I don’t have a guest with a Healthy Home post for you this month, so I thought I’d do one. One thing I know...to have a healthy home, you must have a healthy marriage. Too many times we put everything else first. We focus on the kids, we focus on our careers, we focus on our bills, and we leave our marriages in the dust. Why do you think the divorce rate is so high? We forget to put the work in. We forget to do the time.
I am no expert, and Brandon and I certainly don’t have a perfect marriage. But, I do feel like I’ve learned a few things along the way. I thought I would share some simple tips that I’ve learned to help keep my marriage healthier (I wish I was better at following through with all of these).
- Ditch the pretty comforter- You know the truth as much as I do. Men and women do not operate at the same temperature. And husbands (ahem….always the husbands) steal the covers. It’s taken me 4 ½ years to realize life is easier if we just use separate blankets. Arguments in the middle of the night are no fun. Brandon tends to respond to things without even waking up, and I am always way more sensitive in the middle of the night.
- Let him help-I know ladies, it’s hard. He doesn’t do it right. He puts the dishes in the wrong cabinets. He leaves creases in the t-shirts when he folds the clothes. He doesn’t buy the right brand of green beans. But you know what? We will live. Believe me, I’m really really bad at this. I heard a segment on Family Life Radio one time, regarding this. The woman said that by doing everything and never letting our sons (or husbands) help, we are actually emasculating them. Emasculating them! That is the last thing I want to do to my husband. We want strong, virile, able men, but then we tell them they don’t do well enough and make them weak and incapable. Get over yourself and let them help.
- Be supportive- This doesn’t mean you have to stand by and let them do anything and pretend like its OK. What it does mean, is that he has to know you have his back. You still love him. He is a grown man and capable of making decisions. You are allowed your own opinion, and he needs to be respectful and consider it strongly. But if he doesn’t agree, you need to support him. You aren’t allowed, “I told you so’s” or “Well….what did you expect?” With exception of truly immoral or dangerous actions, just be on his side.
- Value his opinion-Brandon asks me a lot, “Why did you even ask me if you don’t care what I say?” You need to ask your husband for his opinion and his advice, but you also need to care. You don’t ALWAYS have to do what he says, but he is probably smarter than you give him credit for. Just as he needs to value your opinion, you need to value his.
- Praise him-This is really important for both of you. Saying "I love you" is nice, but it isn't enough. When you praise him in deliberate and specific ways, you are doing two things.
- You are thinking about him and his qualities. You are reminding yourself why you love him and why he is a positive piece of your life.
- You are letting him know that you think he is something. He is likely accustomed to hearing everything he is doing wrong. I’ve heard that it takes 10 positives to outweigh 1 negative. Think about that next time you berate him because he didn’t set the table correctly. Probably not worth it. Tell him what he does well, instead.