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Tag Archives: marriage
As I sit back and think about all of the blogs I have written on this site, all I can do is thank God for continuing to give me more to say. I pray it is well received, but mostly I pray it is applied in your life to help you discover that special someone or make your relationship with that someone you are with better. With that being said, there is no place “better” than being in the presence of Love. So what is Love?
Love is the most powerful emotion that we can feel as humans. It is what we yearn for from our parents, family and friends. But the love we really seek (outside of seeking God’s love) is the love from our mate. But for some of us that love has been stepped on and crush. That love has been betrayed by cheating. That love has been mentally and physically abusing. That love has been one-sided and unbalanced. That love has been impatient and intolerable. That love has been mean-spirited and hateful. THAT IS NOT LOVE!!!! Love is light!!! Love is a light that shines brightly and eternally. So is that light shining brightly in you? Have you, or are you, letting someone put your light out? Whether you are married, in relationship, or single, the light of love should be beaming from you.
Now love isn’t about who has the power or control in the relationship. There are plenty of relationships where the lady may have the upper hand when it comes to having control and power, but are they receiving love? Are they giving love? Please don’t make the mistake of mixing power and control with love!!! They don’t mix!!!
In order to receive love you MUST GIVE love. In order to give love you MUST BE love (light). Your love light must shine brightly; it can’t be dim or buried under hurt and pain. It is your responsibility (and yours alone) to make sure your light is shining brightly!!! A ship in the night will not land upon your shore, if their is no light there to welcome it.
After you have powered up or recaptured your love light, now you have to set your sights on a target. This is so important because we must definitively know exactly what it is that we desire. In many sports the object of the game is to always keep your focus and attention on the target. Make it your goal to concentrate your efforts on attaining the relationship that you desire. Many things may come your way to distract you but you must remain vigilant. If your focus is even slightly altered, quickly re-focus your energy back on your target. Your love and unwavering focus on your target can without a doubt get the results you desire. Conversely, if you add a cup full of faith to that recipe, it is utterly impossible for you to fail at achieving your goal.
Faith is having belief for a desired result that has yet been seen. Having Faith that what is unknown will become known is a very powerful act. Faith causes you to search your soul and challenges you thoughts. When conventional wisdoms tell you that the outcome must be this or that, you must rely on faith to go against all that is conventional. When you are told that your mate will cheat, you must rely on your faith that a monogamous mate will be sent to you. When you are told your marriage will not last, you must rely on your faith that it will endure and thrive. When you are told that you will never get married, you must rely on your faith to know that someone special is being prepared for you. It is the combination of there three powerful “states” of being, that will surely lead you to relationship success.
When something fails it is never a good feeling. It could be something as simple as a plan not working out or someone not coming through for you on a favor. Because we are human, it triggers certain emotions in us when things fail that we wanted to see succeed. Nothing epitomizes this more than the emotions that occur when we have a relationship or a marriage that fails. The toll it can take on us mentally and emotionally can be devastating and can stay with us for quite a while. We can find ourselves carrying the scars of the botched relationship with us into new relationships which can put a strain (at best) on the health and well-being of that union. But sometimes our reactions to a failed relationship or marriage can be toxic to us and everyone involved. Our reactions can be very selfish, vindictive, hurtful, malicious, cruel, tactless, immoral, evil, wicked, sinful, nasty, and even violent. The reason that I am writing this is because I feel like these reactions (and ones like them) are the wrong way to handle the failure of a relationship or marriage.
Yes we will be hurt, disappointed, and upset about the collapse, but this should be the time we should give thanks for its failure. The Bible states “give thanks in all things”, this also includes failure!!! We have to understand that we have no idea what God could be protecting us from by allowing this relationship or marriage to end. God could be trying to protect us from Infidelity, pregnancy, abuse, and maybe even death!!! Often, however, our reaction is to be spiteful. Saying mean and destructive things about the other person and placing the blame on them for everything. In doing so, we are clearly not seeing this as a time to be thankful for what could have resulted in a much more painful relationship in so many ways. I truly believe by reacting like this we are “blocking our blessings” from God. Instead of thanking God for protecting us from harm, we are responding with anger, hostility, and bitterness toward the people we cared for. We must see these failures as tests and lessons that we need to pass in order to get the bigger and better blessings.
Responding negatively to these tests only holds us back from those blessings God wants us so much to have and experience. The true danger is when one starts to let the negative thoughts and feeling of unsuccessful relationships and marriage consume them. They start believing that “this is the way it is” and their faith in “better love” starts to wane and in some case even disappear. They start saying and believing that good “Men” or good “Women” are hard, if not impossible, to find. These feelings and beliefs can easily happen when we are focused on failure!!! Instead we should thank God for the impending success that we faithfully know he is preparing us for. The failures are the preparation, the test, and the lessons!!! But we have to pass the test and learn the lessons in order to get the blessings!!! It is said that most entrepreneurs fail several times before they become a success. They understand that failure doesn’t mean to quit or that they can’t achieve their goal. It just means that they have to work harder, smarter, learn from their mistakes and make better decisions!!!!
