Our pastor gave us two bits of advice when we got married. One was the usual never go to bed/work/away angry. The other was, in marriage, each person has to give 95% and take only 5%.
After 21 years of marriage, this advice is still working. We have one of the happiest marriages I know of.
Yes, we argue and have disagreements, but we settle them immediately. We talk. We communicate. We enjoy each others companionship. We’re best friends even though we sometimes get on each others nerves. I think this is why we are happy in our marriage.
I know of couples who constantly seem to fight, who don’t speak to each other for days at a time, who don’t trust each other.
That’s not us. If I have a fear, or think something is not right in our relationship, we discuss it. There is nothing I am afraid to bring up to Scuba Man. I hope he feels the same.
We both went into our marriage knowing neither of us was going to change and that we wouldn’t be able to change the other one. Realizing that before saying “I do” is very important.
The old saying goes “Women get married thinking they can change their husbands while men get married hoping their wives will never change.” Trying to force someone to change never works. Neither does changing yourself because you think the other person wants you to be something that you’re not. One or the other or both comes to resent it.
The giving part is easy. I love doing things for my husband. I like to see him smile. I like to try to make his life a little easier. I have time to do these little things because he is the same way toward me. Many times I feel he treats me better than I treat him!
A lot of people don’t realize it takes hard work to have the ideal marriage. You can’t sit back and just let it happen. You need to put your spouse first. There are times you feel you can’t, especially with kids, but time needs to be made every day just for each other, even if only 15 minutes. With having to run kids here and there, working long hours, outside activities your spouse isn’t involved in, chores that need to be done at home, it’s no wonder people fret at trying to make time for anything extra.
It’s no wonder many spouses feel neglected.
I don’t have an answer as to how to make that bit of time each day. Maybe get home a little earlier, do a little less chores, tell the kids “No, I can’t do it.” But I think it’s very important to do it. You don’t want the person you love the most to feel abandoned, do you?