Forum Archives

Return to Forum List

Marriage Tips - Women

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

Lucky2HaveMe posted 1/22/2014 10:32 AM

Again - both can learn

And with that, I’d like to offer up my version of his wise marriage tips – from a woman who has triumphed the murky waters of divorce (and if you’re interested, my husband also wrote one from his perspective).

1. Respect your husband. - Notice how it doesn’t say “Respect your husband if he has earned it”. A man’s greatest need in this world is to be respected, and the person he desires that respect from the most is his wife. The trap that we’ve all been ensnared by is that they only deserve our respect when they earn it. Yes, we want our husbands to make decisions that will ultimately garner our respect, but the truth is that your husband is a human being. A human being who makes mistakes. This is the man that YOU have chosen to walk alongside you for the rest of your life, and to lead your family and he needs to be respected for that quality alone. Take it from me – when respect is given even when he doesn’t deserve it, it will motivate him to earn it. That doesn’t mean you pretend that his choices are good ones when they aren’t. Things like that still need to be communicated, but you can flesh out your differences WITH RESPECT. It makes all the difference in the world to him.

2. Guard your heart. - The grass is not greener on the other side. Do not believe the lie that with a slimmer figure, a higher salary, a faster car, or a bigger house, you will be a happier woman. The world is full of things and people that will serve as reminders that you don’t have the best of the best, but it’s simply not true. Live the life you’ve been blessed with, and BE THANKFUL. I get that we all have struggles, and there are even times when I would love 1,000 more square feet of house to live in, but square feet is not fulfilling – relationships are. Guard your heart from things and people that will try to convince you that your life or your husband is not good enough. There will always be bigger, faster, stronger, or shinier – but you’ll never be satisfied with more until you’re fulfilled with what you have now.

3. God, husband, kids…in that order. - I know this isn’t a popular philosophy, especially among mothers, but hear me out. It’s no secret that my faith is of utmost importance, so God comes first in my life no matter what. But regardless of your belief system, your husband should come before your kids. Now unless you’re married to someone who is abusive (in which case, I urge you to seek help beyond what my blog can give you), no man in his right mind would ask you to put your kids aside to serve his every need while neglecting them. That’s not what this means. When you board an airplane, the flight attendants are required to go over emergency preparedness prior to takeoff. When explaining the part about how to operate the oxygen mask, passengers are instructed to first put the mask on themselves before putting it on their small child. Is that because they think you are more important than your kids? Absolutely not. But you cannot effectively help your child if you can’t breathe yourself. The same holds true with marriage and parenting. You cannot effectively parent your children if your marriage is falling apart. Take it from me – I tried. There will also come a time when your kids will leave the house to pursue their dreams as adults. If you have not cultivated a lasting relationship with your spouse, you will have both empty nests and empty hearts.

4. Forgive. - No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. If you make forgiveness a habit – for everything from major mistakes to little annoyances (every day, I have to forgive my husband for leaving the wet towel on the bathroom counter ) – you will keep resentment from growing.

5. Over-communicate. - I used to have a bad habit of not speaking my feelings. I played the standard “You should know why I’m mad” game, and that’s just downright unfair. Men are not wired like women, and they DON’T always know that they’ve been insensitive. I’m still growing in this area, and there are often times when my husband has to pry something out of me, but I’m trying to remember that I need to just communicate how I feel.

6. Schedule a regular date night. - This one isn’t new, but it’s very important. Never stop dating your spouse. Even if you can’t afford dinner and a movie (which we seldom can), spending some regular one-on-one time with your spouse is essential. Don’t talk about bills, or schedules, or the kids. Frankie and I often daydream about our future, or plan our dream vacation. We connect emotionally and often learn something new about each other – even after four years.

7. Never say the “D Word”. - If you’re gonna say it, you better mean it. Plain and simple, threatening divorce is not fighting fair. I did this a lot in my previous marriages. I’m not proud of it, but I learned better. I was hurting deeply, and I wanted to hurt back, but it never helped me feel better.

8. Learn his love language. - Everyone has a love language. The way you perceive love is often different from the way your spouse perceives love. Does he like words of affirmation, or does he respond better when you give him gifts? Whatever his love language is – learn it and USE IT.

9. Never talk negatively about him. - I learned this lesson the hard way too. If you’re going through a difficult time in your marriage and you need advice, see a counselor. Family counseling is a great tool, but try to remember that your family members and friends are not the most objective people to give advice. The argument they are hearing is one-sided and they often build up negative feelings toward your spouse, which usually doesn’t subside once you and your husband have gotten past it. Protect his image with those that you’re close with and seek help from those that can actually be objective. News flash, ladies – your mother cannot be objective!

