Speak Highly of Your Spouse

It has been months since I have blogged on marriage.  Let myself get caught up in other life happenings.  So I am back in the saddle so to speak and getting back on the trail of building quality marriages.

Marriage is a commitment to me because it is something I choose to do.  It is easy to be mad at your spouse, or even just plain old comfortable to where you do not notice the best things your spouse brings to the relationship.  It will be up to you to get past those comfortable or hard times to remember the benefits your spouse brings to your life.

I have seen it played out on Facebook and Twitter all to often.  Husband and wife get into an argument and now everyone on their social media account knows all about it.  Whose side do you pick?  Do you get in there and start sharing about how your spouse is just as bad or even worse?  Then it just seems to escalate into a spouse bashing frenzy!

My advice is this… Keep your troubles to your self!  Do not splash all over the place about how much you are mad at him or how she is just a B—-!  It does not serve you, your spouse  or your friends in any way to be in the middle of your stuff!

How you speak about your spouse is very important in your relationship.  Every time you speak down about your spouse even when you do it in a joking manner,  you begin to tear them down in your head.  By doing this you begin to lose respect, compassion, tolerance and patience with your spouse.  You are in essence saying that they are not enough or that they do not deserve to be treated better.  You begin to break away the commitment for your spouse and it makes it harder to fall in love with them every day.  By tearing them down in your mind and in front of others you are tearing away trust and honor for them.  This turns to resentment and distrust which blocks true intimacy with your spouse.

When you speak highly of your spouse, you build them up.  You remind them and yourself about how valuable they are in your life.  When you speak highly of your spouse to others people begin to see those same characteristics in your spouse which shows honor and trust in your community.  Your friends might notice some of your spouses flaws but because you speak highly of them they are willing to look past those flaws also.  You won’t often hear others bad mouth your spouse because they do not hear it from you.  You are creating boundaries that will not allow anyone else to step into the line of your commitment.  People will want to have a marriage like yours and will want to act the way you do.  You get to be a role model for those people who have never seen someone treat a spouse with respect and compassion.

There are enough negative nelly’s out in the world when it comes to marriage.  The divorce rate is high. I believe that many marriages could have been saved from divorce if both the husband and the wife focused on the great things about their spouse instead of all the mistakes or differences they had.  

Neither I nor my husband are perfect!  We are however perfect for each other.  That does not mean that we don’t argue, disagree or just plain need a timeout from each other!  We do!  It means that our commitment is strong with each other to be okay with making mistakes, having differences and being able to speak the truth to each other.

I recall in our early years together talking with girlfriends about how much of a pain he was, or how he cared more about this and that than me.  It wasn’t true it was just where I was choosing to focus.  My friends began to see him in the same light I would speak about.  They never saw both sides of the story and I had to do more damage control for his sake because if me blabbing where I had no business doing so.  Get my point here?

Speak highly of yourself and speak highly of your spouse.  Build trust, compassion and respect for each other just by keeping your challenges between you, your spouse, a counselor or a marriage group.  Find the right people to help you through the challenges not tear down your marriage with your words and thoughts.  Lift up your spouse, especially when you feel like tearing them down because your emotions are about ready to get the best of you.  That is when you make a list of what he or she does right.  Keep going because marriage is worth the effort. 

Who Said He Could Change?

For more than 20 years my husband and I have been together.  I was looking back and thinking… Who changed in this relationship?

We were both in our mid twenties when we decided to get married, start a business and raise kids together!  What were we thinking?

When we met he had just finished up active duty in the Marines and was just beginning his four years of active reserve.  He had a good body (of course that is my opinion) because he stayed fit in the Marines.  His arms were built well because he lifted a few weights here and there.  His body over all was a bit lanky and he wore black rimmed bc glassed. (bc = birth control)  Let’s just say he had a few nerdly qualities about him!

Me on the other hand, I was hot! (Again, my opinion) I was in the police academy, working out and being fit!  I had to get over that 6′ wall an all!  My attitude was hard core and I could match wits with some of the best nerds I knew!

Somewhere along the way he changed!  How could he?  I mean I married this man with a specific look and attitude about him!

Over the past twenty plus years, he has changed his glasses and then had eye surgery so he does not even wear glasses!  Who said he could do that?  Oh, yea that was me!

