6) LOVE IS A TWO WAY STREET. I have a friend whose husband is into this bad habit. She feels unloved and like he doesn't care how this habit makes her feel. This habit isn't necessarily considered bad to everyone. It's not watching porn or anything like that, but the wife still hates it. So, how does she respond? She refuses to keep the house clean which she knows makes her husband mad. Then he goes and continues this bad habit even more and this downward spiral continues. I don't know how to fix their problem, but one suggestion is that they stop being selfish and start thinking of the other person. If you refer to #1 in this article, you'll see that love is a choice. You have to make little choices to love and invest in your husband or wife. Continuing a bad habit that ticks them off even if you don't think it's bad, isn't okay. Drop the habit or at least try to compromise. If your husband or wife doesn't feel loved, I'm not saying it's all your fault, but you might have something to do with it. If you aren't giving love, then they aren't feeling loved. It's fairly simple. Well, sometimes.
7) GIRL TIME IS ESSENTIAL. I was one of the first of my friends to get married and so was my husband of his friends group. Before we got married, one of my friends expressed that she was concerned I wouldn't hand out with her as much since I would be married and all her other friends who had gotten married seemed to ditch her right after. Being conscious of this once I got married, I made it my goal to not abandon my single friends. To this day, my friends still compliment Clay and I on how well we did at making sure we still had nights with our friends from day one of our marriage. So part one of this is that you don't want to abandon your friends because they've been there for you, but part two is that you need that time away from your spouse and with friends to communicate with those that are like you. Men and women are different. No matter how much you and your husband are in sync, you still don't see eye to eye on everything and that's okay. Girl time just let you have moments where other girls get you and you can talk about girl stuff without boring your husband.
8) DATE NIGHTS ARE A MUST. I don't care if you have no kids or 5 kids, you have to have date nights! And I'm not talking just going to dinner, grabbing a movie, then falling asleep on the couch. It's so important that you get away from your house, put your cell phones away, and sit and talk with one another. You don't have to be fancy about it and you don't have to spend a lot of money, but you need to get away from home and away from all the things you have to do so you can just focus on each other. I would suggest this needs to happen at least once per month. Get a babysitter, make a plan, and stick to it. I promise you, it will be so good for your marriage!
9) DO WHAT HE LIKES. Or at least try it once. My husband is a huge nerd. I am not. However, I at least try to get into what he's into. For example, he went through a Doctor Who phase. I tried really hard to get into it. I would sit there and watch hours of the show, but the more I watched, the more I wanted to rip my eyeballs out. I gave it a valiant effort and my husband would agree. I tried. I hated it. Now that's something he does on his own. BUT, there was another nerdy show he got into called Eureka. I decided I would try watching this one as well with him. I ended up loving it! It was so good and I kept talking about it with my friends. So, it doesn't necessarily need to be a TV show, but make sure that you give everything a try at least once that your spouse really enjoys to do. You may end up loving it. And this way, you just got to spend a lot more time together even if it was in silence and all you did was cuddle on the couch. That time just cuddling is precious so hold onto it.
10) SEX MATTERS. (*disclaimer: this isn't graphic, but could be TMI) Ah yes, my favorite topic! I mean that. I love talking about this with other people and it's simply because I love to brag on my husband and mine's sex life. I know, it's selfish, but when it's this good, it's hard not to brag (wink face). I've heard so many women say things like, "Yeah, my husband gets sex once every two or three weeks," or, "Sometimes I just cannot wait for him to get off of me and be done already," or even, "I haven't had sex with my husband in 6 months but he's cool with it." Um, to that last comment, I highly doubt it. SIX MONTHS?! Are you crazy!? You're married! Maybe there are reasons to not have sex for a bit like the weeks following giving birth, sickness, or being out of town for work or whatever. But, sex is a way to show each other you love each other. It's a way to renew those wedding vows. It's a way to get you time and enjoy it! Sure, there are times when maybe I don't want sex, but I always know that if I just start making myself get into it, eventually, my body follows and I'm into it. It's a choice again. Don't focus on all the things you have to do or how tired you are. Think about the reasons you love your husband. Think about that fact that your husband loves you so much and finds you so incredibly attractive that he wants you. That always gets me.
I know, I'm only 3 and a half years into marriage so maybe I'm still in the honeymoon phase, but I promise you that sex matters. It keeps you connected. It's something that needs to be so special and intimate between you and your husband. Most importantly though, it needs to be frequent. Every time I hear of people going long periods without sex without a good reason, I hear of how they have problems communicating or one of them is now turning to something else to relieve the stress (not necessarily another person or even porn, but this something else starts to take away from time together). Worst case scenario, I've heard of men who aren't getting any from their wives and the communication has broken down so much that the man starts to have an affair or vice versa. My heart hurts when I hear this! No, sex will not solve your problems. That's not what I'm saying, but I am saying that a combination of all ten of these things could save your marriage. Sex is just a good gauge by which your marriage can be judged from what I can tell. Less sex equals two tense people. More sex equals less stress, more communication, and more intimacy. There may be exceptions, but in my mind, I'm not too far off with what I'm saying.
There you have it, my 10 lessons on marriage. I know it’s a lot, but if you aren’t doing all of these already, try implementing a few at a time. The little things in marriage matter so start small and work your way towards the bigger ones. And don't forget, it all starts with God being at the center. Grace and forgiveness in marriage are hard, but having God help you along the way is so incredibly helpful! You can do! And have a happy marriage!