Well, it’s time to wrap up the marriage and relationships theme we covered this week. I hate to move on already; I feel like I could talk about this topic for years. But it’s time to move on to the next topic in the countdown to my book launch! (Speaking of, wouldn’t you like to pre-order a copy?)
A quick wrap-up of the week:
- Check out this great Q&A with Project: Happily Ever After author Alisa Bowman. Also, I’ve announced the winners of the book giveaway in the post. (Congrats Prerna and Lyndy!)
- Many readers identified with this post about how expectations can lead to disappointment and resentment…
- Single moms, this one’s for you: interview with divorced moms and authors Candace Walsh and Theo Nestor.
- So you want to be more forgiving, but how? Check out these 6 tips for letting go.
I shared a lot of thoughts this week about my marriage, but I know all relationships are different. So I wanted to end this week’s topics with great tips from you. I asked for your best marriage tips on Facebook, Twitter, and in my blog comments, and got a lot of great stuff. Here they are:
- jenniferacomb: Respect, communication and teamwork. We’re celebrating our 10 year anniversary next month and we laugh more than ever!
- postpartumprogr: After 20 yrs (17 married), I’m convinced that forgiving each other is what keeps us going.
- AngEngland We promised when we got married than when we finished a fight, that was it. Stayed in the past. I think too many couples bring up old stuff in the midst of the current fight. Has to be room for growth!
- kt_writes: this sounds so basic, but taking the time to talk and connect *every day.* just skipping one day lets distance creep in.
- BirthingKristen: Shared laughter. Keeping romance AND friendship alive.
- bikelady: My tip: Be mindful of the relationship. You have to do your best to stay tuned in. That takes thoughtfulness or mindfulness.
- theshineproject through constantly bringing each other up, never tearing down. And through faith in God, prayer and scripture study
- Cecilyk Time together, and time apart. In equal measure, and equally important.
- lilysea Kiss every day. Even if you have not the time nor inclination to do more.
- Denise Johnson Field Laughter, kisses, hugs, saying “I love you” at the end of EVERY phone conversation.
- Jennifer Weir-Johnson We also do the above…and keep the fights ‘clean’ :]
- Maegan Jones Laughing. It always gets things back on track.
- Carolyn Woods Focus more on the positives, have low expectations and high hopes! Think about the jerk someone else is married to and my hubby seems like a dream. Remember why we got married in the first place.
From blog comments:
- Jenn: Wake up each morning and think–what can I do to make this the best possible day for the man/woman lying next to me!
- Olivia: I know for my marriage the most important thing is good communication. Every argument we’ve had was a result of poor communication or misunderstanding. Outsiders might even think we over do it, sounding like we are reading from a self help book, but it works.
- Sarah: I’d say the single, most important thing that has made the difference in our lives is a willingness to be vulnerable. To say how x,y,z is really making us feel – rather than just sweeping an uncomfortable feeling under the proverbial carpet. I’m an optimist who hates confrontation. He’s a WASP who hates confrontation. So we lived for many years ignoring various elephants in the room because they were too scary to confront. We finally went to counseling to learn how to have uncomfortable dialogues in a healthy way. It was worth every penny. If you’re struggling to communicate…find an expert who will help you navigate the minefields together. If your spouse resists, make it clear that he/she is making a choice about your marriage.
- Jen in MN: I grew up in a home where my parents NEVER dealt with anything. Ever. It was awful in various ways, to never hear the resolution of anything as a young child. Just the bickering, fighting….and then nothing. Go on and pretend as though nothing has happened. Ugh! I swore up & down that would never be me – but of course it’s a lot harder in practice than it is in theory. (-: My husband and I do strive for clear communication and for staying vulnerable with each other. We are far from perfect, but at 8.5 years in, we’re making our way.
- S: Pick your battles and the right venue and time for it. Show your appreciation in everything, everywhere, every time. If we would just follow this……
- Veena: For me, it’s important to take 100% responsibility for my side of the relationship…including my thoughts, feelings, beliefs, emotions, state of being, happiness. And to be willing to look at what isn’t working in those realms when issues arise. Where am I projecting? What am I expecting? Is it fair- to either of us? What is calling me to grow? Is there something to acknowledge, accept, forgive, love? Ultimately, my gorgeous man is my mirror…and he shows me what I find beautiful and ugly (and everything in between) in myself. Am I willing to love all of it- in both of us? And, am I willing to allow him to be 100% responsible for his stuff and his relationship with me? Ultimately, in all of it, how can we help each other grow into ourselves in this amazing journey together?
You guys are smart. I’ve really enjoyed discussing marriage and relationships with you all and it’s a topic I hope to revisit many times through the year. For now, it’s time to move on to a new topic: building your tribe, the friends and support system that will help you get through the hard parts of motherhood and make the rest of it more fun. Can’t wait!