Is your marriage in trouble? No matter how bad, there’s always hope and ways to turn your situation around.
Here are five common ways to help create a better, more loving and harmonious relationship with your husband.
1. Handle arguments differently
Every marriage and relationship has arguments, but it’s how you handle them that’s most important.
At Junior High School, I said ‘no’ to drugs. At my wedding altar, I said ‘no’ to fighting. Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign was a huge success.
Kids made a verbal commitment and a mental stance to avoid drugs before they were even of the age to be tempted. When they were introduced to drugs, they knew they could “just say no” and not feel alone.
Fighting is NOT harmless. It’s addictive and, if continued, is likely to cause irreparable damage. Certainly there are times when emotions get wrinkled, and the natural inclination is to blow your top.
I sometimes have to bite my tongue so I don’t say something I would regret later (since when is self-control a bad thing?) Having a naturally calm personality has admittedly made it easier for me to think before I speak than it is for some people. But that shouldn’t stop anyone from trying.
2. How to make him listen
In most relationships, a polite and sincere request gets much greater results than if you yell, nag or complain.
For example, the other day Athena saw my bath towel on the middle of our bedroom floor. She said “you might want to hang up your towel or it won’t dry out in time for your shower tomorrow.” When my clothes pile up outside of the hamper, she sweetly says, “it would really help me out a lot if you put your dirty clothes in the hamper.”
She was exhausted one morning and when Ashton (then five months old) began to stir, she turned over to me and asked if I wanted to “get up and have a little morning playtime with Ashton.”
That was a much nicer way of asking me to help her out than saying, “Why am I the one who always gets up early to take care of YOUR son? I think it is YOUR turn for a change.” Athena always thinks of nice ways to ask me to help out or to stop doing something irritating.
3. Turn gossip and bashing into praise
No one’s perfect. When wives get together and the conversation turns to complaining about “what their husbands do,” or male bashing in general, refuse to participate.
It shows that you respect and value your husband. For a man, few things are more devastating than to have his wife criticize him in front of friends. Instead, when a “gripe session” gets going, make it a point to start sharing some of his good qualities.
Usually, this alone will steer the conversation into a positive direction and help your friends to also praise their husbands — which in turn helps them to respect and appreciate them more too. Knowing that my wife refuses to belittle me in front of friends makes me love and respect her even more.
4. Change your routine of life
After a few months or years, most couples get into a comfortable pattern where they always do the same things. Same dinner / movie dates, same sexual routine and same behaviors. You can rekindle some of that magic and keep your marriage magical by simply paying attention to these three important areas:
1. Go on creative dates - agree to go out and do something you’ve never done before once every week, fortnight or month. It doesn’t really matter what you do, but it’s important to commit and do this constantly. Want some ideas? Go to a winery, museum, art gallery, carnival, the beach, or have a picnic in a park.
2. Spice things up under the sheets - try a new position, technique or location. Wear some nice lingerie or introduce some new toys into the bedroom.
3. Change the norm - buy him a gift just to say “I love you,” give him a surprise quickie before work, a nice massage, set up a scavenger hunt that shows how much you care about him with a gift at the end.
5. Face your money issues and debts
One of the biggest problems facing couples today is the huge amount of debt they bring into their marriage. Not only are there more divorces, couples are calling it quits much earlier in their marriage than ever before. Here are some ideas to get your debt and money issues under control.
1. Sit down and prioritize all aspects of your family budget together. Only when you analyze your spending habits will you fully realize where you are wasting money. It’s a great opportunity to talk about your goals and dreams.
2. Realize that frivolously spending money can be a sign of disrespect for your marriage and mate.
3. If you would like a bigger diamond ring or a fancier car, ask yourself why.
4. Take a quick inventory of all the items you own but could really live without. Consider how much you paid for them. What if you didn’t buy those items and had all that money in savings instead? Would it make a difference in how you view your job, your family and your future?