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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tips on Tuesday: More Keys to Marriage

After talking about keys for marriage a few weeks ago, I wanted to revisit for a few updates I received from you. I received a few nuggets of wisdom that bear repeating.

Yoroshiku said, "the best thing I've learned in the past few years is to enjoy being married to the specific man I'm married to. Sounds like a no brainer...but I spent a lot of years comparing my husband and his style to other people's husbands. HUGE waste of energy. Once I decided to get on board with the man I married...that's when the fun started! Forget about other people's husbands!"

That is wonderful advice that was echoed to me on twitter and email. Some of you said to stick it out--no matter what. Decide to stay together and never change your mind. Many echoed Yoroshiku and said that being content with the spouse you have is critical. I've said before to stop comparing your children to other people's children because a comparison is meant to put one person down. Don't compare your husband either--somebody will end up getting put down.

Patty said, "...I would also add this: never assume the two alternatives you are arguing about are the only ones to choose from that would make each of you happy. Look for the Third Alternative." That is sage advice, Patty. What a nice way to remind us to think outside the box. It doesn't have to be your way or my way...look for the third way and make it OUR way.

Another person told me to remember that most actions are done in love. We can choose to accept them as a loving gesture (even if we didn't feel loved by it) or make an issue. Walking a mile in another man's shoes might make a lot of difference for many of us who are feeling unloved.

A final thought came from my own husband of 19 years. (Yes, I was a child bride, married at age 10.) He asked me to tell everyone to get and read the book,  The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman.

This book is one that saved our marriage before we even realized it needed saving. Sean & I both read this book in about the second or third year of marriage. It revolutionized our marriage and eventually our interactions with our children and it continues to positively affect our lives to this day. Learn what the top love languages of your spouse are...and learn to speak them to him. Sean now understands that I feel most loved when he does the dishes for me (acts of service) and he feels most loved when I say thank you (words of affirmation). We demonstrate our love for each other in these easy ways that mean so much. I agree with him and think everyone should be required to read this book before marriage!

Finally, remember to love your spouse. When is the last time you said, "I love you" to him...with meaning. When is the last time "I love you" was a connection of sharing love instead of lip service? Try connecting with an "I love you" and top it off with a giant kiss. It will be the start of a beautiful thing.

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