These are lessons I have learned in marriage (and not without some struggle). They are things that I still need to remember to do but I am so thankful for my husband who is very honest with me and has a knack for seeing things as they are. AND, I may add, even if I were amazing at all these points mentioned, my husband would still not find perfect fulfillment in me. The only one he can find that from is Christ, the one who is the reason we love, forgive, and selflessly invest in others. Without Christ, none of this would be possible.
This post is not to say that, in order for our husbands to love us, we need to remain the girl we once were when we first met. It’s not permission for men to “outgrow” their wives as we grow older and mature. But I can bet there are a few little touches that may have been forgotten along the way and, if brought back, both we and our husbands would be mutually happy and feel a new energy within the relationship. Take these tips and see which ones may be relevant to your own relationships.
You no longer laugh at his jokes (or try to make him laugh)
It took about a year into our marriage for me to realize I had gotten to this point. I’m not really sure when it started but I’m sure that somewhere along the way things got busy, things got serious, responsibilities got real, and we got tired. I didn’t even realize on my own that I forgot to let myself have fun with my husband. My poor best friend had to bring it up to me and I immediately felt awful because I knew he was right. Try to take a moment to think about how often you and your spouse laugh together. If you feel like these moments may be few and far between, you may find that you are having a hard time being in the moment with your husband. Rather, you are more concerned with the things you have to get done and/or how tired you may be and/or how he did this thing that kinda annoyed you. I want to encourage you to find time every day to let those things go and enjoy your husband. Make him laugh and don’t take life so seriously. You may find that marriage is much more fun when you spend it with your best friend.
Things aren’t as easily forgiven or forgotten as they used to be.
I once heard someone say something along the lines of “The things that are cute when you’re dating will drive you insane when you’re married.” And in marriage I have found that this could not be more true. For example: While dating, you may barely even notice that bae doesn’t usually show up on time to meet you. And even if you do, his reasons are always legitimate. Whereas in marriage it’s more along the lines of, “Are you freaking kidding me… late again! And there’s always an excuse!” (This is just an example and is more likely the other way around in our marriage). While I’m not suggesting wearing rose-colored glasses to try and overlook your spouse’s shortcomings, I would urge all of us to practice forgiveness. Think about a time when you were forgiven (maybe repeatedly) for some annoying thing you do. Be open and honest with your spouse, tell them how you feel, but err on the side of forgiveness.
You no longer have the time.
There may be some days when you’re husband comes home from work and- guess what- he missed you! He wants to spend time with you! But you find yourself stressed out and/or in go-mode trying to get the things done that need to happen before you can relax. In those moments, try to remember that your husband needs you. He may not come out and say it, there are times when he needs to feel intimate with you aside from sexual moments. Try to be sensitive to those times and when your husband asks to spend time with you, take time to be thankful for it and enjoy it in the moment. Do your best to put your to-do list out of your mind for now and spend/enjoy that quality time with your husband. You’ll both be happier that you did.
You no longer “light the candle”
I don’t even know if that’s a proper sexual innuendo but I suppose anything could be if you think about it too much…
What I mean is, before you two got married, you could probably look at each other and be turned on. But now it might take a little bit more effort on your part. We may think that our husbands are happy as long as there’s some consistency in terms of the frequency of sex, but in reality this isn’t all a man needs in order to feel satisfied in that area. Men have a very deep desire to feel needed, wanted, and respected. That stems out to a lot of areas, including sex. If we just give our husband his weekly, (monthly, yearly) quota and think that he should feel satisfied, then we’re missing a really important (and fun) part of sex! Initiating sex and showing your husband that you are excited to be intimate with him will do wonders to validate and esteem him. Just think of how it might change your man’s day if he was yelled at at work but came home to a woman who finds him sexy and wants to be with him. This can make all the difference in his attitude when he has to head off to work the next morning. Be the one he loves coming home to!
So, what do you think of these points? Do you think husbands should just accept how we’ve changed or is there benefit in remembering our younger selves? Any wisdom to add to these points? I’d love to hear what you have to say! Remember, sharing is caring!
Allison Jones says
I definitely agree with all of these, but I think there’s some good in it as well. In some ways, I’m sure my husband misses the girl he dated years ago, but in others, I think he’s likely happy with my growth and maturity. Great post!
Excellent advise. As we mature in our lives we forget that we must grow in our marriage! Before we had children and all the time we were dating we were nurturing each other. We may not have done it consciously but we did. That’s part of the falling in love process. After we settle into our lives as a married couple we forget about the nurturing. We forget to remain friends with our spouses. Our priorities shift. Next to God our husbands come first. And it’s important to show our children how to respect the head of the household. That’s honoring and loving and respecting our husbands.
I couldn’t agree more. Hubby and I were just talking about this last night. I would also add the communication after marriage is much harder and an effort compared to when dating.