10. Choose to love. - There are times in a marriage that you may wake up and not feel in love anymore. Choose to love anyway. There are times when you may not be attracted to your husband anymore. Choose to love anyway. Marriage is a commitment. In sickness and health, in good times and in bad. Those vows are sacred. They don’t say “if you have bad times”. They say “in good times AND in bad”, implying that there WILL be bad times. It’s inevitable. So choose to love anyway. He’s worth it.

daizy826 posted 1/22/2014 11:33 AM

This list is for me disturbingly antiquated. My husband should ALWAYS be respected? Because he was born with a penis? Um no. He gets respect because he earns it just like I do. He should take me sexually. No. We communicate our needs to each other. I seriously feel like I've been transported to the 1950's. My husband doesn't have such a frail ego as whomever wrote this believes her husband has. Part of my visceral reaction to this probably has to do with the fact that I saw this exact list with different wording on a website about how to be a good side chick to a married man. I guess I stupidly assumed that people thought men and women were equals now.

cardnial posted 1/22/2014 11:45 AM

I agree on some things but respect does have to be earned back after WH has had an affair I think. He disrespected me and our children. He had my respect before and he never fails to let me down. I wish I could do those things but damn this man has to give me something to love, someone to respect. Show me you are a good man and respect will follow.

hopefullromantic posted 1/22/2014 11:59 AM

I do agree that respect has to be earned, but I think the essence of the statement is to treat your H with respect, even if he doesn't deserve it. He's still your H.

In R, respectful treatment by both partners will go a long way to healing the marriage. I know that infidelity is the ultimate disrespect toward the BS, but treating the WS with disrespect in a vengeful manner just compounds your problems. You don't have to feel it, you just have to act it because, after all you are in R, are you not?

My husband doesn't have such a frail ego as whomever wrote this believes her husband has.

Really? Then what were his reasons for cheating?

BTW, what I think is antiquated is the old saying that 'women want love and men want respect'. I think that is a crock. Everyone wants respect, at least deep down. And everyone wants love.

[This message edited by hopefullromantic at 12:02 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]

Lucky2HaveMe posted 1/22/2014 12:08 PM

Some of it may be semantics. It used to raise the hairs on the back of my neck when one of my friends strived to be "a good wife" and told all of us we needed to as well. Like making his dinner, lunch, etc etc

Through this journey I have rephrased it to make a more sense to me. I think of it now as

There are things I do for him because he is my husband, because I love him.

I can make his lunch for him when I think of it in those terms. If I think of it in terms of being a good wife, I get irked.

For instance in the other article it talks about leaving the past behind - on the surface I don't agree with those words, but once the past has been dealt with fully, it can and should be left behind. That doesn't mean forget it, it means you will never finish the book if you keep re-reading the same chapter.

So I take these points - and the ones in the Men's post - to be thought provoking rather than taken verbatim.

sisoon posted 1/22/2014 14:08 PM

I don't understand why the list for men is so different from the list for women. My bet is that most differences between men and women are the results of conditioning - nurture, not nature. IMO, the list should be just about the same for both.

Lucky2HaveMe posted 1/22/2014 17:55 PM

I think it's just a list written by two different people giving their perspective. It's not like they co-authored their articles. The guy wrote his and then the woman wrote hers in response.

I think every point should be on both lists.

[This message edited by Lucky2HaveMe at 5:57 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]

StillGoing posted 1/22/2014 18:12 PM

Shockingly, I think it's a good list, just presented poorly.

Respect for your spouse should be a given, yes. That goes both ways so I think as this blog is aimed at women, it uses language that comes out of the Atomic Family Cookbook and falls on the floor where the delivery is concerned.

Respect for your spouse is the font from which a successful relationship flows. (I just wanted to use font in a sentence) If you don't have respect for someone, you cannot really engage any other relational emotive thingybob. Of course, after an affair, I think respect needs to be earned again - this thing about respect is really more for a functional and healthy marriage with two people on the same page, not the radioactive ashes of an A-Bomb aftermath.

Lucky2HaveMe posted 1/22/2014 18:55 PM

And as someone else commented - treating with respect should not have to be earned. Respect itself does.

Might not like what my H has to say, but I can treat him respectfully even though I think his point is idiotic.

The guys article was written by a guy after divorce. I think he was trying to convey what he learned/wished he had known to build his M.

t/j and loved your use of *font* in one sentence and then in the following line the use of *thingybob* end t/j

tooanalytical posted 1/22/2014 18:57 PM

A while back I read in For Men Only or For Women Only books that one key finding is that men would rather be respected than loved if the choice was one or other. Women were the opposite.

Ascendant posted 1/22/2014 19:02 PM

A while back I read in For Men Only or For Women Only books that one key finding is that men would rather be respected than loved if the choice was one or other. Women were the opposite.
IF that's true, it's pretty interesting.

Return to Forum List

© 2002-2018 ®. All Rights Reserved.