Every Wednesday we talk about marriage! Today, please welcome our guest author, Lindsey Bell, who is sharing an awesome word on how NOT to ruin a marriage. And then feel free to link up your own marriage posts in the linky below.
My husband and I will celebrate our ninth anniversary next month. I know there are many who have been married for much longer than nine years, but for us, that’s an accomplishment. Because, let me tell you, years 5-9 have not been the easiest.
In year five, we had our first child together. Any of you with kids know how difficult adding a child into the family can be.
Then, in years seven-nine, we went through four consecutive miscarriages and an adoption. That’s a lot of stress for a three-year period.
Our marriage could have easily faltered under the stress (and it certainly came close at times), but we held on and are better for it.
One of the main reasons it didn’t falter is because we tried our best to avoid these common marriage pitfalls. I’m sharing them with you today in hopes that if you’re falling in to any of them, you’ll pull yourself out before it’s too late.
5 Surefire Ways to Ruin a Marriage:
1. Look to your spouse to fill the voids in your life.
When I first got married, I thought my husband Keith could meet all my needs. But I’ve finally come to accept the fact that he can’t.
He is my husband, not my girlfriend.
He is my husband, not my God.
God didn’t design our husbands to meet our every need. He designed them to complement us, yes, but not to complete us.
If you expect your husband to meet your every need for companionship, love, acceptance, etc, you’re setting yourself up for failure. No man, regardless of how wonderful he might be, is able to completely fill the voids of a woman.
2. Compare your marriage to the marriages of those around you.
It’s so easy to look at the marriages of those around us and wonder why ours can’t be “like theirs.” But here’s the thing: we only see a snippet of that other person’s marriage. And I can promise you, the things they advertise on Facebook or Twitter are their highlights. Not their struggles.
When we compare their highlight reel to our weaknesses, we are doomed for discontentment.
3. Allow your children to become your everything.
I’m a stay-at-home mother, so my kids are my life. I spend the majority of my time taking care of them, and when I’m not with them, I’m often thinking about them.
There’s nothing wrong with making your kids a priority, but there is something wrong with making them your primary priority.
The greatest gift you can give your children is a solid marriage. And the only way to maintain a solid marriage through the childrearing years is to keep your marriage as a priority.
So when your husband comes home from work, stop what you’re doing with the kids and greet him. When your husband is talking with you, don’t allow your children to constantly interrupt your conversation. Go on dates with him. Spend time with him without the kids around.
Make it clear to him (and to your kids) that you are his wife first and their mother second.
4. Stop dating your spouse.
It’s so easy to stop dating once we get married. Going on dates, especially after we have children, is work. Plain and simple. We have to plan the date, hire childcare, get the kids ready for the babysitter, make sure the babysitter knows all of our rules, pay a ridiculous amount of money to the babysitter, pay an even more ridiculous amount of money for dinner, and the list goes on.
Dating isn’t as carefree as it used to be, but it’s worth it because it is a great way to reconnect with your spouse without distraction. And for some busy families, it’s the only time a husband and wife really see each other of a week. The rest of the time is spent balancing various kids’ activities, work obligations, and church functions.
5. Start building relationships with other people of the opposite sex.
When our marriage isn’t going well, it’s easy to look to another person and think things would be different with him or her.
If he were my husband, I’d have more help around the house.
If he were my husband, I’d finally be able to talk to someone who understands me.
If she were my wife, I’d finally get some respect.
But again, what we see from other people are their highlights. Their strengths.
We don’t see their weaknesses, because they don’t publicize them.
I love the quote that’s going around Pinterest: “The grass is greener where you water it.”
Water your marriage, not some other relationship, and the grass will start to get greener.
Let’s talk: What other things could you add to this list?
Lindsey Bell is the author of Searching for Sanity, a parenting devotional that will be released in January 2014. She’s also a stay-at-home mother of two, minister’s wife, avid reader, and chocolate lover. You can find Lindsey online at any of the following locations: Her blog: www.lindsey-bell.com Her website: www.lindseymbell.com Twitter: www.twitter.com/LindseyMBell Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorLindseyBell Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/LindseyMBell01
About Searching for Sanity:
Have you ever looked at your beloved children and wondered, what in the world am I doing? Why did God trust me—of all people—to raise them?
Motherhood is the most difficult job many of us will ever take. Searching for Sanity offers moms an opportunity to take a breath, dig into the Word, and learn from parents of the past. In short devotions designed for busy moms, this book uses the parents of the Bible—both the good and the bad—to inspire today’s mothers.
It’s coming soon, so be on the lookout!
Now, what advice do you have for us today? Link up the URL of a marriage post in the linky below! And when you link up, please share the Wifey Wednesday button so more people can see these great marriage posts!