Woman to Woman – marriage

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Tips and Tricks – Keeping your marriage alive: Whether you’ve been married for 38 years, 8 years or are a newlywed, you’ve probably picked up a few keys to a happy marriage, one which is nurturing and continues to grow. Maybe your marriage has struggled, but you’ve found a road back to each other and have insights to offer those in a similar situation.

What would you say are the three most key elements in your marriage that keep the romance alive and the heart aflutter?”

 

I am 48 years old and 2 ½ years into my second marriage. My first marriage was 26 years long and never good.  I made a basic mistake at the very beginning by marrying a non-Christian. If you’re a Christian, don’t marry a man who isn’t saved because you’re Sure you can lead him to the Lord. Especially when you have children. Things that didn’t seem important suddenly become important when the basic training of your child is at stake.

 
The key elements that keep our romance alive and our hearts fluttering are three very unromantic words: respect, security and always putting the other person first.

 You’d think it would be flowers, candlelight dinners and unexpected presents. Maybe some new lingerie or a trip to the day spa, getting the works. Those things are fine, but not much fun if you have underlying foundational issues that rob you of your romance and joy. Do the work and take the time to build a good foundation. It’s worth it.

 Security is key. I am so completely secure in my husbands love, that I flourish. And vice versa. I never worry about what he’s ‘really’ doing when he’s away from home. I can look at him with complete respect because he’s an honorable man, a man of integrity – and those ‘unromantic’ qualities keep my heart fluttering because I know he’s only into ME. And again, vice versa.

 Jesus tells us to put others before ourselves, to count them as more important than ourselves. Using this principle in marriage means we don’t fight. Combining this principle with respect, if I put him before me, while he’s putting me before him… it’s a win/win/win situation. Because I respect him, I don’t yell or argue or put him down in order to win a point. I listen. I may disagree, but I say it respectfully. And he does the same. We just talk. I know he’s not out to get me, and he knows I’m not out to prove anything. I am not a doormat wife. I have my own opinions which I voice without fear. It’s the ‘way’ in which you speak that make the difference.

 Ok, one more quality. Temperaments should be as like each other as possible. I know the age old saying is “Opposites attract? but I have to add, “They may attract, but they don’t stay happy very long!? The outgoing hubby who marries an introverted, quiet wife and wants to be out socially quite a bit, won’t be happy with her quiet mannerisms for long. Just an example, but it really helps if you’re either both homebodies or both social butterflies. If you’re both easygoing, it’s much easier than if one is easygoing while the other is intense. If you’re both intense, you can understand the needs of the other. In our case, we are both easygoing homebodies. We love our home and enjoy being in it and living our lives here, in this house. Our focus is on each other, not events or places to go. That being said, when we do go out, we enjoy it quite a bit. If you go out to dinner all the time, it’s not really special. We like to do some traveling, but are always happy to be home again rather than being sad our adventure is ending.

 These things work in our marriage, and I think it also helps that we are older and have some maturity, and some experience in marriage/life. You have to be true to yourselves as well. You can’t pretend to be something you’re not. You should be a whole person before joining yourself to another person. The principle is not “We make each other complete because we’re only half a person to begin with,? it’s “We make each other complete because we’re already whole in Christ and in our life before marriage.?  

 When my first marriage ended, I wanted nothing to do with another marriage. In my mind, marriage was a very unhappy and stressful state. I felt that I had finally escaped and now had my life back. God had other ideas! I’m not the type to go to ‘singles events’ or out to bars – alone or with friends! But I did find I missed social contact, and I found a Christian singles chat room that I liked. It wasn’t to find a man, it was to enjoy a few moments here and there with friends. But, on New Years Eve 2004, I met my future husband in that chat room. And 6 weeks later we were married. This is not something I’d generally recommend without specific guidance from the Lord and respecting all ‘internet dating’ boundaries and rules. It could be dangerous.

 When we met and I knew this was more than just another friend, I was scared to death. I prayed and prayed, “Lord, please take him out of my life if he’s not good.?  One morning in church, during the sermon, it was suddenly as if everything stopped, except the pastor continued talking. The only words I heard were these “Don’t let your heart be troubled.? Verse from John. I was shaken to my middle as I knew this His answer to my frantic prayers. As I look back, 2 ½ years later, I know without a shadow of a doubt this was the Lords voice, quieting my fears.

