Today we have Dawn from Just Doing My Best, talking about how she makes her marriage great. This is part 3 of my series How I Make My Marriage Great, which started with 4 Ways I Make My Marriage Amazing. Dawn comes from a different perspective of the past two writers being over 40. In fact, that is exactly what her blog is about. How to be fabulous over 40. I know it is something personal to me being almost 41 myself. It is so nice to have someone who is at the same stage of life speak to my heart.
Did you notice we are not talking about having a “perfect marriage”?
A “perfect marriage” would mean you have two perfect people creating something perfect. Since no one is perfect, that’s simply not going to happen. A great marriage, however, is a different story.
A great marriage is a choice
Both partners have to make a conscience choice. Every day is an opportunity for new choices.
My husband and I have been married before. Unfortunately, that happens to a lot of people. Fortunately, when it does happen, you usually take away some things from the failed relationship that help you do better and make better choices.
We are not perfect. We’ve actually discussed the fact that we don’t even think we would have been good together had we met earlier. But, we are a great team now!!
We like to think we have a great marriage. The reason is we CHOOSE to have a great marriage.
My husband and I still argue and disagree. Doesn’t every couple? We have a small business together, so I have plenty of opportunities to get mad at him and I’m sure I give him more than a few reasons to get frustrated with me. But, when we get upset with each other we have rules. One of the biggest rules is a forbidden word. Our forbidden word is Divorce. We can’t even say it jokingly. Once that word is thrown out, even as a joke, it sticks in your brain and you can’t get it back.
Lessons Learned about Marriage
One of the lessons we have learned from our past relationships is to overlook some of the little things. Here’s a silly example. My husband cleans up the kitchen every night after dinner. He hardly ever cleans off the countertops and there’s often bits of food in the sink (drives me crazy). Since I don’t have to clean up the kitchen, I don’t say anything. I will typically wait a few hours and quietly go into the kitchen and wipe off the counters and the stove and rinse out the sink. Guess what! Since he has seen me do this several times, he knows it’s important to me and now he tries to make a point to pay attention to the countertops.
Another rule we have is about money. In our house, we have a “$100 rule”. Neither of us can spend more than a $100 without discussing it with the other. Even though we each have to make compromises from time to time, having this rule in place means there are no surprises.
What works for one couple may not work for another
Have you heard “couples should not have a tv in their bedroom?” I’ll be honest, for us, it works. Since we have a young child at home, we watch our DVR together when she goes to bed. Also, my husband likes to sleep with the tv on. I hate having the tv on when I sleep. But, I live with it (it’s a choice) and this way we can go to bed at the same time. We don’t always go to sleep at the same time, but we are there together.
Have you ever read a book with your spouse? We started doing this pretty early on in our marriage. The books we read provide new conversation starters and are a terrific way to connect and grow closer together. We’ve read regular fiction and mysteries, but what we really like is a great “marriage” book that helps us grow a Christ-centered marriage. We snuggle up, I read and he listens. We really enjoy this time together.
There’s no deadline to finish a book, which is good because life and work and kids happen!! We try to read a few pages or a chapter a week.
Keep in mind, your “great marriage” won’t look like the neighbor’s “great marriage”. Every couple is different. What’s important is making the choice to be great together.
Check out more ways we make our marriage a priority here.
I’m the wife to a very patient man. Thank God. Since I’m heading toward menopause at warp speed and we have a “tweenage” daughter, my husband has several opportunities to be patient!!
I’m a military veteran and I love Jesus. A few of the other things I love are on-line shopping, clean eating, on-line shopping, natural living ideas, on-line shopping (did already mention that?), chai tea, and the occasional nap.
Over the last few years, I’ve become more interested in health and wellness as it relates to “whole food” and “clean living”. Add to that my ever growing list of skin allergies. (Isn’t it lovely how our bodies change in our 40’s?)
Owning our 40’s means being confident and helping each other navigate thru this stage of life. It may be an article about women’s health, a great book, an awesome on-line deal or a yummy recipe. Whatever it is, let’s enjoy this journey together and give each other a boost of confidence and love.