Wifey Wednesday: Invest In Your Marriage (It’s Worth It!)

Invest in Your MarriageIt’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you follow up either by commenting or by writing your own post and then linking up in the comments!

Because it’s summer, I’ve decided to rerun some older posts while I take a bit of a blogging break and write like crazy! I’ve got three major things I’m writing this summer that I’ll be excited to present to you hopefully soon. So here’s a post from two years ago, before most of you were reading this blog:

If you ask someone how they’re doing, chances are they’ll say, “Oh, I’m so busy!” Our lives are hectic, and we spend our time trying to organize better and feel rejuvenated.

But today I want to let you know the ONE thing you can do to avoid hassles, give yourself energy, avoid heartbreak, and revitalize your life. And it’s really very simple. Invest in your marriage.

Your marriage is the best weapon you have in your arsenal to get through life. It is marriage that makes us feel like we can take on the world. It is our spouse that gives us a partner in life so we’re not trying to handle all this alone. It is marriage that helps your children’s behavior and makes them more likely to make good decisions, thus saving you a ton of heartache, worry, and time, too.

Perhaps some of you have marriages that you don’t think contribute very much to your happiness. I know so many women who think that life would be easier and less of a hassle if they were to divorce. That may be true, but it is true for a only a tiny minority of people, and this is why:

When you split up, you magnify all your problems, you don’t necessarily solve them.

It is not like you can actually “get rid” of your spouse, anyway. You have to share custody. And if you already don’t get along, imagine trying to negotiate who gets Christmas, who gets this weekend, whether we can switch weekends because Katie has a soccer practice and you want to be there.

If people put as much work into their marriages as they will have to into a divorce, we’d have a lot more happy families.

(Click to Tweet that quote)

Of course, most of you aren’t about to split up, but let’s look at the worse case scenario first:

Children do not fare well in a divorce, even if that divorce is justified.

They grow up too fast. They’re more likely to get involved in risky behaviors. They often shut themselves off from you, even if your children are your whole life. In the couples that I have seen split, even if they had the best of intentions of building new lives with the kids, the kids don’t share those intentions. They pull away. And with shared custody, as horrible as it sounds, parents get used to having a life without the kids. Suddenly your life doesn’t revolve around the kids anymore, and they don’t want their lives to revolve around yours, because their whole life has been turned upside down. So they look outside of the family for support, and few parents, even if they were the wronged party, enjoy a closer relationship with the kids after the divorce. Usually, after a split, you fall further away from the kids. It’s not true in every instance, but it’s true in a lot. And even if you’re closer to one child, chances are you won’t be to all of them.

Money becomes a worry in a whole new way, because now you have to support this family.

Child support isn’t going to be enough, and courts demand that you work, too. It will be tough. Before your family income supported one household; now it has to support two.

So my best advice to simplify your life:

Don’t ever let your marriage get to that point.

What about those of you who certainly aren’t ready to split up, but you don’t feel that your marriage is a source of energy and strength for you? Then invest in it. Find a way to love your husband like crazy.

I’ve spent the last two days in Toronto, at speaker training for World Vision’s Girls Night Out shows. I’ve been speaking for them for years, but they’re expanding into the United States, and I’ll likely be doing some shows down there this spring. But while I was at that training, I was away from my family. And I was driving home last night, I heard the country song “Love Like Crazy”. And I thought: that’s what I want to do to my husband. I want to love him like crazy. I want to invest so much in him that he has no doubt that he is the only man in my life because I want him to be the only man in life. I still would choose him. I enjoy being with him. I’m proud of him.

And I’m going to treat him that way. He has been so good to me lately, but I’ve been wrapped up in a lot of things–I’ve got a big book proposal in front of some huge publishers right now and I’ve been stressing about it. And I said to God last night in the car, “God, I really don’t care about the book nearly the way I care about my marriage. Give me my marriage over the book. I’d love the book, but let Keith always be my main priority.”

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in what we’re doing that we forget to love like crazy–to talk to our spouse, to make time for him, to put effort into “getting in the mood”, and romancing our man. We think about our own priorities, and we forget his.

But what happens when we romance him? What happens when we love him like crazy? I don’t know about you, but in my house, it means that he loves me right back. The days after we’ve been really close he does the dishes more. He asks me what I need. He’s closer to me. It’s a two-way street. When I’m close to him, he feels close to me, and we both get immense satisfaction from helping each other. We’re thinking about the other person.

And I can talk to him. I can tell him my stresses and concerns. I can ask him to help me make even minor decisions about the girls or schedules or church. He’s engaged.

It doesn’t automatically happen. It only does when we invest. When we listen, and kiss, and send love notes, and put our marriage before our kids. When we pray for him, and enter into his world instead of always insisting he enter into ours.

Life is so much easier when you walk through it with another. It is so much harder when that partnership falls apart. So invest in your marriage and make it super strong. It’s your best resource for this life!

Christian Marriage Advice

Now, what advice do you have for us today? Have you ever had to change your attitude towards your spouse? Or do you have something else to tell us? Write your own Wifey Wednesday post that links back to here, and then leave the link of THAT POST in the comments. Thanks!