Jessica Agee says
Hello! I’m Jess… I wrote a comment already in need of help,but forgot to mention about the communication part. Like I said almost 18 yrs together & married 16 yrs on Jan 7th… with 3 teens one whom is Autistic & my daily chronic pain. I’m no where near the person I used to be due to my health & even though Dan & I are close ,best friends , lover’s we’ve lost the always having something to talk about a long with laughter etc . .. I want to desperately get all that back. Where to start?? He’s my world along with my kid’s and I need to get some of it back. I know that I’m not 19 anymore but some communication and some laughter would be great.Anyhow good point!!
Jessica Kaushik says
Especially with children! #sigh
Great Post, we all change over the years.. hopefully don’t outgrow each other but still find time and ways to laugh together and make each other wanted needed, loved and respected
Good post. Very hard to implement some of these at times, but definitely worth it for the man I love!
Alexandra @ My Urban Family says
This really hits home, especially “You no longer have the time”. My husband works a “normal” job where he is done by 5 or 6 each night and wants to cook dinner together and hang out. Which is lovely when I can also stop working then. But I freelance so some days I’m just hitting my stride around 6 pm and I need to eat and run back to work. It’s gotten better over time, but it took some getting used to. I remember stopping myself when I got aggravated that he wouldn’t stop hugging me while I was trying to get something done haha
I think we all change over time and that is why it is important to remember love is a CHOICE not a FEELING! I also think it’s important to take time for each other and make each other a priority!!!!! Marriages don’t have to fizzle over time just because life changes, but it’s a choice to let them fizzle!
Awesome point Caroline!! Love is definitely a choice, not something we feel. Many times it’s hard to love someone and it won’t always come naturally. Feelings come and go but our choice to love our spouse needs to remain. Thanks for the comment!
All great points! I’m not married but I have been dating my significant other for over 5 years now. I think that as the years go by and you get out of the “honeymoon” stage (if you want to call it that), that you forget about the little things from when you first started dating. Having time for one another, even if it’s an hour after you get home from work is really important. We try to at least sit down and have dinner or watch a movie together daily. Relationships are not always easy but if you put in the time and effort, it’s well worth it.
So true.. I can so relate to all of those.. Thanks for sharing this…
— DT | Here I Scribble
CHocolate Mama Loves Vanilla says
Its so crazy how one day you wake up and your wondering how the relationship may have gotten dull. These are some really great tips to keep in mind! Awesome post!
I completely agree with this post. There’s a transformation that happens when you get married, but it’s up to you two to find a new normal and to keep things exciting and fresh!
Becki S says
Good post with good reminders. I think for us we have to stay open and honest in communication and walk together through adventures!
Becky @ Disney in your Day says
I think the time issue can be the biggest one for us. We are both so busy, and being married and living in the same house you don’t always think to schedule time just to be together. I’m lucky that we are still so good at laughing with each other.
These are so great! I definitely feel as though Nate and I are pretty much completely different people than we were when we were dating but that’s totally ok because we grew and changed together!
Thank you for your godly perspective and insight! This was a very beneficial read for me.
I’m the wife of a military guy who works crazy hours (when he’s not TDY or deployed). We have 4 kids and I homeschool. Our schedule is crazy. Our life is crazy. And we are both drastically different than we were when we started dating at the ripe ages of 18 & 19 (almost 20 years ago!). We’ve had easy, awesome times and some very difficult, not-so-good times. I can honestly say that through all of it, and because of our FAITH, we have changed together, and for the better. God has been faithful to us as we’ve been faithful to Him and to each other. Intentional communication and quality time spent together have kept our marriage strong and happy for almost 16 years. I think when our eyes are fixed on Christ, our hearts stay fixed on one another 🙂
Be the one he loves coming home to! – Love that!
I need to keep all of these in mind as I am going through my engagement phase and into my future marriage.
Loved this post.
Great post! I need to keep these in mind. I need to not take the hubby for granted!
Shann Eva says
These are all so true. We’ve been married for over 7 years, and we’re definitely not the people we were. Marriage is hard work, but we need to remember to laugh with each other more for sure. Thank you!
These are all true points, but I think it may be good I am not that girl anymore after 11 years and 2 kids! We actually were just talking about this the other day, and the hubs actually said he likes me way more than he did then! Haha! Not in a bad way, but we have grown up and grown together as spouses and parents, and he is more my best friend than ever. I wouldn’t ever want to go back to that naive 19-22 year old girl I was! I can’t wait to think about this question in another 11!
If I was still that same person… marriage would be far more of a challenge! I was a wild child. If anything, we’ve figured out more about ourselves and our relationship as we’ve matured and grown out of that wild phase. I travel for work, so it’s given us a schedule to work around, which I personally think has helped us not fall into the lulls most relationships wind up in.
Summer @ Coffee With Summer says
The time one is so huge for my husband and me. We both work great jobs, but his is in ministry so you never know when there’s more time to focus on something.