Remember: It’s not really about THEM, it’s really not even about YOU; it’s about God’s plan for us!!! When we learn to let go of our plan and let God work his plan; our relationship and marriage lives will be so much more gratifying, abundant, and fulfilling.
I strongly believe that the same rules that apply in being successful in business are the same rules you can use to be successful in relationships. To that end I am going to take an article about success and business and show how it also applies to relationships and marriage. The name of the article is titled “9 things very successful people never do” by Jeff Haden. http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/9-things-remarkably-successful-people-never-do.html?cid=sf01001#ixzz3O6tIHXLW
1. They never let the past dictate their future.
So many people are not able to find lasting love in their life because they refuse to let things that happened in their past go. I do not know of anybody that has not gone through at least one bad relationship. But that experience should be used to help us grow, learn, and prepare for someone better. I agree that we must not forget our past so we will make sure not to repeat it, but you cannot let the past hold you hostage and in fear. Remember: scared love can’t make love
2. They never gossip.
Words cannot describe how important this is in a successful relationship or how quick it can destroy a successful relationship. People that have or desire good unions know that gossiping can not get them the beneficial associations that they seek. Just don’t do it!!!
3. They never say “yes” when they really mean “no.”
Compromise is an important element in a successful bond, but it cannot be confused with honesty. Being truthful about your needs and desires will only help you both out in the long run. A big part of success in anything is being able to stand up for what you believe in. So even in a relationship you have to stand up and be totally honest, and let the chips fall where they may.
4. They never interrupt.
We know that communication is vital; therefore listening is the key (more than anything) to true understand. It is also a show of respect and caring for the other person’s thoughts and concerns. They say in business that a great leader is a great listener. This is also the case in relationships.
5. They’re never late (without an incredibly good reason).
Why are we always on time for a job interview? Why are we on time for work? It is because it is important to us. It means a lot to us and our well being. For this same reason, being on time for dates and special events with your significant other should be important to you also. You want to do this to show them that every moment is precious and valued. What could be more important than the one thing you can never get back? YOUR TIME.
6. They never resent.
Showing resentment in a relationship is showing that you are still carrying baggage of hurt and pain over something you went through. People in flourishing relationships know that healing from past pain and hurt is the key to having the love they desire. Showing resentment toward someone will only block someone special from entering into your life.
7. They never decide they don’t have the time.
Time is really our most important resource.
How, where, and with whom we spend time tells what we cherish and covet. As the old say goes “you make time for what is important”. This is never truer than in relationships.
8. They never fit in (just to fit in).
In dating terms that would be the equivalent of being “fake”. Some people will even go to major extremes to act like someone they are not, to be loved. When your love for self is strong, the only person you want to be is YOU!!! And when YOU, are not good enough for whomever, it will never work out no matter how much you try to FIT IN.
9. They’re never afraid to do the things that matter.
Find out, by any means, what matters to you mate, and make those things happen!!!! This may be one of the most important reasons why you are in a successful relationship and others are not!!!!
I know some people will find this title to be shocking, silly, or even sacrilegious. Some of you are probably saying “why would you even ask a question like that”. Well to be honest, I have never really thought about asking that question. See, like most men from the south, I grew up in the church and believe that every man is to find a wife and start a family. It wasn’t until recently, after watch a couple of Youtube videos on this subject, that I even gave the idea (should men get married) any thought. But after watching the compelling arguments that were made on this topic that I felt I had to do a blog on it. So here goes!!!!
In one of the Youtube videos I watched, Warren Coleman (author of the book titled “why nice guys shouldn’t get married”) stated, “in this point and time, in this society, America is no longer producing wives that respect and appreciate nice guys”. He also stated that “women want to be married, but they don’t want to be wives”. Another video that I watched (based on a book by Dr. Helen Smith titled “Men on Strike”) gave six reasons why men are avoiding marriage. The following is a summary of her six reasons.
- They will lose respect – in the past a man wasn’t concerned a true adult until he got married and had children. Today, however, husbands and fathers are the butts of jokes and they are constantly devalued. Ex. Father’s day gifts vs. Mother’s day gifts
- They will lose out on sex – Men who cohabitate with their partner but are not married, have much more sex than their wedded counterparts. Recent studies have also found that couples that cohabitate are happier than married couples.
- They can lose their children and their money – Men are aware of the danger of divorce, especially when it comes to courts showing favor to mothers. Men only get custody 10% of the time, and overwhelmingly are responsible for paying child support and alimony.