His body has change too!  This skinny lanky guy who had a size 30 waist is somewhere around a 36 now!  Where did those hot arms that used to wrap around me go?  The ones I used to grab hold of and think he could protect me against any force that would challenge me!  Okay let’s be clear on this, I did not give him permission to change in this area!

Even his nerdy qualities have changed!  Well mostly, from being the nerd to the Mr. Knows a Lot!  There is just a bit of difference between the two! One just knows and the other has a bit of ego behind it!

I have watched this transition over the years without paying much attention to it until I suddenly realized he is no longer the man I originally married!  How could he?  Who said this was okay in marriage?  What was God thinking when he allowed our bodies, ideas and attitudes to change over time?  I think I will throw a temper tantrum until he returns to his original state!!!!

Oh, like that will ever happen!

I have also noticed in this awareness, that in spite of the above changes he has made many other changes too!  He loves me better now than he ever did when we were first married.  We not only love each other, but we respect each other in ways that our young naivety could never imagine.  I still trust him with my life and know that even though his arms are not long built to look like he could protect me, his heart would be more powerful than his arms could ever have been.

He has changed throughout the years to be a better father than who he was in our younger years.  He is a great leader in business and works hard to continue to educate himself to keep his nerdly qualities intact.  I occasionally ask him to show me his arms and I still woo over how they are. (don’t tell him I am remembering them from twenty plus years ago.)  When his arms are wrapped around me and I feel his touch it is as if we were made specifically for each other.

Somehow through the years he has changed.  Some things for the good, some for the not so good, some things to bring out the best in us both!  We have not always like the changes in each other and yet those changes have actually gotten is to grow and become the people we are today.  I am not always very receptive to change!  Yet, when I can look back and see the benefits that the changes bring about in the long run change was worth it.  Expect your spouse to change!  They will never again be the person you married and neither will you.  We are all destined to change.  We can be mad about it or we can work together to make sure the change is a benefit for all involved.  I know that my husband will never be the man he once was, but the man he has become is so much more worth the love I now have for him.

Before you judge your spouse for the changing that takes place with marriage look closely at the benefits those changes can have too.  Oh, and even though I hate to admit it…. I have changed too.  I think overall for the better, with a couple bad habits added in to keep him on his toes!  :o)

Are Cell Phones Messing With Your Marriage?

How much do you enjoy the convenience  of cell phones?  Do they make your life easier?  How are they for your relationship?

I have mixed feeling about cell phones and relationship.

I love the convenience of being able to check in with my husband when we are apart.  I can easily connect with him if I need him to grab something from the store on his way home from the office.  If we are traveling away from each other they are great to stay connected.  And of course if there is an emergency then having a cell phone is perfect for getting your loved ones to you.

The other side of the coin is that cell phones drive me mad!  While going out to dinner with my husband he checks in on his phone.  Sitting at home watching a movie together and he whips out that cell phone and checks out what is happening on facebook, emails and texts.

I think that cell phones have been a great addition to staying connected in relationships.  The challenge is keeping your marriage relationship number one over all the other relationships.  Next would be keeping your relationships with your kids stronger than your friend requests and games.

Just this morning while laying in bed i was playing a game on my iPad.  My husband came in the room to take a shower and get ready for his day.  He came over to kiss me and I was too busy trying not to lose in my game.  He kissed my forehead and headed to the shower.  As he waited for the hot water to get to the shower head he came back for another kiss and low and behold I was still playing my game.  I heard his sigh as he was heading back to the shower.  I surprised myself with what I said to him. “Now you know how I feel when you are on your phone all the time!”

Whoa, what did I just say?  In just a split second I realized that I did not want him to know how I felt so many times in our relationship when he has chosen the phone over me.  That feeling of a small rejection, of being alone and out of touch or the lost intimate moments that we both have missed out on.  I am not willing to let some little game on my pad, a message on my phone or hanging out on facebook interrupt my relationship with my husband!

How are you letting your cell phone interrupt your intimate moments?  How has your cell phone left a connections with your most important loves  disconnected?  Has being on your cell phone left someone you love feeling alone?

Make sure you put the most important people above your desire, want or habit with your cell phone, pads and computers.  Make sure they know that the important moments in their lives deserve to have your attentions and then put the phone down and connect with them!

