Putting Your Spouse First: Best Practices for a Successful Marriage
Let’s preface this topic with some quick facts – yes babies need a LOT of attention, and yes normally young children will need your attention and your focus and your energy much more than your spouse because you are teaching them how to be fully functioning human beings. And yes your time and energy will be spent on your children because they need you to survive while they are young. But once you have children the best way to keep your family close and your marriage strong is by striving to put your spouse first. This does not mean you are putting your spouse first because you are selfish or a terrible parent, you put your spouse first FOR your children, your family, and your marriage.
Why should you put your spouse first? Here are some reasons your marriage will benefit by putting each other first:
A Lasting Marriage
According to success.com, “If you want your marriage to last your lifetime, give it the attention and effort it deserves. Your kids will live with you for just two short decades. Putting your marriage on cruise control for 20 years, while you focus on your kids is like falling asleep at the wheel – deadly.” Your children are only with you for a few short years, if you want a lasting marriage then take time to appreciate and love the person who will be with you the longest. You do not get to choose your extended family – mothers, sisters, aunts, nephews, etc. You do not get to choose who your children will turn out to be, the only person you truly choose to love is your spouse. Create a lasting marriage by putting your spouse first.
Happy and Healthy Children
You are your children’s first and most effective teacher – they will base many of their ideas of love and marriage on the example that you give. Your children will feel safe, happy when they have two parents who work together as a team and act like their spouse is their favorite person. Showing a healthy marriage where two people care about each other above all else is one of the best things you can do for your children. According to huffingtonpost.com, “I view my investment in my relationship with my spouse as one that is beneficial to our family as a whole.”
Putting your spouse first, caring for their needs, loving them, and being aware of their thoughts and feelings is a fantastic way to care for a lasting romance. Your children will eventually leave, but your spouse will be with you if you take the time to create that lasting relationship.
Here are some reasons – centered on children – for why you should put your spouse first:
Putting your children first, instead of your spouse, gives your children an unrealistic view of the world in which they are the center of attention. In an article by physician Danielle Teller, titled “How American parenting is killing the American marriage,” she said, “Children who are raised to believe that they are the center of the universe have a tough time when their special status erodes as they approach adulthood. Most troubling of all, couples who live entirely child-centric lives can lose touch with one another to the point where they have nothing left to say to one another when the kids leave home.”
Children Who Blame Themselves
If you put your children first and your marriage suffers because of it, your children may start to blame themselves for your unhappiness. According to psychologytoday.com, “Unhappy and unfulfilled parents can lead their kids to conclude that marriage makes people unhappy, or if the focus of their discord centers on child-rearing differences, that they are the source of their parents’ unhappiness.”
It benefits you, your spouse, your marriage, your children, and your whole family when you put your spouse first.
Until Death Do Us Part: 5 of the Best Tips For a Successful Marriage
Do you find yourself wondering if you made the right decision when you said your vows? After all, “until death do us part” is a very long time. Not everyone’s vows are quite so eternal, but the commitment should still be the same. No matter what your religious or spiritual practices, marriage vows should, at the very least, be a commitment to your partner that you will stand by them through good and bad times – forever!
Often, couples go into a marriage feeling like their love for one another can overcome any obstacles that might come their way. The truth is, love is only a small piece of the puzzle for having a successful marriage
What is a Successful Marriage?
A successful marriage is not based solely on how much a couple loves one another, or how long they have been together. To have a truly successful marriage, both partners should be happy and committed to each other.
This does not mean as soon as one or both partners become unhappy, then it’s time to end the marriage. Instead, it means figuring out what has happened to cause the unhappiness and looking for ways to improve the relationship. Before considering a divorce, couples should make sure they have tried everything else to make the marriage work, including seeking professional help.
Best Practices for a Successful Marriage
So, how do you have a successful marriage? Well, it’s not easy, but below are five tips for a successful marriage:
- Improve Your Spouse’s Happiness
Wake up each day asking,”What can I do today to put a smile on my spouse’s face?” Keep it simple – it’s the little things that matter, like bringing them a cup of coffee in bed, or going out to start their car on a cold day, before they have to leave for work. These thoughtful acts will take very little time out of your day, but will make all the difference in the world to brighten your spouse’s day.
- Have Money Talks on a Regular Basis
Talking about finances is taboo for many couples. Often, the mere mention of words like, “money” or “budget”, is the catalyst for an argument. Understanding how and when to spend or save money is key to avoiding squabbles about finances.
The first step is to decide on regular meeting times to sit down and discuss the state of your finances. These discussions should include such topics as budgets, savings, retirement accounts, investments and when and how to plan for making major purchases. Set a time limit for the meeting. The next step is to choose a relaxed setting, where there will be no distractions. Lastly, just pick a topic and begin the discussion. Take turns to allow each partner to provide valuable input.
If you make sure both partners are on the same “financial page” with spending, savings and investment plans, then these discussions will become much easier and more enjoyable, because you will be working together, rather than arguing about money.
- Have a Date Night
Life is often hectic for married couples, with such things as work, chores and taking care of the family. This is why it is important for couples to make a point of spending quality time together. The easiest way to do this is to pick one or more days out of the month to go on a date. Mark them on the calendar and decide together where you would like to go, and what you would like to do on the date. Don’t back out, except in the case of a real emergency. If you can’t agree on the details of the date, then take turns planning each date. Try to consider your partner’s likes and dislikes when planning. Get creative and have fun!
- Maintain Independence
While it is important for couples to spend a lot of quality time together, it is also important for the partners to maintain their own independence. Each partner should have hobbies or interests outside of the relationship. This will increase happiness and make each partner appreciate the other more when they do spend time together. It is true what they say – “absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
- Take Responsibility for Relationship Mistakes
When a couple disagrees, it is important to talk calmly about the disagreement. Each partner should express their view, while the other person listens. If you say something hurtful, then it is important to apologize and admit your mistake. You should not say, “I’m sorry, but you did this…”. It is not your job to point out your partner’s mistakes – just focus on taking ownership of your own mistakes and work on trying not to repeat them.
The same is true if one of the partners strays outside the marriage. If the marriage is to survive, the person who broke the marriage vows should take full responsibility for their actions, no matter what the other partner has done.
Marriage is a wonderful partnership when it is working great. Keeping each partner happy and committed is sometimes difficult, but with some work, thoughtfulness and creativity, you can have a successful marriage.