Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What A Wife Can Do

Someone asked the following question in a comment:

what are some of the things that you do as a wife to make your marriage strong? I am looking for not necessary new ideas, but maybe some better ones to strengthen our marriage, or at least my part. Any thoughts?

I think a strong marriage is the key to a strong family and strong families make great communities. So I thought I would throw my thoughts on this subject out there and invite comments from others on the subject. I think there is a lot to be gained from brainstorming ideas to make any marriage better. So if you have a tip that works for you, leave it in a comment.

First I think for those marriages in serious trouble (like you or your spouse is seriously thinking about ending the relationship), you should go to counseling. If your loved one was sick and dying you would surely take them to a doctor to try to save them. You would do whatever you could to save their life. We ought to think of our "marriage" as a loved one and if it is seriously ill and dying we ought to make every effort possible to save it. Going to a professional "marriage doctor" is one of those things we ought to do. And finding the right therapist is also important. I haven't ever done counseling but I have friends whose marriages have been saved by counseling.

Okay for those whose marriages are not on life support but may be feeling a bit "under the weather" or for those of us whose marriages are quite healthy but would still appreciate any boost to fortify our "immune system," I will share a few tips I find help from the wifely perspective.

I think one tip that helps me is trying to see things from my husbands point of view. This helps me be more understanding of his frustrations with me and helps me be a better "helpmeet" to him. For example, my husband works a lot. Often he puts in 16 hour days. His job is highly stressful. He does all this for us. He needs time when he doesn't have to "work" at his job or at mine. So I try to be understanding and uncomplaining and even supportive of the time he takes out of his day to workout or play the Wii with the kids, or watch some sports thing on TV.

We have talked recently about how important it is to take an interest in things that mean a lot to the other even if we are not interested in it. So I will watch some sport thing with him just to have us doing things and enjoying experiences TOGETHER. He on the other hand has even watched one or two dances on my favorite show with me.

I think it is important to pray earnestly for your spouse both in private and out loud where your spouse can hear.

We also need to be supportive of our husbands in overcoming their weaknesses. This does not mean nagging them. No this means being understanding that they are human with faults just like us. And it means forgiving without the nagging when they screw up. They ALL screw up. Every husband has a fault. Every husband screws up once in a while. If your spouse knows he is screwing up we don't need to harp on it. We need to forgive and help them find tools to be better.

One of the best pieces of advice the man who married us gave us was "it is more important to have peace in the home than to be right." I like being right. Most of the time I am pretty sure that I am right (even if I am wrong). Jon is the same this way. So there are LOTS of times that I let unimportant things go that I KNOW I am right about and he is wrong about. Normally I would prove my point. I am an attorney after all. But in our marriage I often hear that advice in my head and ask myself how important it is for me to prove that I am right. 99% of the time it just isn't that important and I let the subject drop and let Jonathan think he is right.

Little things go a long way in marriage. I try to do little things to "exceed expectations" every once in a while. Sometimes I will do one of the jobs that Jonathan usually does around the house.

The last thing I will put out there is perhaps one of the most important. How shall I put this? Hmm. I am trying to be careful here because I don't know the ages of everyone reading. But I will say that being available to your husband when he needs (or just wants) you physically is probably one of the most effective things a wife can do to help her marriage.

Okay the forum is open for your tips. Sorry this isn't so well put together. I just don't have the editing time I once did. I am looking forward to great tips in the comments:

So You Think You Can Dance Fans who know me well enough to know where I live, come watch the 99th episode tonight with us. We start the show promptly at 9 pm. My sister in law Elizabeth was there for the taping and will be on camera lots since she was right in front of the judges. She said the second half of the show was AMAZING and one number had everyone in the audience in tears by the end. I can't wait!