5 Ways To Be A Better...Spouse/PartnerNovember 14, 2016, by Sarah
Hi Blended Blog Family! It's my turn for our 5 Ways series...today I'm going to give you 5 tips to being a better partner. My mom used to have this sign in our kitchen growing up about the rules of life, the number one thing on the list? That she read to us almost daily, 99% of your happiness is who you marry and I whole heartedly agree with that statement. After 11.5 years of marriage this is what I have learned:
One - Wake Up And Choose to Love your Partner
We learned this at our Engaged Encounter, and we have really taken this with us over the years. After the love and the lust fades away and you're 5 years into your relationship you have to wake up and chose to love your partner. It's so easy to let life get in the way and things to happen, and then suddenly you find yourself drifting apart, you need wake up and remind yourself everyday why you choose to be with this person. Love is not only a feeling, it is a choice. So when the lust and the rose colored goggles fade away, you can remember that you are choosing to love this person because you want to, not because you have to.
Sometimes when Mr. and I are in an argument, to break the tension one of us will say, I am choosing to love you right now. And then suddenly we realize that what we were arguing about is not really that big of a deal, and we can go about resolving the issue with much less tension.
Two - It Takes Two To Spend Money
I feel that a huge part of why people fight in a marriage is money. Someone always wants to spend more, while the other always wants to save more. Mr. and I hardly EVER fight, but when we did, it was almost always about money. He was the saver, I was the spender. We saved for a house, we bought house, and then he wanted to keep saving, drove me nuts, I said we are living in a completely empty house saving all this money for what? We bought the house, let's spend something on furniture...that's when we discovered Dave Ramsey. It helped us to see that it takes two people to do the finances. It is not fair to have one person trying to do it all. Each month we do our finances together, talk about where the money is going and what we want to happen in the near future. At first it was time consuming we spent a lot of time going over things, but now that we're 6 years into it, we spend maybe 15 minutes a month talking about it.
Three - Fight Fair
When a fight does come up fight fair. What do I mean by this? Don't bring up past arguments, if you've already had the argument, agreed to forgive each other and move on, you cannot now throw that in their face. What that really means is that last week when you said you forgave him for spending the extra $50 on golf clubs, or he forgave you for spending $50 on make up, you really didn't forgive each other. To truly forgive, it's in the past, and hardly on your radar. For me, I almost forget what argument we had, unless I really think about it. When I say I forgive, I really do and I mean it. So fight fair, talk about the argument at hand and how you can resolve it.
Four - Blessings
When I was coming up with this post, I had asked Mr. if he had any thoughts, besides the usual guy answers that can't be repeated, haha, he said you should tell them about Blessings. We learned this at our Engaged Encounter as well. The couple leading the retreat had told us that each night before they went to bed they gave each other a blessing. They prayed for the other person out loud, giving each person a moment of gratitude and thankfulness. For us it's a moment when can appreciate, thank and hope for the best for your partner. Ever since then we have done this, so for the past 11.5 years we've been blessing each other each night, and have passed on the same to our children. Saturday night we got home really late and we just put the kids to bed and in their sleepy state, Baby Fox said, I can't sleep without Mini Fox's blessings... It's a way to end the day on a good note, to not be thinking of anything else that happened but our family.
Five - 100/100
Sometimes you hear people say, their relationship is 50/50, but in reality it's not. It should be more 100/100. Both of you have to put in 100% of your efforts. Sometimes you are having to put more effort in and pick up more slack because your spouse is taking college courses or is working extra hours, other times they will have to pick up the slack because you've had surgery and can't do anything other than sit on the couch. Life waxes and wans and it's not always going to be "fair" but you don't want fair you want to give it your all for the other person, because who want to go through life trying to keep track?
I hope these helped you, what would you want to add?