Celebrate Love Today

Today is Valentine’s Day so lets talk about what that means to you.

Are you the kind of person who thinks Valentine’s Day is just a bunch of hoowie? Just a way for consumers to spend money and retail is the big winner?

Maybe you are the type that really enjoys Valentine’s Day and all the gifts that could come with it.  Romantic dinner, flowers and candy!  Go ahead honey go all out for me kind of day.  One of the few times your spouse really puts some effort into romancing you.

Do you dread Valentine’s Day because it puts a lot of pressure on you to be more than you normally are?  You feel you have to do something or your spouse will be upset, but really you wish it would go away because you do not seem to live up to the expectations of your spouse.

When we were first married, we did not have money to get gifts for each other.  I am a gift loving romantic.  My husband is not.  I was lucky to get a card and that might have been all for many years.  We were so busy trying to build our business that we really did not have time for Valentine’s Day.  He was working in the evenings and I was working during the day so it was almost like “never the two shall meet” kind of life for a while.

One solution we had to this is we would celebrate Valentine’s Day every four years on Leap Day.  Every Feb. 29th we took time off and scheduled a date with each other.  The first one was a picnic lunch and then we went to the movies.  Then we went thirty minutes out of town for dinner and spent the night at a hotel.  On Valentine’s Day we gave each other cards and move on to a regular day.

Nowadays, we do both.  I don’t need $50 – $100 flowers to feel special so he goes to Costco and picks up a $20 – $25 bouquet.  We have cards and most of the time he gives me a gift from one of my favorite stores.  I used to get him gifts too but throughout the years I have learned that he either returns my gift or doesn’t really find value in it.  He is not a gift man, he is an acts of service man.  So if I take his truck to get washed and detailed then he really appreciates that. If I make his favorite dessert or give him a gift certificate for someplace he likes to go to and have an adventure then he is good.

~In case you have not read Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages I would recommend that you get it and you and your spouse read it together.  Or it is on audio so you can listen to it together.

~If you are looking for some quick, easy and inexpensive ways to date your spouse go back to my posting “21 Inexpensive Dates” to get some ideas.

Like I said I am the one who likes the romance.  I have dream dates that will likely never happen.  Like my husband arriving at the office in a limousine, dressed in a tuxedo with the bouquet of flowers to whisk me off on a romantic getaway.  My luggage is packed with a beautiful new dress that is perfect for me and of course the cutest shoes and handbag to match.  He has handled all the necessary issues with kids, pets and work and we leave our cell phones off and we take time off to just enjoy each other.

Who wants this for themselves too?

What is your dream date look like with your spouse?

The main reason we choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day is because in marriage it is easy to get stuck in our same old comfortable routine.  Every holiday/event day should be celebrated so that you commit to take the time away from the regular and step into discovering more ways to have fun with your spouse.  It does not have to cost you money, it will however cost you time.

Learn a new card game to play, pull out a board game and play as if you have nothing to lose or relate it to your life right now.  Invite friends over for a potluck, make it a time when you invite singles over to your home so they are not alone.  Get creative and have fun finding ways to be with and discover more about each other.  I still learn things about my husband and we have been together for almost twenty four years.  I make a conscious effort to learn more about him because he is growing as he does new things in life and I change so I can look at things he has done forever with a new view on it.

If you think Valentine’s Day is hoowie then make sure to find time to connect with each other on a regular basis.  Love the romance then go all out with what is in your budget to do.  Keep the pressure out by communicating with each other about what your expectations for this day or romance in general. You will have a much better time with each other.

Today I wish you the kind of love your heart is meant for.  Whether you are married or not, in a relationship or not, find something today that expresses love.  Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you love you.  Go out and do something you like for you or do something for someone else.  Buy some kids valentines cards and hand them out on the street.  Anything to get you to celebrate love today.  Enjoy celebrating love today.

Is Love Enough

When talking about marriage and being in a relationship I used to think love was all we needed to stay married.  Boy was I wrong!  My limited experience with love when young had me believing that love was easy.

