It’s no secret that marriage is not all sunshine and rainbows. There will be beautiful, romantic moments, and there will be difficult, testing moments. I don’t consider myself to be an expert on marriage, but I do know that it takes work, and it’s so worth it. Recognizing how we can better honour our spouses is huge!
1. Avoiding conflict
Fights happen. This is part of married life. You are two humans living together, and you are bound to argue about something. Avoiding conflict is never a healthy thing. Learning how to resolve conflict immediately helps to foster a loving environment in the home.
Resentment is what happens when conflict is avoided or not handled properly. “Ugh, this isn’t worth the conversation” is a cop-out, and it’s probably going to lead to negative feelings towards your spouse. It’s easy to think “You did this thing to me, and I’ll never get over it”, but you actually need to resolve conflict, forgive and move on.
You know that awful feeling you have when your boss constantly points out the things you do wrong? Imagine making your spouse feel that way. Not pretty. Nitpicking (out loud or in your head) will make you only see your partner’s faults, when you should be learning to grow in compassion.
4. Fighting to win
Resolving conflict isn’t about winning the fight. If one of you “wins”, nobody wins. Conflict resolution in marriage is all about team work and an “Us against the world” mentality. Focusing on “being right” and not resolving the issue won’t make the situation right.
5. Pride and selfishness
It’s alright to be the first one to say “sorry”, even if you don’t think you started the fight. Learn to put your pride aside for the sake of the one you love.
You know the principle “Love keeps no record of wrong”? Your spouse is going to offend you, and you’ve got to forgive and move on.
Never ever ever disrespect your spouse. In private and in public, your job is to make your spouse look like a hero. Couples who tease each other often carry subtext underlying the teasing, and this isn’t a good way to speak of your spouse.
Stop blaming your busyness and start prioritising date nights and other activities that foster intimacy.
9. Addiction to anything
Putting your shopping habit or favourite TV show ahead of your spouse? This isn’t healthy for you or your marriage.
10. Commenting on the attractiveness of others
Even the most beautiful model in the world would hate to hear her husband commenting on other women. Make the effort to praise your spouse solely.
I’ve said these habits are harmless, because they won’t kill you, but if you don’t change them, you could destroy your marriage. Make the effort to create a loving environment in your marriage.