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Comments

  1. Thank you. This was very timely and you spoke right to my heart. There’s been so much pain in my marriage since it’s beginning that I’ve allowed myself to grow more selfish to “survive”. Through the years I have become increasingly tired of merely surviving, wanting to start thriving, but have been strongly debating whether that would best be achieved through divorce or *somehow* through remaining married. You have confirmed what God has laid on my heart through much prayer and have helped me understand some things I had been questioning. Many blessings to you, your marriage, and your family! :-)

  2. great post Sheila! My husband and I have a great relationship…but he told me recently “you don’t flirt with me anymore.” And it kind of stopped me in my tracks…..because I don’t remember HOW to flirt….i’ve tried since he told me that…but i’m awkward and he doesn’t even recognize it…what’s wrong with me? How can I flirt again? I feel like his comment needs to be met with action…but i’m at a loss..and this is just one of the ways I can invest in my marriage and let him know i care about his desires too…
    Any suggestions?

    • happywife says:

      You might need to ask him what kind of flirting he likes. His idea of flirting and yours might be 2 different things. Some things I do are… sending suggestive texts (or simple “I love you” texts), running my fingers down his arms and hands while were sitting on the couch together, making eyes with him, flash him, when he is sitting on the couch I “straddle” him on his lap and kiss him, I pinch his butt and tell him how sexy he is, play footsie with him. I realize some of these things are more sexual than just a playful flirt… but he really can’t not catch my cue :-) And anytime he approaches me to give me a kiss or be playful, I give him my full attention and play back.

  3. Couples do need to consider more carefully the potential impact of divorce on their children. The risks you pointed out are blunt, but in many cases true. A few divorces are unavoidable, but most of us need to do everything we can to avoid ever being in that position.
    Gaye @CalmHealthySexy recently posted…4 Thoughts on Overcoming Boredom in the BedroomMy Profile

  4. Great post as always! My hubby and I are newlyweds and are looking for a house. I have health issues and we have been through a LOT in the past 7 months we’ve been married. He is very quiet and calm while I am outgoing and feisty. I forget that calm can be okay. And that he really does balance me out.

  5. It’s so easy to get busy with the business of life, but this is so important, and I’m trying to learn that now.
    We’re trying to plan more dates that are not just about discussing plans and issues, but about spending time together.
    Osayi recently posted…I know that the Lord hath given you the land – fighting fearMy Profile

  6. anonymous says:

    My experience was that I was a child of a divorce between a step-father and my mother. I wanted that divorce very much and I was only about 6-7 years old. He was so violent and so abusive to my mother and I saw so many things that still haunt my dreams that I really believe we would not have survived had she chosen to stay in that marriage. I am so glad we got out and I did not feel safe until we did and I did not feel totally safe until I was about 17 years old. Saving this marriage for the sake of the child would have been an absolute disaster. We were lucky to get out alive. I never have believed that couples should stay together “for the child”. Don’t think for one minute that the child does not have opinions on that.
    I heard a horrible news story one time of a young girl who shot her father with the family hand gun as he was abusing her mother. You want to know the terrible part? God help me: to me it made total sense for her to do that.

    • Sandy in Los Angeles says:

      Abuse is a whole ‘nother issue. There are so many divorces today because “I just don’t love him anymore,” or quite often “His fianancial decisions don’t make me feel safe.” Etc. etc. etc. and the children pay the price.

  7. You are spreading my message. Most of the societal problems in our country are directly related to kids
    growing up in a single parent household. Travon Martin was such a kid and most of the school shooters
    were products of a single parent family. Our children need dads in their lives. The best thing that you
    can do for your children is to respect and love their dad and teach them to do the same.

    John Wilder

  8. So true! Maintaining a relationship with one another has always been a priority for us. Couples must work at it, it doesn’t just happen. One thing we’ve started doing is walking at least once a week together. We found that time we are more apt to talk, share without life’s interruptions.

    The enemy never lets up trying to destroy our marriage and we should never think we can stop working at it.

  9. This is my 1st time reading your posts here – what a blessing. My first time linking up too, thank you.
    Rebekah recently posted…Our Stories Are Not Just For UsMy Profile

  10. Such a good reminder! Lately I’ve been so busy and tired that I forget to invest in my marriage, to communicate with my husband and spend time together. Thanks for the reminder to put some effort in to make sure this marriage stays strong!
    Gemma B recently posted…A ‘Proverbs 31′ Wife?My Profile

  11. So right… Splitting up is not really a good option (neither is being in one house with both parents that are always fighting!).. It’s right, married couples should invest in their marriage…
    viviene @thejourneyofawoman recently posted…God’s Will be Done (2 Chronicles 25)My Profile

  12. Really a great post..and all thing shows common people man’s problem in their marriages just may be the reasons is lack of time,communication gap between them and some priority problems.All discussion has solved behalf of spending time,to understand each other and splitting is not just the solution that can damage you whole life as well as your children’s life.

  13. Amen to those words of wisdom. If someone isn’t divorced or separated themselves, then high is the likelihood that they know someone close to them who is. It doesn’t take an oracle to see the hurt they endure (whether or not it was them who initiated the split) and the fallout on the children and wider family unit. A good marriage is worth fighting for and too many people let the minutiae of day to day existence undermine the sanctity of marriage and the lifelong benefits that a strong partnership brings with it. Rise above the noise folks and see the bigger picture. Love your site.
    Brit R recently posted…How To Get My Ex Back Faster HomeMy Profile

  14. Timely reminder. Being thinking up ways to spice up things lately. Just waiting for the courage to implement. Great post, this. Thanks for sharing.
    Tulip recently posted…Secret LongingsMy Profile

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