My experiences over the years with love and marriage have shown me that love is not enough to sustain a relationship.  I was completely in love at eighteen.  After dating for over a year my sweetheart had stolen my heart completely.  When we got married I didn’t think I could ever love anyone more than that moment in my life.  Somewhere over the next two years I was still in love but the illusion that love was easy was gone.  We fought a lot, disagreed on how to raise our infant son and seem to have lost intimacy.  He wanted no responsibility, wanted to buy a great stereo system and accessories for his Toyota 4×4.  We were dispensable!  Love was not enough to keep us together!

Even though I loved him with all my heart, it was not enough to keep him wanting to be married to naive me!

My limited exposure to love and marriage was my parents relationship.  They met and a week later they were married.  He was in the military and we traveled all over.  Every two years we moved and lost friends.  Always having to rebuild relationship.  My parents and sisters were my only constant in my life.  I don’t remember my parents fighting with each other a lot.  My dad was gone a lot and when he was home my mom seemed to wait on him hand and foot.  He almost always was in a bad mood when he was home when it came to me.  At twelve my parents informed us that they were getting a divorce.  I was surprised.  Turns out he had an affair and he now wanted to marry her.  Years later my mom told me that even though they we married for thirteen years they were probably only together about six years because of the time he spent away with the military.  My dad is currently on his fifth marriage and my mom has been married three times.  Her last husband passed away about eighteen years ago.  My mom also told me that while she was married to my dad she did what he wanted because she did not want to be a single mother of four daughters.  She compromised who she was for him to be happy and he cheated on her as her reward.

I wanted my marriage to be different that my parents.  When I got married at eighteen, I learned that people at my wedding were placing odds on how long we would stay married.  Why did I not see the signs?

How is it other people think they know what is best for your life even though they are not the ones living it?

Back to love and it being enough.  There is still a place in my heart for my ex-husband.  If I throw that away then I would look at my son everyday and be bitter.  My son is the spitting image of my ex.  I am not bitter with my ex.  He was never capable of loving me the way I was meant to be loved.  I was not capable of loving him the way he was meant to be loved either.  I did not know what love really was yet and my perception of love was skewed by movies, books and dreams.

Love is a choice everyday to stay together.  Love is about understanding yourself enough to be able to understand your partner.  When it comes to love you can never love your spouse or relationship more than you love yourself.  To think otherwise would be deceiving yourself.  In order to truly love you must surrender what you think love looks like and create your own kind of love with each other.  Every relationship is different!  If you find you keep getting in the same kind of relationship, I would challenge you to look at you!

Love is about nurturing a friendship.  Being willing to compromise only because you care about the relationship is such a way that the compromise enhances you both.  It is never about keeping points on who did what or who did more.  Love forgives because to not forgive destroys trust and compassion.  Choosing love everyday even when you do not feel like it in the moment, builds your confidence in marriage and keeps you standing tall when you might not feel very strong.  Love and commitment help to keep you grounded when you would otherwise want to run and give up.

Marriage is not for the weak at heart and yet I believe love is meant for everyone.  It just means to love you must build strength in love and commitment like building a muscle at the gym.  Working everyday to get stronger.  Ask what is working when it is going well so when you hit a tough spot you can work together to find the solutions.  Helping each other through the challenging times and not shutting down when it gets tough.  Build those love and commitment muscles so you are prepared when you are faced with adversity.  For many years, I continued to ask my husband of almost twenty years, “Why do you love me?”.  Most of the time he would just tell me “I don’t know, I just do”.  I was insecure and wanted him to in essence tell me what he liked so I did not have to do the work to discover him.  Now in our relationship he randomly tells me why he loves me and why he likes me too.  Not because I am asking but because he feels it in his heart to share.  A much more desirable outcome for me.

Love is not enough!  It is enough to get started but not enough to sustain you through the tough times.  Honor, respect, compassion, forgiveness, compromise and commitment are some of the many qualities needed in all relationships to sustain you through the tough spots.  Keeping your heart open and willing to learn more will be the tools you need to stay committed.  Allowing yourself to love and be loved is a great place to be.  And remember there is so much more to marriage and commitment.

Have Fun In Your Marriage

It has been kind of funny around my house lately with my husband. All because of this blog!

You see I have been joking with my husband about all the goofy, sarcastic and oddball things that my husband does and I keep telling him that I am going to post them on my blog!

