1 Give your significant other the benefit of the doubt
We, as women, will many times roll our eyes or begin a fight because we know exactly what our significant other is going to do. Here’s an example: I ask my husband to not drop his backpack in the middle of the kitchen for the MILLIONTH time. He says “Ok I’ll move it in a minute, Chels.” I lash “Ugh, no you won’t.” Then I roll my eyes and move it myself before he has the chance to follow through. To be fair, we know our significant others pretty well. But how would you feel if you were always being judged on what you were probably going to do based on past experiences? Always allow the opportunity for change, even if it’s not likely. If you don’t you’ll be inviting a lot more nagging into your relationship than you want, trust me. This brings me to my next point.
2 Do. Not. Nag.
Not nagging can be as easy as simply rephrasing how we say things to our spouse/significant other. Example:
Nag: “Josh, why do you always forget to put your socks in the wash?”
Not nagging: “Josh, try to remember to put your socks in the wash.”
And if he says “Ok, ok, I will…” refer back to point 1.
Also, remember that we are here to serve our husbands and marriage is not 50/50. Many times you will need to do more than “your share” of the work, and that’s what we signed up for when we said “I do.”
3 Be kind
To make things pretty simple, “A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself (Proverbs 11:17).” also “A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath (Proverbs 15:1)” These two truths really say all that’s needed to be said. Wouldn’t you rather stop a fight sooner rather than later and not have to deal with so many apologies later?
4 Don’t forget to have fun!
Sometimes I can get into severe busy-body mode when I get so caught up in getting things done and needing my husband’s help and bla bla bla that he’ll sometimes make a joke and I completely forget that I can laugh. When busy, I am almost always, by default, on edge. I need to consciously remind myself to not take myself so seriously, to slow down, and remember that I can be busy and still have fun. Being able to laugh with your significant other will strengthen your friendship and ultimately protect your relationship from complacency. It’ll be great in the good times and bring you closer together in the hard times.
5 Quick forgiveness
There will be times when our significant other messes up. There will be times when we are clearly wronged. In those times, it is best to forgive, and forgive quickly. Don’t get me wrong- this is not easy. Everything in us demands justice and vindication- but marriage isn’t about justice. It’s about humility (just as apologising is humbling, so is forgiving), it’s about service, and it’s about love. And in the times when you find it the most hard to forgive, repeat this to yourself until you can “Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive (Colossians 3:13).”
6 Unconditional Respect
Emerson Eggerichs writes in his book Love & Respect, “We asked 7,000 people this question: ‘When you are in conflict with your spouse or significant other, do you feel unloved or disrespected?’ 83% of the men said ‘disrespected.’ 72% of the women said ‘unloved.'”
We many times assume that in marriage our husband owes us unconditional love, even when we are at times not very lovable. On the other hand, however, our husband needs to earn our respect and, in that case, can lose it in an instant. According to Dr. Eggerich’s statistics, men need to feel respected just as much as women inherently feel the need to be loved. Not sure how to help them feel respected? Refer back to the previous points for help.
I’m not going to go into detail here. Basically, you know what you should do. If you find yourself “hanging out” with your spouse just staring at your phones, tv, laptops for an extended period of time- just give it a break. Put your electronics in another room. Go on a walk. Get some coffee. Have a conversation that is not circumstantial together. You won’t regret the time missed on your phone, trust me.
Sue Oberg says
I love this list!! And I just want to mention two things that have helped me in my marriage about picking up after my husband over and over. One, I am so glad those shoes (or whatever) are there to pick up and that it means he is in my life. Two, it is an act of service for me to do this for him. If it is bothering me, then I will do something about it that will not cause conflict between us. I am not saying we should encourage sloppiness, but there are different ways we can choose to look at this. 🙂
Love your point of view! Totally true.
David Damon Sr. says
Very good stuff daughter in law. My son is a fortunate man indeed. I love you both. You are doing very well it seems. Keep up the good and hard work of marriage with the guidance of the one who makes it good!
I could be better at all of these!
Kara Benz says
You’ve got some great tips here! I definitely need to work on being less of a nag sometimes… it’s SO hard! 😉
Kristen @ A Mind Full Mom says
Number #1 is my go-to! I know my hubby loves me and his heart is good, but he is human and will mess up–just like me. I want him to extend me grace on my bad days, so I try to do the same for him. Great post!
Super tips I got from your post. Thanks for sharing.
Stacey @ Stacey Homemaker says
THESE ARE GREAT TIPS TO LIVE BY! I’M REALLY WORKING HARD ON #2. SOMETIMES, I FIND MYSELF REPEATEDLY ASKING TRAVIS TO DO THE SIMPLEST THINGS, SO IT’S HARD TO OT COME OFF AS NAGGY, BUT I’M REALLY GOING TO WORK ON GENTLY REMINDING HIME AND NOT NAGGING!
SOMETHING ELSE WE’VE BEEN WORKING ON, IS NOT RAISING OUR VOICES DURING A DISAGREEMENT. WE WANT TO HEAR EACH OTHERS WORDS, NOT OUR VOICES.
Good advise that many could take up.
Linda @ Mixed Kreations says
These are all really great tips. We pretty much do everything together and I try really hard to watch how I say things so he won’t think I’m nagging. But we do probably need to practice # 7 a little more often.
Allison Jones says
These are great tips! My husband and I live by most of these, but we definitely need to do a lot more unplugging. We are planning a no electronics allowed trip for next summer and I can’t wait.
That sounds great! I’ve been wanting to do that also!
Diana Elle says
I agree with all of these points, very necessary to be happier together!
Betsy @ Happily Ever After, Etc. says
Marriage is not 50/50… I needed to hear that! Most days I preach that it should be while expecting 80/20 (on his side) and feel like I’m doing 80/20 (on my side) when I’m not! Definitely something to work on.
Great post – awesome tips! I guess we can all use a little help here and there to make it easier on ourselves. The nagging one, yeah, I think I should go back and reread it! haha
These are great, especially number 1. It’s hard for me not to act based off of what I know my husband will do or not do. I’m trying to get better though! Thank you for posting 🙂
dixya @ food, pleasure, and health says
while im not married, i do feel like i am nagger esp when it is something i need it done. thanks for sharing these tips.
And I’d like to also add to choose your battles… and I mean that you really need to think if this is actually a big deal. Most of the time, its not. I’m always so grateful for my husband that I forget the small stuff!
Yes yes yes, these are huge! Thanks so much for sharing! Loving your content lately 🙂
Thank you Kelsie
Jill @ RunEatSnap says
I love #6 – men need to feel respected while women need to feel loved. So true! I recently read “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” and it was very eye opening the differences between men and women!
Crazy shenanigans says
All good points!
I think I must be stubborn…I need to work on all of this.
Awesome points!…I would only add one small tip…Don’t assume you’re talking to the wives on some of these point!…Many of us husbands do most of the cooking and house work etc…and we can fall into the victim mentality also….So thanks for encouragement:)….adhd and hoarding exists…
Are you serious….?!? ‘Serve our husbands’ Eeewwww!!!! This is 2016 my dear, apart from the fact that generally speaking both ‘partners’ now work with careers even though home duties is usually more hours… it is a two way street… and couples that keep it closer to 50/50 are certainly being more geniune! Given that it’s not 1930!
Closer to 50/50 for the most part, but the world still has a fair way to go regarding equality.. Not to forget that plenty of (Australian) Men at least are doing far more of the house work and child care these days. Or, perhaps men of any Nation without these outdated thoughts on the matter!
I am seriously sorry for you, as you seem to be quite young.