Yo, marriage is crazy! I’ve always thought about how my life would be once I was married. What will our day-to-day be like? What would we make for dinner? What weird habits will he have? I read a lot of books and talked to a few marrieds before I tied the knot and received joint custody of the closet. All this is great, but it gets REAL when you’re sharing toothbrush space with another person.
Matt and I have been married now for about four and a half years. He’s many things to different people, but to me, he’s the love of my life. He is absolutely, positively, the best human being EVER for me.
Needless to say, I’ve learned a lot during this time and, of course, continue to be a student of marriage. This is because… I want to be a good wife! But that doesn’t happen over night. There’s no happy pill for that or anything. It’s about taking the right small steps daily. It’s handling conflict the right way. It’s choices and commitments. It’s not getting mad when your husband throws your favorite, NON-COTTON shirt in the dryer. 😦
I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I feel like I come up short. So ladies, roll up yo’ sleeves! Here are 20 ways to be a better wife! Kidding. Here’s five things I’ve learned since I said, “I choose you.” Maybe the other 15 will come later 😉
GRACE & FORGIVENESS
Grace is unmerited and free. You need a lot of grace when you are married and living with someone who is not you. If I’m being completely truthful, I think Matt needs more grace to live with ME! I sing obnoxiously loud almost everywhere. When he brushes his teeth, I cup water from the sink and throw it on him (I think this is funny. He doesn’t). I can get snippy at times, and on Saturdays I go into house/errand/organizing overdrive. After reading this over, I practically annoy myself. I am BEYOND thankful for Matt’s grace, because I need it.
We also need forgiveness. Even the tiniest of incidences, left unforgiven, can create a monster. Inevitably, we are going to hurt one another. Harboring unforgiveness will breed offense, anger, and resentfulness. All these things erode a relationship. Having a mutual understanding that you are both flawed and committing to being quick to forgive and change for the better is vital for a healthy marriage.
I can’t. Thanks Kanye. Wives, don’t nag about your husband in public. I’m not talking about the occasional joke because everyone has those! Marriage is funny and crazy, and you should be able to laugh at stories and one another. But, I’ve seen women publicly belittle their husbands and I just freakin’ feel bad. Don’t do it! It’s therapeutic for you, awkward for others. The guy can do at least one thing right……… right? He had to… you married him! We should know by now that we are all imperfect. If you fill guilty about this one, you may have over stepped a boundary. BUT only you and Jesus can know that! It’s never too late to do the right thing. Don’t use girl time or a willing ear as permission to bash your husband in the name of “venting.”
Affirmation goes a long way for Matt and myself. When we do something that makes the other person happy, we try our best to let one another know that. Being affirmed by the one you care so deeply about is crucial and builds security and stability. I want to pull out and affirm the greatness that is inside of my husband. Only I can do that, the way that I can. The same goes for you, in your marriage (way to go, girl! You da oneeee!) I never want Matt to doubt that I am in his corner. As a spouse, we should want to give the best emotional support we can and be the biggest encouragement we can be.
All different types of affection are important within a marriage. Bear hugs in the morning, holding his hand under the table, and a few smack-a-roos on the face. I never let a day pass without telling my husband that I love him. There are many times we, as women, want to wait to receive affection before giving it. I think this was a struggle of mine at the beginning of our marriage because of my past experiences, but I realized the value of initiating affection and what that means to my spouse.
Also, I know this can be super awkward, because a lot of people know my husband and me, but…. if you’re married… you best be sleepin’ with one another. And not the catching “zzz’s” kind. Usually before we tie the knot, we think about sex a lot! Whatever, it’s the truth. Just picture the food pyramid- sex takes up most quadrants and then there’s food and sleep. Don’t let intimacy and affection die down year after year. Show your spouse that you desire them just as much as you did on the day you said, “I do.”
A variety of people and responsibilities pull for our attention. Surprise! They are not usually bad people or things either! It’s when they constantly come before your spouse that you may need to reevaluate priorities. In our household it’s God first, spouse second. And you know what? That formula works real well. When I set my attention on God first, I have a renewed perspective of my marriage. Remember, if you are not intentional with setting your priorities, someone/something else will set them for you.
Like I mentioned before, marriage is a lifelong learning journey. You know what I really want to know? What have YOU learned? Drop your marital nuggets of wisdom below!
This post had nothing to do with waffles by the way. But, it seems as though you may be hungry or in need of breakfast food…