My husband has the gift of humor. I am too logical for that! He finds ways to try to make a funny out of just about anything and everything. Over the years he has worn off on me and occasionally I get the funny first.

Humor has to be a part of every marriage. It is just too hard for there not to be humor.

Last night while preparing dinner my husband came in and asked if he could help. I was beginning to wipe mushrooms to saute them. I told him he could clean the mushrooms. He wanted to put them under water and rinse and thought that was enough. I told him to wipe the mushrooms because if you rinse them they get a bit soggy. He complained (comically) repeatedly and kept asking me why it has to be my way. I told him that it is not my way it is the right way for what I am doing with the mushrooms. While I went out of the room he rinsed one and wiped one and set them both there for me to cut. When I picked up the rinsed one it was slimy feeling and I could tell it had absorbed water! I glared at him and said “I told you to wipe them” he looked back at me with a sheepish grin and said how can you tell. I then told him “I am going to blog about that” he laughed and here I am true to my word.

Seriously, this is just some of the nonsense that goes on everyday at the Borgens’ household!

We work to have fun and enjoy our time together. Our kids get in on the fun too. Sometimes in the kitchen while I am preparing meals a sudden dishtowel fight ensues! I am there minding my own business and all around me towels are flying. They know not to get me cause I have more skill at getting the right spots. Or how I am in the kitchen minding my own business when my husband and sons are suddenly right in the middle of my work area having a phone/pad tech talk! I look at them and clearly state – Go have your meeting somewhere else! They look at me like I am the crazy kitchen lady! No one ever seems to be in the kitchen unless I am there and then everyone is there!

There are days that it is “Pick on Mom” days. Everything they can find about me is funny. We laugh about how my French Bulldog snorts and sounds like a pig. They call her piglet or Stitch! Then I have to go after them with a towel or something. We laugh at our Poly-dactyl cat and his 7 toes on one paw that he uses like a thumb. He throws rubber bands around the room and will sometimes hit someone with it.

We work to laugh at the mistakes that we make and how a particular sound was in the house. What color clothes and choices of socks. You name it and we find ways to laugh without putting each other down of course.

There is a lot of seriousness in marriage! Make sure you take time to laugh and find comedy in the things that are not so serious. Marriage is meant to be enjoyed not endured!

Have fun today and laugh a little more than yesterday!

Do You Keep Trying To Get Divorced

I will admit that I am not always sensible.  I married my husband after thinking hard about whether or not I wanted to go through another divorce.  It is really a challenge on the marriage to stay married when you keep trying to get divorced.

After my first marriage failed and I was hit by a two by four with “I am leaving and I want a divorce” while out to dinner on our second anniversary, I felt I had no control over that situation.  I felt lost and abandoned by my first husband.

Lucky for my next husband, I was going to be in control of this marriage!

After marrying my second husband I decided that he was going to leave me to only I would be in control of it this time.  Every time we got into an argument I would just tell him to go away and if he wanted to leave then just leave.  He usually went to a man cave and worked until we were both calmed down.

If he did not like something I was doing, I suggested he get over it or leave.  If he did not like how I was raising the kids, I was not willing to compromise so I told him to back off or leave.

Do you see a pattern that was developing?  I wanted to at least be in control if he left me.  Then I would not be hit with another two-by-four moment.  Since he was going to leave anyway it might as well be when I gave him permission to leave.  Anyone else out there like me?  Nothing like a little old fashioned self sabotage!

So how do you stay married, when you keep trying to get divorced?

Marry someone who is about as strong willed as you?  Or maybe, because God is stronger than me?  Those are great ones.  Here is what I have had to do over the years to break this pattern in my life.

I attended many marriage classes, personal development workshops and allowed myself to be honest with my husband.  It wasn’t until about six years into the marriage that my husband took me into his arms and told me that he was not leaving me so I might as well stop trying to get a divorce.  We have worked really hard to stay married.  We have had to compromise and discover each others strengths so when our weaknesses showed up we could remind each other of our strengths.

Do what ever it takes to keep falling in love with your spouse!  I always loved him deep in my heart even on the days that I did not like him.  No my husband is not a saint – but he does have some saintly qualities for sticking with me all these years.  It takes a strong man (like my Marine) to equally match wits with me.  I am hard headed, bossy and an action focused woman.  He is hard headed, strong willed, bossy and remembers to focus on us!  At the same time, when things get tough, we both have to bring out our compassionate side and love each other through the challenges.

