of your preconceived notions of what marriage is supposed to look like. Trust me, youíll be so much happier that way.
Happy MarriageProtect Your Time Together

This one is so easy before you have kids. When itís just the two of you and youíre free to go to the movies or eat quiet dinners that donít involve chicken fingers whenever you want, itís easy to stay connected. But after you have kids it takes a little more effort.

Donít forget to carve out time to spend together as a couple. Those kids that can take up every minute of your time will be gone one day and you donít want to look across the table at a spouse whoís become a stranger while you were busy driving carpool.

Take the time to sit on the couch at the end of the day and talk. Trade babysitting duties with another couple or sweet talk the grandparents and have a night out. Just make sure you donít neglect the relationship that brought you the kids in the first place. Ultimately, a healthy marriage is the best gift you can give your children. Itís a legacy that they wonít even know to appreciate until theyíre grown, but it shapes every part of their lives.

Remember to Laugh

Life is serious. There are bills to pay and problems to solve and kids to potty train. But donít forget to laugh because, letís face it, sometimes life is absurd and I think we do better when we take some time to acknowledge it.

Iíve always said my husbandís saving grace is that I still think heís hilarious. Not every day, necessarily, but often enough that Iím still glad heís the one that comes home to me every day. Make each other laugh. And bonus points if you can do it and put an end to a stupid fight you were having a minute earlier.

Forgive and Move On

Some of the biggest fights weíve had throughout our marriage are the ones that come after one of us (usually me, if Iím being honest) has let resentment build up over a lot of little things that then become a big thing. The next thing you know, weíre yelling at each other over the water bill and that isnít even the real problem because the real problem began a month ago when I thought he wasnít helping me enough around the house and being generally selfish.

Hypothetically speaking.

Your spouse isnít a mind reader. And sometimes we need to follow the advice we give our kids and ďuse our wordsĒ. Let them know when something is bothering you or has hurt you when it happens and not a month later when youíve stewed over it until youíre ready to explode.

And then Ė this is a big one Ė forgive them. One of the biggest realizations Iíve come to over the years is that my husband is never intentionally trying to hurt me. He may say or do something insensitive, but never purposely wanting to anger me.

Forgiveness is a huge key to a successful marriage. When we hold onto resentment and anger, then any little thing can be like a match thrown on a gas can. Once youíve truly forgiven them, you need to let it go. Because donít we want them to do the same for us?
Itís Always a Work in Progress

Sometimes I hear about couples who are getting divorced after thirty-five years of marriage and always kind of feel like, ďWhatís the point?Ē Because it seems like if youíve made it that long, then you can stick with it for the duration.

But itís a reminder that marriage is a constant work in progress. We never arrive at a finish line and declare that we have arrived and are victorious. Itís a daily promise to compromise and die to our own selfish desires and remember that we live with another human who may drive us crazy because they only use half a paper towel and leave the other half on the counter, but that we vowed to love them for better or for worse until death do us part.

Sometimes the key to a successful marriage is working at it even when you donít feel like it. Itís loving our spouse when they seem unlovable and remembering that we might not be a picnic to live with either some days.

Ultimately, God gave us this person because he knows our strengths and weaknesses and where we are in need of a person who will refine us and sharpen us and make us better than we would be if left to our own ways. Itís not always easy, but in the end itís always worth it.


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