|Flowers by Faithful Flora|
For the record, I have only been married for nine months as of this blog posting. I am NOT an expert. However, there are a few things I wish I could tell my younger self about being married.
1. Guard your spirit vigilantly.
There are certain places you no longer need to go any more, friends you no longer need to hang out with, and even music you no longer need to listen to. Everything you allow into your space has the potential to uplift or erode your marriage.
2. Never get comfortable.
It’s easy to get lost in the humdrum routine of everyday life. After the honeymoon phase (year one to three), the cute text messages could stop. Conversations can become lackadaisical. The sex that used to leave you feigning for more can become listless and average. This is the most dangerous place for a marriage to be, because as soon as someone or something comes along that shakes up the routine, the doorway to trouble is wide open. The way you keep that door closed is by mixing it up. In the bedroom, in the kitchen, and on date nights, you have to change up the routine and actively push to learn more about the person you married. They are growing and changing and if you don’t pay attention, you will wake up with a stranger in your bed.
3. Don’t let yourself go physically.
One of the first things that may have attracted you to your spouse was their looks. Both men and women are wired to notice the attractiveness of a person’s face/body. The choice of pursuit follows from there. That being said, marriage is not all expense paid trip to the city of never ending sweatpants. You have to put in the same effort to keep your figure in check as you did when you were dating (if possible). Plus, you want to be around for a while. Health is VERY important.
Since this blog is for a friend of mine who is going to be getting married very soon, I’m including some tips on marriage from my parents and grandparents below!
· Keep your priorities in order. God, spouse, family, then friends. When this list gets out of order, your marriage will suffer the consequences.
· Talk about how you want to raise your children. If you are not on the same page as your spouse, it will get messy.
· Keep dating!
· Budget your money and take a course on finances if you can. “Financial Peace” by Dave Ramsey is amazing.
· (For wives) Don’t let him handle everything. If you don’t understand life insurance, banking, directions, and so forth, push to learn that NOW. Your husband is not immortal and if something happens, you will have to handle the repercussions life throws at you.
· Don’t let gender roles dictate your marriage. Be thoughtful outside of those roles.
· Make a daily routine for laundry, cooking, and cleaning before you have kids. It makes the transition to parenthood easier.
· Marriage is all about sacrifice. It’s best to be sure you both have the same goal in mind for your future. Realize their desires and think about what you are giving up. Are you willing to let some of your dreams go to make sure that your joint goals for life are accomplished?
· Be patient when it comes to your spouses’ insecurities. Some people trust you as far as they can throw you because of what has happened in their past. If it is a deep seated issue, talk to a pastor or a licensed marriage counselor.
· Honesty is ALWAYS the best policy.
· Understand their background and how that will affect their behavior.
· Temptation will still try to get at you but you have to be strong in spite of the pressure. Sometime your spouses’ “friends” will go as far as to offer you money… when you are lacking…for a piece of “cake”. Allow God to be your provider in those moments of temptation.
· Do your best to stay employed. Two incomes are better than one, no matter the amount.
All in all marriage is not for the faint of heart. But by God I’m not going anywhere!