Here is one dude writing about his almost 5 years experience of marriage. A lot of what I’m writing could also be applied to wives. I learnt these things the hard way and I hope that you would hear this and not have to repeat my mistakes.
1. Don’t fix her problems
Seriously, don’t do it. Unless you’re some magician, it just doesn’t end well. She wants you to listen to her, not fix her. Also, there is a good chance that she has already thought through all the options for the next 10 steps moving forward. You will look like a dummy. Listen to her.
2. Don’t argue over things that aren’t important matter
If you fight for everything you will lose it all. There are decisions you have to make when you get married. One of the big ones is, what am I going to die for? What am I not going to compromise? These values are key to establishing a solid marital foundation, arguing over meaningless stuff like which way the toilet roll sits on the holder isn’t worth it (because we all know it must be fed from the front! haha).
3. Don’t change the topic when you are in the wrong
Let’s be honest, it takes two to tango. However, focusing on your tango partner isn’t going to fix your problem. It can be easy to hide behind your spouses wrong doing. Don’t do it. Don’t change the topic, but allow confession, discussion and forgiveness.
4. Don’t compare her with her family
This is one of those things that if you want to keep your eye brows then just steer clear of doing this in an argument. It is a no brainer that the most influential people in your wife’s life are her family of origin. She will be the best and worst of her parents at times. In the middle of a heated discussion to point out that she is doing something because thats what so and so would do just doesn’t go well. She feels boxed in, judged and you put a wedge in between your families, and can come across like your family is much better than hers.
5. Don’t take advantage of her
Its self explanatory I think but wives are a God given gift. They are to be treasured and not abused. Everything from cleaning the house to sex in the bedroom we must serve our wives. We must lay our lives down for these beautiful humans and work harder to ensure her growth and flourishing. Like any leadership role you have to sacrifice more.
6. Listen to her heart
Don’t just listen to her thoughts on the weather, how the drive to work was, how her lunch was or how did she sleep. Tune your ear to what she is communicating beyond these basic events. What does she think about them? How does she feel about them? Why are they so important to her?
7. Lead by example
Don’t expect something of your wife that you aren’t already modelling. Don’t expect something of your wife immediately when it took you years to develop. Don’t expect something of your wife that she isn’t gifted in or aware of. If she wants to grow her prayer life, schedule times to do that with her, encourage her and pray for her.
8. Refuse to believe the worst of her
It can be so easy to assume the worst when you don’t know the full picture. The hardest thing is that we rarely see the whole picture and have to fill in the gaps with our own interpretation. Even when the situation looks bad, believe that she isn’t as bad as the situation looks and take the time to allow her to explain her thinking and processes.
9. Pursue her daily
Hey! What gets you married keeps you married. Don’t slack off once you finally get that ring on her finger. You wouldn’t want her to beef up, let herself go and become a slob, that isn’t who you married. If you are to come good on your vows at your wedding day that you “love her”, then figure out new ways to do that. Keep building your understanding of her. Keep finding opportunities to surprise her and win her heart.
10. Actively pursue God together
It is simple. If Jesus is the Way, Truth and Life, a marriage that doesn’t keep him central starts to get lost, live with lies and dies. For a year now Kels and I to do a “spiritual date” weekly. It is a time where we share our learnings of God, pray and talk about where we are at together. It is the best thing.
I must say, I am no model husband and God has a lot of work to do in me. The above things are what I have learn’t but have not always managed to land the dismount. A relationship that isn’t based on grace for each other will just become a performance and burden.