Marriage can be one of the greatest rewards in life.  We celebrate anniversaries because when we both are alive and still together that is a great accomplishment!  Celebrate being married.

If you are anything like me, working hard to stay married while trying to be in control of divorce here is my advice.  Take all that divorce energy and put it towards staying married and you just might be amazed at what you create in your life.  We celebrate 2o years married this year!  A big celebration after working so hard the first ten years to get divorced on my terms.

Keep looking for marriage mentors, people who have been married longer than you and widow/widowers that can share insight too.  Ask others how they did what you want to do.  Keep reminding yourself that it can get better when you are better at it.

What Other Relationships Do You Bring Into Your Marriage

As I have started, I was previously married before finding my life long love.  This month is a reminder of my former relationship with my ex-husband.

We met in high school.  He was a year ahead of me.  We began dating when he was a senior and I was a junior.  We dated throughout my senior year and after graduations we both were attending junior college.  We had a good relationship.  He treated me nicely and protected me from a relative that wasn’t so pleasant.  We both were working and going to school.

We ended up getting married almost a year after graduation.  February 15th, 1996 the day after Valentine’s Day!  I wonderful day – pouring down rain and many challenges from that day.  We went to Reno for the weekend honeymoon and the flood set in!  Rough start to the marriage.

Two years later, we went out to dinner for our Valentine’s Day/ Anniversary, I gave my husband a gift and he he told me he was leaving me and wanted a divorce.  He kept the gift!

When I met my husband I will admit that I always had a hard time if he wanted to go out to dinner and talk!  That is a sign for me that creates my heart racing and my brain goes into flight/fight mode.

My husband has had to deal with many moments of responses from situations from previous relationships.  He hugs me a certain way and a memory from the past flashes in my brain.  I have had to remember who I am with in the moment.  Certain comments, memories, thoughts, feelings will suddenly flash into me and I am brought back to those moments.

I have had many people who have helped to shape and mold me throughout the years.  Some of those moldings have helped me be better than I was.  Others created challenges for me to grow from.  I do not regret any part of my life because I have learned so much about myself from each and every challenge I faced in life.

Here is the challenge for us all.  Who are the people you bring with you in your marriage?  The people who have mentored you?  The people who have treated you badly?  Because most of us has had people in our lives that have not treated us well, it is likely that we bring a piece of that person along with us.  Until we learn the lessons we were meant to learn about that relationship we may have a tendency to react negatively in situations that remind us of those moments.  Bringing those negative relationships to your marriage can cause challenges.  You must be aware of these possibilities and dig deep to learn the lessons so you can move on and not take those feelings into your marriage.

Use the healthy memories, lessons and mentors to keep you moving forward in your relationship as you work through the tough relationships you bring to your marriage.  Keep yourself around people that bring out your best.  Remember to remind yourself that your spouse is not your enemy.  Forgive those people from your past so you can be the spouse you are meant to be.

Me Time – When The Time Is Right

We were speaking with our oldest son last night and we were reminded about how life was many years ago.

When we first go married we were broke!  That’s right, pretty much no money.  We started our business more than six months before we walked down the isle.  When you start a business and are working it, it takes everything you have to get it going.  That is if you didn’t have a nice stash of money to start your business.

We lived in a house that was owned by my husband’s great uncle.  Very small three bedroom house with a leaky roof.  Our boys had one bedroom, we were in one room and the business was in the smallest.  We could not afford much.  We were barley making ends meet.

Gifts for our kids where pretty much what ever grandparents or aunts get for them.  Christmas and birthday’s were the basics and a couple small toys I could find on sale.  I took a job in retail to make ends meet.  As my husband said “we had nothing to lose”.  Life was stressful and felt hard.

My son who is learning about some hard choices in life right now.  He remembers how the last ten years have been and he wants to live that kind of life style.  He does not remember the hard times we went through in the earlier years of his life.  I do though.

