Marriage looks different in every relationship. Why? Because every marriage is made up of two unique individuals. As such, we all bring something different to the marriage. A husband has his own ideas of what a marriage is supposed to be, and a wife will have her own. Each of those individuals thoughts are unique and different from every other couple in the world. together they form a bond and learn to work and grow toward each other.
At least that’s the goal. Sadly, though too many people get caught up in not working together. Rather, they find themselves working against each other. But, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Every day, we are given a gift. The gift of choice. We can wake up and make decisions for how we will approach our marriage. We can choose the things we will and won’t do in our marriage relationships. We can choose to spend time in prayer, praying for our marriages. Or, we can choose to focus entirely on our own wants, needs, and desires.
If you are ready to take back control of your gift you can do so. You can choose to make better decisions, choose better options, and commit to seeking the highest good of your own beloved spouse. You can choose what you will and won’t do to protect the sanctity of your marriage union.
20 Things to Avoid
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1- Belittle him to your friends, or family members. EVER.
He is your husband. Besides your relationship with the Lord, He is your #1 relationship on this earth. Your role as a wife is to build him up and seek his highest good. Putting him down, complaining about him, or making light of your relationship with him, is not a part of the godly role you’ve been called to as a wife. Ask yourself if what you are saying to belittle or complain about your husband you would say about Christ. Because chances are you would not. Remember that your role as a wife is to submit to him, as you would to Christ.
2. Allow others to tear him down in your presence.
Obviously, there may be times when it’s not your place to speak up. Ladies, you can’t call your husband’s boss and speak for him. That would be overstepping your bounds.
But, women tend to lump all men into a specific category. When you hear a friend, or sister try to lump your husband into a negative category, you can gently say… “Oh, that’s not my husband. He’s very helpful, or great, or ….” There may also be times when your children need to be reminded that they aren’t to speak ill of their father. Or, perhaps it might be within his or your extended family. Choose carefully, wisely, but don’t allow others to think that YOU think less of him. You should always seek to build him up.
3- Try to change him.
This may seem cliché but the reality is too many women try to change their husbands to fit their pre-conceived idea of what a husband should/shouldn’t be. He is who he is. Remember the things you found attractive in him. Remember the reasons you grew to love him. When you accept him for who he is and grow along side of him you’ll both have a greater appreciation for each other. And, remember that you can influence with your quiet, obedient, spirit.
No one likes to be nagged. If the table were reversed and he was nagging you all the time, you wouldn’t like it. So don’t be a nag.
“Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.” Proverbs 21:9.
5- Be Passive Aggressive
Over time it’s easy to grow complacent toward your relationship. And, when you have a discontent heart, resentment can build up. When you allow yourself to feel put out, or frustrated at every little thing that annoys you, you may find that you end up expressing your frustration in a passively aggressive way.
The best way to communicate your feelings of frustration is by honestly sharing them. Rather than saying, “Nothing!” when he asks what is wrong. Say, “I’m feeling frustrated because…”
Think carefully about how you are presenting yourself to him. Are you being passive, or honest? Are you being aggressive with your thoughts? Do you often think… I’ll show him!? Don’t get caught up in passive aggressive thoughts and tendencies.
There may come times when a couple may be struggling to communicate effectively. Sometimes it stems from hurts and other times it stems from selfishness. There can be a tendency to hide emotionally from your spouse. But, doing this only increases distrust. What’s better, even if it’s harder, is to begin the process of honestly talking it out with each other. Remember, that as husband and wife you should also be best friends, so start talking. Start listening, and ask open-ended questions, while also honestly sharing your own thoughts and emotions.
Lying is never, ever O.K. Not only is it a sin, well that alone should be a good enough reason to not begin lying in any area of your life, but, lying to your spouse causes division in your heart. If you are honest with yourself, you’ll realize that lying comes when you distrust the other person. Or, lying happens when you distrust yourself. The consequences of lying are greater than any temporary reprieve you might feel from lying your way out of a sticky moment.
Just be honest. Be true in every circumstance and allow yourself to build trust between yourself and your husband.
8- Forget to be Kind
It might seem silly. When your marriage is young you think every day will be full of romance and flowers. You imagine that each day will be full of kind thoughts, and kind deeds are done toward each other. But, time passes. Days become weeks, and weeks become years. You get busy. He gets busy. Before you know it you are so busy that you’ve forgotten each other in the day to day activity and you may discover that kindness has slipped out of the relationship in the hustle and bustle of jobs, children, and community. But remember that gift? You can choose, every day, you have a new chance to choose – kindness toward your love.
