Can you pick the best marriage article of 2006? I’ve been writing here since the end of December of 2005 and I can’t tell you how hard this list was to compile, I chose one article from every month of this year and I still don’t think I’ve done every article here justice. With over a 1,000 articles to choose from, culling the list to 12 was beyond difficult. But thanks to a great year and a great co-blogger here in marriage, I’ve done my best. So without further ado, here are my picks for the top twelve marriage articles of 2006.
From January: Breaking the Chain of Whys – What is a chain of whys? chain gets started when you and your spouse experience a communication breakdown. It’s okay, we all have mechanical difficulties occasionally and there are options that help you avoid trading in the old model for the new. So let’s talk about the chain of whys and how you break it.
From February: Living Together is NOT like being Married – It’s funny when you think about it. I lived with my husband for more than three years before we got married. After we were married, a number of my friends asked me if I felt any different. I told them no. It didn’t feel any different; in fact the only major difference I could cite was that I needed to do a lot of paperwork to change my last name. That answer wasn’t entirely true. But I chose to overlook a lot of little things that over the last six years, I’ve needed to learn to adapt to. As we approach our seventh year of marriage, I can honestly answer that question.
From March: Using I Language – What does using ‘I’ language refer to? We hear a lot about it in articles that tell us how to argue and how to disagree. The majority of these relationship books talk about using complaints instead of criticisms. They advise you to use ‘I’ language instead of ‘you’ language. It’s incredibly difficult to do this; I don’t care what the books say. Even when you think you have a handle on it, it’s hard.
From April: Why Doesn’t Marriage Solve Problems? – This is a particularly odd entry for the marriage blog that I have in mind today and I ask that you bear with me as I explore a difficult topic. Why do women stay with men they want to behave differently? Why do women marry men who really don’t have a lot going for them and who really don’t treat them well? It really doesn’t make much sense and when you watch someone you care about doing that to him or herself; you may find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place. Do you know someone like this? Have you watched them jump through hoops? Have you heard them constantly excuse their significant other’s shortcomings? Have you ever heard one of them say that it would all work out when they were married?
From May: Permission to Changeou get married, a lot of people focus on the idea of the life you will build with your spouse. They focus on what you each bring to the marriage and how much happier you will be together. What is worth remarking on is that while a couple makes a pledge to grow old together, they do not necessarily understand that by saying grow old alongside of me, you are tacitly saying they have your permission to experience life and its changes as they happen.
From June: Leaving an Abusive Spouseyou can decide that it’s time to leave an abusive marriage. Beware of well meaning friends and family who tell you to stick it out because things will get better. Truly abusive marriages do not get better, the violence only escalates. Once you’ve made the decision to leave, the first few months are the most dangerous, as the abusive spouse is more likely to come looking for you and hurt you in the first six months after leaving.
From July: Marriage Tips: X = eXaggeration – Since there aren’t that many words that start with X, especially as pertain to marriage, I had to improvise. That doesn’t mean the subject of exaggeration is not still one that needs to be addressed in many marriages. Remember when you were a kid? Did your parents or teachers say things like, “You NEVER listen,” or “You’re always up to something,” or any other all or nothing statements? This kind of exaggeration can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. People begin to think that if they are ALWAYS wrong anyway, there isn’t much point in trying to improve.
From August: The Men in Our Livesyou ever ended up in the middle of struggle for dominance between your husband and another man in your life, such as your dad or your brother? It is a difficult position to find yourself in and no wants to be forced to choose between the family that raised her and the family she’s made. It can be a very trying experience and it usually ends with someone having hurt feelings. That person may be you.
From September: Marriage Problems or Money Problems? – Money problems can be one of the worst sources of stress in a marriage. If you and your mate recognize that it is the stress of financial problems that is causing strain in your marriage, you’ll be less likely to take things out on each other. Instead, you can work together to find solutions to these problems and avoid resentment.
From October: 50% of Marriages Do Not End in Divorce – I thought that headline might get your attention. Far too often we focus on the negative report of statistics that indicate relationships won’t succeed and that marriages end in divorce. I remember when I was growing up; I would wonder why people bothered to get married. I remember watching some wedding ceremony on a soap opera and finding it rather boring. Why boring? Because on a soap opera there really is no such thing as happily ever after and a couple may get married but they will likely divorce in a year or two and that divorce will either be due to an affair, brainwashing or because one character or other is leaving the show.
From November: Are You Opposites… Politically? – I’m curious what it might be like to be a fly on the wall in a politically mixed home during such a hotly contested election as this. The 2006 Midterm Elections will definitely fill news cycles for some time to come. Obviously, spouses want to be respectful of each other’s views and values, but I’m betting things can get kind of interesting on a day like today when the two have diametrically opposed ideologies.
From December: Why You and Your Spouse Should Create Your Own Traditions been talking about the holidays and creating your own traditions for the holidays. That’s the great thing about having a family of your own. You can keep some of the traditions you grew up participating in and you can skip right over the traditions you didn’t care for. It doesn’t matter if you and your spouse have children, because holiday traditions are about building strong bonds.
What is your pick for best story of 2006?