Marriage and relationships are difficult.  There are hard times and times when everything seems to be on the right track.  When we get off track many times we just want to through in the towel or become more selfish.  Me time and what about me is usually what one person in the relationship is quoting.  Me time?  There is no “Me Time” when your relationship is at stake.  That is when you have to dig your heals in and remember this is about us!  Our life together, how we are going to solve this issue and what we need to do to make the relationship better!  “Me Time” comes when the relationship is stable. When the hard work is done.  Just like working in the world – most people do not go on vacation in the middle of a real important deal.

I am not talking about time to take care of yourself.  I am talking about the self destructing habit in relationships when you have to dig down and work hard to create the kind of relationship you deserve.  Many people will take the hard times and become selfish and the end result is divorce.  If you hear yourself talking about “me” during a tough time re-choose and start focusing on the we and us in relationship.  It is not easy to do.  I know you can do it.  Reach out to people who are doing well in their relationships and ask for support.  Ask how they have made it through the tough times.  Keep your marriage on track even when it is hard and the reward will pay off.


What Does It Take To Be Happy In Marriage

I really do not know!  I have often wondered about what makes a marriage a happy one.  I want my marriage to last forever.  So I commit to it everyday.  But what makes us a happy couple?

It could be that we trust each other enough to not have to stress about infidelity.  It could be that we respect each other enough to do the right thing even when the other is not watching us.

Maybe it is because my husband has a sarcasm streak that is ten miles long!

When our marriage has not been a happy one I have often had to take the time to look at what the issues are and take notice at what I am focused on.  There have been times that I thought my husband was a no good so and so!  He was making life hard, being arrogant and just plain ole not nice in the relationship.  Me on the other hand have always be the sweet, adoring wife to him…Not!  I have had my times of not being so loving and lovable.  I am sure you will never hear that from my husband.  You want to know why?  Because we do not air our dirty laundry outside our home.  Clean it up before you plan to hang it out to dry!

I have to take a look at what I am focusing on in the marriage during hard and stressful times.  Is he making me unhappy or is it how I am handling the situation!  I love the quote from Eleanor Roosevelt “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”.  My husband can not make me feel unhappy, only I can do that.  If I am unhappy then I have to ask why?  Is it because he has done something that does not fit into my values, morals or beliefs?  Is it because he has done this so many times that I am just warn down by it?  It is because I am tired, over worked and in a grumpy mood?  What is it that is causing this to happen.

My thirteen year old daughter has a little drama streak.  When she is mad or upset I ask her what is wrong and she almost always goes to “it because of ____”.  Blaming the other person for how she feels.  I always say to her “no you are choosing to be mad so what specifically is making you mad?  She calms down and looks at me and now we can get down to the issue and find solutions to solve it.

This is how you must look at the issues causing your unhappiness in marriage.

  • What is the issue? (and do not blame the person)
  • What expectation did you have that was not met?
  • Where the expectations clear or unspoken?
  • What do you want to do from here?
  • How can we solve this and get back on track?
  • How do you want to feel at the end of the day?

These questions help me to have clear communication with my husband and anytime I feel in conflict with something or someone.

You are in charge of your happiness!  You can be happy and your spouse may not be.  Do not allow someone else to steal your joy from you.  Choose to be in a different room, choose to disagree, choose to be happy in spite of your circumstances.  Your happiness in marriage is a reflection of your own heart.  Keep your heart filled with joy and you will be happier in marriage.

By the way this was something I had to learn over the years.  There have been many times in our relationship that I have not been happy.  I have actually had a couple of bouts of depression.  Because I am a strong woman and often stay private with my personal life most people would have no idea that I have had my struggles with this issue.  But I am like every other wife in marriage that has challenges, problems and issues.  I fail at so much and I get up always and dust myself off and begin again.  For many years the Disney character Grumpy was my companion.  I had a Grumpy statue on my desk and I would set him on the edge to warn people that today was not a good day to bring me your problems!  I have been so low and I have experienced so very high points in life.  I am not saying being happy in marriage is always easy.  It is always a choice!  Choose to be happy in your marriage today to make your marriage a stronger commitment.  Be willing to be in charge of your choices and keep blame out of it.  Whenever you are helping others there is a sense of satisfaction that creates joy.  So go do something for someone else and for yourself at the same time.

How do you stay happy in marriage?  Share your ideas and thoughts.