After my first Marriage post, I got a lot of great feedback. One friend of mine had a lot to say on the subject and with her 36 years of marital experience and two very successful and happy sons, I figured I could share her sage advice with you guys. Who couldn't use a little sage advice, right?
Trust me...this is the woman to get your sage advice from...seriously...everyone went to her when we worked together and everyone still does. I am lucky to have her in my life.
Here is what my dear friend had to add to the conversation (everything in italics is me...God, I just can't keep quiet, can I? I'll try to make it brief though):
- Prevent the argument. If something is irritating you, or if you’re in a foul mood, tell your spouse sooner rather than later. Prevention saves a lot of miscommunication. Early on in our marriage when I would be feeling pissy and FINALLY blurt out an emotion, my hubby would say, “That’s not what I meant.” or “How could you think that?” Now, even though it’s uncomfortable, I confront issues as soon as I can after giving them some thought. Have an issue? … discuss it as soon as possible. Prevention keeps those snide remarks (who? me?) and eye rolling behaviors (who? Husband?) in check. I don’t think those behaviors are good for kids to see. BTW prevention carries over well to the work place as well.
- Don’t react with your heart. It is not rational and reasonable. Give pause for thought. To this day before I react I think, “If this were me, how would I want to hear this?” You preserve your spouse’s dignity as well as your own by stopping and thinking before say something rash (note to self: think more about spouse's dignity).
- Appreciate each other and don’t take each other for granted. Others can be attractive and tempting, but know in your heart what is valuable in a spouse. Be thankful everyday your partner walks this earth. You can lose them with no warning. (This really struck home...I do think we take these things for granted, but she's right...it can all change in an instant.)
- We never fought or bickered in front of the kids (WTF???). That would wait until they were out of the house. Let me tell you, there were some doozies. You are right; children are observant. You are their role models. I think it is imperative children see disagreement and discussion between their parents (okay, so I'm assuming that a disagreement can be calm and more like a conversation as opposed to a fight which is nasty and mean, right?). But fight? Never!
- Know marriage is never 50/50. There are times when you will have to give 90%. There are times when you will need 90%. That’s where the “for better or worse” comes in. (Sooooo true...there are so many times in this whole parenting thing where either Husband or I lose our cool and the other one takes over...you need that balance. You need someone to tip the see saw in the other direction so that you don't get hit in the face unexpectedly)
- Know that long-lasting relationships do evolve. They must. Who wants to be married to a Peter Pan (that depends...could I have kept my 27 year old body???)?
Thoughts? Additions? Talk points???