Lowering Expectations in a Marriage

There is a fine line between learning to lower your expectations in a marriage and when to fight for what’s “right.”  Keep in mind that what’s considered right is all about perspective. Your right might not be my right…just as your spouse’s right might not be your right. One of the ways I try to gauge my “rights” is by how critical the issue really is; not how important it should be or I would like it to be.  But looking at it in a realistic and selfless manner. That isn’t easy, believe me.  It requires stepping back from the … Continue reading

Respect and Honor: Two Important Ingredients

There are two important ingredients to every marriage:  respect and honor.  But I’m afraid these are oftentimes considered antiquated elements in today’s society. In a world where the focus is oftentimes self-centered, marriages can quickly disintegrate.  But with respect and honor becoming the focal point, many of the challenges could be easily dealt with or avoided altogether. What does it mean to respect your spouse in marriage?  It means to respect their feelings.  If you know something in particular upsets your spouse, makes him or her angry or anxious, don’t do it. It also means to respect their time.  Demanding … Continue reading

Letting Go of Control

I’m doing this great online Bible study from a book called, “Let It Go.”  One of my favorite chapters was “Managing Your Man” and it was all about learning to let go, to stop trying to control your husband. This is a common issue in marriages but it can affect both sides.  The very things about your spouse that made you fall in love; quickly become the very things you try to change. Some people take the whole “the two shall become one” thing to mean control.  But this is detrimental to your marriage. I was pretty messed up when … Continue reading

Scripted Romance

Many years ago I let my husband off the hook—the one where he gets hung up for failing to come through on Valentine’s Day.  I used to have lots of expectations until I began to realize something….his love for me is shown on a daily basis.  So why expect him to do something extravagant one day a year? Now, I’m not knocking those couples who go all out for Valentine’s Day.  Maybe it’s the fact we’ve been married for more than two decades or it could be we have grown too comfortable—who knows? I just know that my husband feels … Continue reading

Intimacy Impacted by Chores?

So what’s the secret to strong intimacy in a marriage?  Apparently it’s when a couple fulfills the more traditional roles of chores. Now keep in mind that although the results of this study were recently made known, it was conducted back in 1992.  So there is the strong possibility that today’s results would be different. The study showed that even when men took on some of the chores traditionally taken care of by females (such as laundry, cleaning, cooking), it was good for the marriage but it didn’t really impact intimacy.  However, things get better when men stick to the … Continue reading

Opposite Sex Friendships: Playing with Fire

I’ll warn you ahead of time.  You may not agree with anything I have to say in this blog.  In fact, you might think I’m living in the dark ages…but that’s okay. The issue I’m talking about today is friendships with the opposite sex.  But please understand ahead of time that I am coming at this from the angle of seeing the destruction it almost cost my marriage and the fact I have been married for 21 ½ years. My opinion is that having a friendship with someone of the opposite sex is playing with fire.  Think about how many … Continue reading

Hearing versus Listening

I always thought I was a good listener when it comes to my husband.  In fact, I would even say that I offer some pretty great advice.  But listening and hearing are two completely different things. For months and months I was hearing my husband complain about the medical bills.  We, like many others, don’t have the best health insurance.  It seems every time we’ve finally started to make a dent, something else comes up and a trip to the doctor sets us back. Then my husband started to get depressed about the medical bills.  I felt bad for him … Continue reading

Me Focused

A marriage needs to be nurtured.  It requires sacrifice, giving and selflessness.  But it can’t always be “other focused.” You see, if all of your efforts go into pleasing your spouse, its going to cause burnout or possibly bitterness.  This means that just as important as it is to take care of your spouse and your marriage, you need to take care of yourself. A failure to take care of yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually won’t make you a better marriage partner.  You are more likely to struggle with fatigue, depression, irritability and lots of other not-so-pleasant qualities that can … Continue reading

Good Habits to Develop

In my last marriage blog, I talked about bad habits we should break.  Today we are going to consider some good habits to develop. The first is encouragement.  It seems the longer a couple is married, the less often this happens. In most cases it’s probably a result of just living life and not really thinking about the importance of offering encouragement.  We are busy working, taking care of the family, running a household, and taking on many other responsibilities. But taking time each and everyday to encourage your spouse is a good habit to develop.  It can be something … Continue reading

Bad Habits to Break

We all have habits; some are good and some not so much.  Many of these habits are ones we’ve developed in our marriage, which means that some need to be broken and others need to be developed. Let’s consider some bad habits that can creep up in a marriage.  The first is criticizing.  Isn’t it funny how the things you once found endearing have suddenly become an annoyance?  Or ever notice how after being married for an extended length of time, you only notice the negative qualities in your spouse? Both of these can cause a critical spirit to rise … Continue reading