10 Marriage Tips Every WIFE Needs to Hear

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There’s a blog post that’s recently gone viral, written by a divorced man featuring some really sound advice about marriage (click here to read it).  I really have to applaud this guy.  It takes guts to stand up and be transparent about your failures.  It’s equally as commendable to stand up and say how you’d do things differently.

One thing that his post is lacking, however, is the female perspective.  After reading his post, I wanted to take some time and write down some things that I’ve learned in the last ten years.  You see – I’m now in my third marriage.  When people learn this fact about me, their reaction is usually pretty awkward.  It’s almost as if they’re waiting for me to be embarrassed by my admission. While going through two divorces was some of the most painful times of my life, I’d only feel ashamed if I’d gone through it without being able to say I’ve learned a thing or two.  My husband and I had both been through divorce before we married each other, and with that brings a unique perspective into many do’s and don’ts of how to treat your spouse. Don’t get me wrong – our marriage isn’t perfect, but our failures in past relationships have shaped decisions we make about the way we treat each other, and to be honest, I’m glad I went through it.  We’ve learned better, so now we do better.

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.  Edited to add: If you are unfamiliar with the principles behind love languages, you can learn more about it here.
  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.

Read 7 Keys to a Happy Wife written by my husband

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1,019 thoughts on “10 Marriage Tips Every WIFE Needs to Hear

  1. I agree with a lot that is posted here but a mistake is once or even twice. More than that not a mistake and when someone decides to saty with that person after making those “mistakes” over and over it is hard to forgive and it is hard to believe that i should respect him only if he deserves it. Especially when those mistakes have to do with disrespecting me and our kids. Many ask me why dont you leave and to be fair and honest because of my children. We have young ones 6 and 5 and we are good on his salary alone. He provides us with the money. He is not physically abusive he is not a drunk he is responsible a good father but a cheater! And so grass is not always greener on yhe other side as you posted in your blog. I cant leave him because when we talked about he says i would have to give half towards all of the kids extracurricular activites and that isnt fair to them when i cant make not even half of what he is making. So im stuck. I have given him the support. I had given him respect. I am a housewife And not the type on tv. I have never gotten my nails done nore pedis nor facials. Most of my clothes are given to me as hand me downs and i do everything at home even pay the bills and grocery. So wheres my respect? So that type of advice i feel is good for people not going through what i am. You cant change a person. He or she will “change” for you because of love. Nothing else.

    • First of all, I have been in your shoes. I understand your pain and relate to your struggle. My second husband was unfaithful and verbally abusive. I learned a lot in that marriage, though. I learned that just because he wasn’t measuring up regarding his duties as a husband and father (I’m not talking about the cheating here…I’m talking about his general duties as a member of our household) – anyway, if he wasn’t measuring up, I would cut him down. That only fueled his fire to not give me the love I needed in return. Instead of cutting him down, I should have encouraged him, even during the times when he wasn’t doing what he should have.

      I wrote this to encourage women to really look at their role in a failing relationship. There’s always SOMETHING we can work on. No one is perfect. That being said, as I stated in the article, women should never stay in an abusive situation. If your husband is lording money over your head to control you, that is abuse. I encourage you to speak to a counselor, and get further help. You will be in my prayers!

    • Maybe you could read the version that my husband wrote for husbands (it’s linked in the bottom of this article). Let her see that you are trying to work on things as well, and she may meet you half way!

    • Yes, that is true. However, I wrote these tips from my own perspective, and my perspective includes my faith, because without it – my marriage is doomed to fail.

  2. Just stumbled on your blog- very informative and inspiring thoughts from you and Frank. Keep them coming.
    Check out my blog on akinadigun.wordpress.com
    Thanks, Karen!

  3. Karen, in your first paragraph there’s a link to read about the article that was impetus to you and your husband’s blog posts. When I clicked it, it brought me to a blank page that only had the word click in the top right corner. I clicked it and it immediately brought me to a pint sight. I don’t know if this has happened to anyone else. I tried it again and I didn’t click on the “click” link again.

    • It doesn’t do that for me for some reason. I linked to the Viral Nova article instead, just in case. Must be something happening with his personal website. Either way, thank you for letting me know.

  4. Sometimes this advice can be good as well as not. If your husband takes you for granted, doesn’t have time for you ever, we don’t have date nights…what’s that????? Then this advice doesn’t apply. How can a wife comply with this if he treats her like a roommate. Sorry can’t do it!!

    • If you have a clear conscience that you are doing everything to make your marriage work, and he still refuses to meet you half way – I would suggest seeking marriage counseling. For me, however, I knew there were things that I needed to work on, even during the times when my husband was taking me for granted (which he ALWAYS DID), and refused to make time for me. There will still things I needed to change in me. My marriage ended, but I walked away from that situation armed and ready for the time when my current husband came along. I was not going to make those same mistakes again.

  5. Thank you for this blog post. I will use your advice to nurture my young marriage. As a young woman in a nearly 8-year relationship–9 months married–my husband and I have done a lot of growing up together. Our relationship has grown deeper and stronger with the passing of time. However, I know that love is like a plant that needs to be nurtured and watered constantly to grow and flourish. Thank you for the words of advice.

  6. beautiful article! i have found the love language thing to be helpful in all my relationships…also i once read to complain to your mother in law about your husband…i think if you lack the professional or spiritual guidance it’s a good pinch hit….i will see what my opinion is once i’m married lol

  7. Thank you for this Karen!!! I am a 24 yr old mother of two. My husband and I have been married for five years, and I still get back lash from family and friends about being submissive to my husband. When we got married, my husband and I where just starting our journey with Christ in our lives. My female family members and friends just can’t seem to understand why i let my husband take the lead and run our household. Sometimes it gets to me and makes me feel as if am letting my husband take advantage of me.Reading this has helped me reaffirm that we are follow Christ’s order for marriage and not those of the the world!!

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