1 . Respect your husband
Notice how it doesnt say Respect your husband if he has earned it. A mans greatest need in this world is to be respected, and the person he desires that respect from the most is his wife. The trap that weve all been ensnared by is that they only deserve our respect when they earn it. Yes, we want ourhusbandsto make decisions that will ultimately garner our respect, but the truth is that your husband is a human being.
A human being who makes mistakes. This is the man that YOU have chosen to walk alongside you for the rest of your life, and to lead your family and he needs to be respected for that quality alone. Take it from me when respect is given even when he doesnt deserve it, it will motivate him to earn it. That doesnt mean you pretend that his choices are good ones when they arent. Things like that still need to be communicated, but you can flesh out your differences WITH RESPECT. It makes all the difference in the world to him.
2 . Guard your heart
The grass is not greener on the other side. Do not believe the lie that with a slimmer figure, a higher salary, a faster car, or a bigger house, you will be a happier woman. The world is full of things and people that will serve as reminders that you dont have the best of the best, but its simply not true.
Live the life youve been blessed with, and BE THANKFUL. I get that we all have struggles, and there are even times when I would love 1,000 more square feet of house to live in, but square feet is not fulfilling relationships are. Guard your heart from things and people that will try to convince you that your life or your husband is not good enough. There will always be bigger, faster, stronger, or shinier but youll never be satisfied with more until youre fulfilled with what you have now.
3 . God husband kids in that order
I know this isnt a popular philosophy, especially among mothers, but hear me out. Its no secret that my faith is of utmost importance, so God comes first in my life no matter what. But regardless of your belief system, your husband should come before your kids. Now unless youre married to someone who is abusive (in which case, I urge you to seek help beyond what my opinion can give you), no man in his right mind would ask you to put your kids aside to serve his every need while neglecting them. Thats not what this means.
When you board an airplane, the flight attendants are required to go over emergency preparedness prior to take off. When explaining the part about how to operate the oxygen mask, passengers are instructed to first put the mask on themselves before putting it on their small child. Is that because they think you are more important than your kids? Absolutely not. But you cannot effectively help your child if you cant breathe yourself. The same holds true with marriage and parenting. You cannot effectively parent your children if your marriage is falling apart. Take it from me I tried. There will also come a time when your kids will leave the house to pursue their dreams as adults. If you have not cultivated a lasting relationship with your spouse, you will have both empty nests and empty hearts.
4 . Forgive
Everyone makes mistakes. If you make forgiveness a habit for everything from major mistakes to littleannoyances(every day, I have to forgive my husband for leaving the wet towel on thebathroomcounter ;)) you will keep resentment from growing.
5 . Over Communicate
I used to have a bad habit of not speaking my feelings. I played the standard You should know why Im mad game, and thats just downright unfair.Menare not wired like women, and they DONT always know that theyve been insensitive. Im still growing in this area, and there are oftentimeswhen my husband has to pry something out of me, but Im trying to remember that I need to just communicate how I feel.
6 . Schedule a regular date night
This one isnt new, but its very important. Never stop datingyour spouse. Even if you cant afforddinner and a movie(which we seldom can), spending someregularone on one time withyour spouseis essential. Dont talk about bills, or schedules, or the kids. Me and my husband often daydream about our future, or plan ourdream vacation. We connect emotionally and often learn something new about each other even after years of marriage.
7 . Never say theD Word
If youre gonna say it, you better mean it. Plain and simple, threatening divorce or separation is not fighting fair. I did this a lot in my previous marriages. Im not proud of it, but I learned better. I was hurting deeply, and I wanted to hurt back, but it never helped me feel better.
8 . Learn his love language
Everyone has alovelanguage. The way you perceiveloveis often different from the wayyour spouseperceiveslove. Does he like words of affirmation, or does he respond better when you give him gifts? Whatever hislovelanguage is learn it and USE IT.
9 . Never talk negatively about him
I learned this lesson the hard way too. If youre going through a difficult time in your marriage and you need advice, see a counsellor. Family counselling is a great tool, but try to remember that your family members and friends are not the most objective people to give advice. The argument they are hearing is one sided and they often build up negative feelings towardyour spouse, which usually doesnt subside once you and your husband have gotten past it. Protect his image with those that youre close with and seek help from those that can actually be objective. News flash, ladies your mother cannot be objective!
10 . Choose to love
There aretimesin a marriage that you may wake up and not feel inloveanymore. Choose toloveanyway. There aretimeswhen you may not be attracted to your husband anymore. Choose toloveanyway. Marriage is a commitment. In sickness and health, in goodtimesand in bad. Those vows are sacred. They dont say if you have badtimes. They say in goodtimesAND in bad, implying that there WILL be badtimes. Its inevitable. So choose toloveanyway. Hes worth it.