9- Keep a Record of Wrongs
When you keep in mind all the things that have ever been done — well, that’s keeping a record of wrong. You probably don’t write it down. But, you most likely have kept it written in your heart. And that is a bad idea. Why? Because it means you aren’t forgiving. To forgive… means to forget. Really, it does. It means letting go of hurts, sorrows, failures, and anger. It means remembering no more anything that was done that might have caused you any pain. To forgive means, to forget. Don’t keep a record of wrongs. Remember that you are not perfect and forgiveness goes both ways.
10- Avoid Financial Responsibility
Both of you are responsible for what happens in your finances. If you don’t contribute financially, you certainly contribute to the spending of the finances. It’s better to work together to manage your family finances. This can look like a lot of different things. Perhaps you pay the bills, while he balances the checkbook. Maybe he earns the income, while you manage the family budget. Or, it could be that both of you are earners and you work collaboratively to manage the budget. Whatever the case, the goal is to work together to be financially responsible.
11- Put Others First
You may not mean for it to happen. But it happens often. It can simply be putting children first, or a parent, or a career. Remember that besides your relationship with God, your most important relationship on earth is the one you have with your spouse. Children, grow up. Careers, come and go. Your parents, while they may need you at some point, you should do so with your spouse’s support. But, that relationship, the husband/wife relationship must be the 1st priority. Protect it with all your being.
12-Do not Use Sex as a Weapon
It’s going to hurt both of you if you choose to use sex as a weapon to get your own way. Let that part of your marriage remain a special, intimate time. I refer you to 1 Corinthians 7, study it. Really come to understand what it is saying. Don’t allow yourself to use sex as a tool, a weapon to hurt your husband.
13 – Look Around
You’ve probably heard it said, that it’s totally O.K. to look at another person whom you think is beautiful as long as you don’t touch. But, this is wrong!
“but I say unto you, that every one that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” – Jesus Christ, Matthew 5:28.
Don’t be deceived. Looking at another with longing eyes may cause dissatisfaction in your heart. You may begin to desire someone other than the one you love. You open your heart to sin. Remember your first love, and only have eyes for your beloved.
14 – Take Your Spouse for Granted
Don’t let yourself assume that everything is going to be o.k., all the time. Remember that your spouse has emotions, feelings, and needs that are unique to them. You need to show gratitude for the work they do, you need to acknowledge when they do something for you. You need to be aware of how you are working together and check in with each other, often, to be sure you are both doing well within the relationship.
15 – Fight Dirty
When you find yourself in an argument, don’t fight dirty. Don’t bring up old mistakes. Don’t pile on frustrations. Don’t argue something that isn’t what the current discussion is about. Instead, stay calm and focus your thoughts on resolving whatever the disagreement is about.
16 – Exhibit Jealous Behavior
Again, this goes back to trust. To love, unconditionally, you must put all of your trust into your spouse. It’s hard, don’t get me wrong. But loving means trusting. Let go of jealousy, let go of worry. Simply place your trust in them, let them know you trust them, and watch as they seek to prove their trust, over and over again.
And, it must be said. They aren’t perfect, no one is… so learn to forgive as well.
NOTE: While the goal in any marriage is for both the husband and wife to work and grow toward each other in love, there may come times when trust is broken. Each situation must be examined through the scriptures to determine what God’s will for your life is. That being said, there is nothing that can’t be overcome when you turn to God for guidance.
17 – Compare
It’s easy to compare your relationship to your best friend’s relationship with her husband. Or, to compare your sister’s spouse to your own. But – don’t do it. Remember that you and your spouse are unique individuals and you each bring something different to your relationship. Your marriage will not look like someone else’s. Your marriage is your own. Your husband is his own man. Don’t compare your husband or your marriage to someone else’s. It’s not going to help you grow toward your spouse.
18 – Stop Supporting Them
Over time you can grow insensitive to their needs. You can grow hard and forget that they have emotions and they go through difficult things and need you to support them through those things. Sometimes, they need you to encourage them to try the next thing. Sometimes they need you to hold them and love them. Don’t stop supporting the one you love.
19 – Read Minds
Just because you are one doesn’t mean that you are able to read your husband’s mind. Just as he can’t read your mind. Of course, over time you learn each other, you grow to have an understanding of each other. But even still you can’t read their mind. You can guess at what they are thinking. And, you’ll learn certain signals that will allow you to communicate with just a nod, wink, or a gesture. But, you can’t read his mind.
20 – Make Idle Threats
Remember when you were a child and you were taught, “Be careful what you say.” This is true. Don’t make threats that you don’t mean. Don’t use threats as a way of getting what you want. Don’t use threats to hurt the one you love.
Your marriage is your most important relationship. It’s up to you, and your beloved to grow in love toward each other. No one is going to do it for you. No one can fix it for you. Only you can choose what you will do, and won’t do in order to protect the precious gift that is your marriage.