 And I have to say, I never knew marriage was like this. It’s good, solid and fun. It’s romantic and exciting. It’s enjoyable and lovely. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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12 Responses to “Woman to Woman – marriage”

  1. Montserrat Says:

    You brought up a very good point – building a good foundation is so important. Thanks for sharing your insights and tips.

  2. Kayris Says:

    While I agree that taking temperament into consideration is important, it doesn’t mean you can’t be happily married to someone who is different. You wouldn’t want to marry someone whose basic beliefs went against everything you believe in, but a marriage to the right person doesn’t hinge on personality. My husband is very extroverted and I’m an introvert (and by that I don’t mean I am shy, I mean introverted in the way it is defined by Myers-Briggs). While it can be a challenge sometimes, I think we’ve come to an understanding that I need time to myself and that he needs more social time. Otherwise I feel stifled and he feels bored. While it might be easier for both of us to be one or the other, what would happen then if one of our kids turned out the opposite way and we didn’t know how to deal? I like what you said about respect, a little bit goes a long way.

  3. Jennifer Says:

    I also was struck by the temperament comment. My husband and I have significantly different *interests*, that we can appreciate in each other. But our *temperaments* are similar. We both like to think things through, carefully plan, talk about it, etc.

    Good post.

  4. Morning Glory Says:

    Thank you, thank you for participating today. A response from someone who has begun a new marriage is something I was hoping to read. Your insights are very helpful. I so totally agree that respect, security and others first are vital to a good relationship. I’m very happy you have found those qualities this time. I believe in happy endings.

  5. Lei Says:

    Going along with what you said about security, being trustworthy and giving trust freely are also important.

    I agree with MG, it is nice to see what kessns can be learned the second time around. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Lei Says:

    kessns=lessons… I am not typing so well today! Lol!

  7. Susie Says:

    So glad to hear that you’ve found someone with which to share your life.
    You’ve made some very interesting points in this post.

  8. Belladonna Says:

    What a blessing to find love that nurtures your spirit the second time around.

    However, I don’t agree one bit about needing to have lots in common. That is one style of relationship that works best for many people. However, there are others (like me) who absolutely thrive while bonded to a partner who is absolutely different in many significant ways. For YOU, and for MANY, a relationship based on mutual interests and common characteristics is comforting and secure. But I don’t believe there is any one cookie cutter pattern for every good marriage.

    We each find our own path.

  9. Karen Says:

    I’ve been meaning to participate in this writing challenge for a while now, but it seems I always hit it a day late and a dollar short. This time… I was right on the money. 🙂

    Just to address a few of the comments about temperament. First of all, I don’t think any sentence or guideline fits every person or relationship. That’s just silly. And this is true as well – if we were both completely alike and had all the same interests… one of us would be unnecessary! 🙂

    But it is nice, for me, coming from the background I came from, to have a husband who may not initially be interested in going to a quilt show or shop… I mean, he never would have before me! But now he’s willing, because it’s my interest and he’s interested in the things I’m interested in. And that goes both ways.

    I’ve NEVER been a sports fan. Truthfully, I can’t even walk across the room without tripping on my own feet. But he is a huge St. Louis Cardinals fan (you know they won the World Series last year right?) 🙂 Now, I love to watch a baseball game and the few times we’ve gone to ST Louis to see games, I’ve had such a good time. He took the time to tell me about the game, even during it! So, while we each have some interests ‘not in common’ we have grown together to appreciate the others. And even like it! 🙂 I have been known to watch the game, even when he’s not home. 🙂

    And Belladonna, I don’t believe in the cookie cutter pattern either 🙂 It just doesn’t make sense.

    thanks to all of you for visiting 🙂

  10. mumple Says:

    I am enjoying reading this week’s WTW. So many marriages have God, and faith, at their heart it’s wonderful!

    Kevin and I do believe that what we had experienced before and the *rightness* of our relationship are the sum total of God’s plan and love for us.

  11. Gran (Angela) Says:

    Thank you for sharing helpful tips in relationship bonding. I am so glad that you have found the man that God wanted you to have. May you continue to have many years of happiness together. Please join in our next woman to woman.

    Angela

  12. Sabina Says:

    Do not pay attention, simply good mood… Happiness to you, health, love, success, try to check
    . And all of the best.

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