YES, yesssss to all of this. After we had our son 2 years ago I felt all of these pretty seriously. It has taken time and effort on both of our parts to get back to the way we used to be (or at least close) Stopping by from the Blogger Life FB page.
Amen! I think you are a very wise young woman and have learned the difficult lessons a lot of 50+ have yet to grasp and why soooo many marriages fail. Life in this century is very difficult but you have attained the true key to ALL our problems…Christ Jesus…author and finisher of our faith and thus our life. Proud to be in the kingdom living life with you.
At the beginning of the Dr Laura Sirrus Xm radio, she always announces ” I’m am my kids Mom and my husband’s girlfriend” and that always stuck with me.
Jessica Agee says
Hello! I’m Jess,married 16 yrs on Jan 7th. Together almost 18 yrs. We have 3 Tween one whom is Autistic so that along with my everyday Chronic pain,I still have the sex/romantic part down however I’ve lost myself along the way to pain. I used to be outgoing ,fun,funny,up for anything. Some days I can’t find myself to even smile or like you said laugh at his joke’s or joke around. I mean between the many year’s together the pain since 2007 till now 2016 & taken him taking on the” caretaker ” roll for granted. I’m stuck?? We definitely have a special bond,best friend & we’re still lover’s but I wanna make him laugh,make him feel special & appreciated without just writing a little letter telling him so. I’m in need of advice here ladies. I haven’t been to Church for 2 yrs this Easter do to pain and the crazy part is that my husband went..finally! He was raised Jehovah Witness & long story short it pushed him away from Christ. So I get him to go & love’s the pastor whose name is Dan, like my husband. Anyhow we haven’t been back & the pastor really wants us to join,but my pain stops me. I noticed in the Emails from Pastor Dan,they have marriage classes that they have frequently & of course my pain has made it impossible to go. So do you have any suggestions for me to laugh,play & show him appreciation? Loved the article BTW. Jess Agee
You can kill love. Strange to me how there are so many “self-help” columns for women and women actually seek them out and read them. How many of your husbands do you “catch” on the internet seeking ways to improve themselves in the husband department? I thought so! I have raised my kids and thought that I had married a man. Some of these guys need to grow “some” and outgrow the need to be coddled! That was mommy’s job not wifey’s!!!
Kerry Stevens says
I was reading through all the comments and as a comment I read from B.HULSLANDER I so agree. Why is it up to the wife always to make sure the hubby is happy. It seems to me hubby gets a free ride. Shouldn’t he have ideas on how to help his Wife and the mother of his children. to make her life a little easier. Even to this day I’m sure men think that women are subservient to them and should be waiting at the door. with full make up a pretty dress dinner on the table and his pipe and slippers ready. I’ve been married for 28 years have two special needs boys and health issues myself. We are a team a partnership equal. We both help each other out.. We still laugh together, be strong together and when we can sit together without talking and feel close.
Krystyna Bartels says
Great post. It’s good to stop and re-evaluate your relationship. This morning my husband asked me to pray for him while on the road in Colorado with snow on the roads and my reply was “honey, I bragged about you to God, what a wonderful husband you are and He knows how much I need you.” I could hear in his voice that he liked my answer. Before we got married, he proposed that we will remember to tell each other how much and why we like each other. You can love someone, but liking them is another matter. He leaves me “I like you ” notes and I collect them.
Jessica Kaushik says
How true change is. It is a reality! And I concur that what we were and will become are beautiful manifestations of the twists and turns that marriage takes. Where I am at today, after celebrating our 7th Wedding Anniversary with a surprise homemade dinner for my husband just last night, I am focusing on the now, what we are. and I am confident that that is the key to supporting my husband on this roller coaster called life that he chose to partake with ME! Lol Am glad to have stumbled upon your blog @Chelsea. Thank you /\
Hubby and I have only been married for 3 1/2 years. The hardest part of marriage is that we got pregnant a month after marriage. So I’m actually pregnant with our third baby hehe. But we’re still pretty much newlyweds (at least that’s what I consider us to be). I have eternity for him to bother me. I know it’ll happen soon 😉 but not quite yet. We still laugh and joke. We talk and have a great relationship. Of course we aren’t as intimate as we’d like….hello… We have a two year old and a one year old haha but we’re great. I’ll update in like 5-10 years though 😉
I am in desperate need of help ….. our marriage has gotten worse . My husband hates me because I do not listen to him , I do not respond to him with a yes or no … he dis respects my by calling me names bad names .. I never ever call him a name at all. He said it hurts his heart when I do not listen but what about him calling me names and making me feel bad, I texted him the other day and said I miss you saying bye to me in the mornings and sending texts to me in the middle of the day
he replied Christ what do you want from me …20 plus years of coming home to you isn’t enough now . So many things I can note here that he has done to me including yelling at me in front of the kids … I guess I am needing someone to talk to … I have no one and keeping this all inside of me hurts .