- They can lose their space – once a man gets married, he is relegated to the dirtiest part of the house. The attic, basement, or garage often becomes the domain that he is left to dwell in even though the home is supposed to be shared space.
- They can lose their freedom – If a man gets divorced and cannot afford to pay child support, he can get locked up.
- The single life is better than ever – in the past single men were looked at with suspension, but this is no longer the case. There are plenty of 40 year old bachelors. Employers look favorably at employees with non-committal or non-conflicting family responsibilities. Dating has gotten easier, and pre-marital sex is no longer taboo.
She ends her video by saying, “This is not due to laziness, but due to rational choices where men no longer see the value of participating in these areas. People respond to incentives, so if we want more men to marry, it needs to be a more attractive proposition”.
Now I know that most will find these reasons as copouts, excuses, or flat out garbage. But it is worth exploring and investigating if these reasons and others might be why some men are not getting married. I would love to get your opinion on this topic or for you to ask the question to others for their opinion.
Remember: knowledge is power
In the last installment of this series I am going to end by putting emphases on Love and what God wants us to be for each other, and to each other in relationships. I leave you with these four passages from the Bible. Two are fairly long but I believe will be well worth reading.
Proverbs 31: 10-31
The Wife of Noble Character
10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Proverbs 5: 1-23
Warning Against Adultery
5 My son, be attentive to my wisdom;
incline your ear to my understanding,
2 that you may keep discretion,
and your lips may guard knowledge.
3 For the lips of a forbidden[a] woman drip honey,
and her speech[b] is smoother than oil,
4 but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
sharp as a two-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death;
her steps follow the path to[c] Sheol;
6 she does not ponder the path of life;
her ways wander, and she does not know it.
7 And now, O sons, listen to me,
and do not depart from the words of my mouth.
8 Keep your way far from her,
and do not go near the door of her house,
9 lest you give your honor to others
and your years to the merciless,
10 lest strangers take their fill of your strength,
and your labors go to the house of a foreigner,
11 and at the end of your life you groan,
when your flesh and body are consumed,
12 and you say, “How I hated discipline,
and my heart despised reproof!
13 I did not listen to the voice of my teachers
or incline my ear to my instructors.
14 I am at the brink of utter ruin
in the assembled congregation.”
15 Drink water from your own cistern,
flowing water from your own well.
16 Should your springs be scattered abroad,
streams of water in the streets?
17 Let them be for yourself alone,
and not for strangers with you.
18 Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
19 a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated[d] always in her love.
20 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman
and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?[e]
21 For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord,
and he ponders[f] all his paths.
22 The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him,
and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.
23 He dies for lack of discipline,
and because of his great folly he is led astray.
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Oftentimes people claim to be in love with someone, or that someone is in love with them. This verse clearly defines with love is, and also what love is not!!! Please take a moment and measure your love, or someone’s love for you against these wonderful words of wisdom.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Just as I stated in the last blog, Part 3 is dedicated to the men (sorry guys). These verses will explore how men should conduct themselves and what the Bible says when they don’t conduct themselves accordingly.
Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
It goes without saying that if a man loved his wife like Christ loved the church, then relationships and marriages would be much stronger and healthier. For men, this should be the type of love we should strive for and seek to bring to our relationships.
Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
This verse clearly states that a man that is led by and focused on God’s word is a strong, blessed, prosperous man!!! Gaining his strength from God, not the world, allows him to remain steadfast on the right path. This will really benefit him in his relationship with a significant other; because he will be led away from bringing harm and shame to their union. For men that don’t put God first or don’t lead lives that steer them away from evil, temptation, and wrongdoing; the Bible talks about what can be the consequences, and how it can touch the people around them.
James 4: 1-4 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
Wow!!! That really firmly illustrates the plight of us men that fall into the ways of the World. This next verse further explains the conduct and character traits of such men.
2 Timothy 3: 1-9 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. 9 But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.
It is so much that can be said as to what men can do to improve or change their lives. First and foremost, seek and form a strong relationship with God!!! Second, I feel the following verse would be a fitting way for men to conduct themselves in any and every relationship.
Matthew 7:12 So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
As you may be able to tell as you read further, this blog is directed toward women in particular (but men will learn from this also). Don’t worry ladies; the next blog will be all about the men!!! In continuing with the theme of my last blog, I found some verses that I would like to share that the Bible proposes is the Godly temperament for a woman. Much has been discussed about the nature of meekness in a woman, or the lack thereof. Meekness is defined as “An attitude of humble, submissive and expectant trust in God, and a loving, patient and gentle attitude towards others.”Another example states “Biblical meekness is not weakness, but rather refers to exercising God’s strength under His control – i.e. demonstrating power without undue harshness.”
1 Peter 3:3-5 – Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
1 Timothy 2:9-10 – I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.
From the website “Bible Counseling for Women in the Blog titled “Meekness vs Weakness”, the author states the following. “Meekness is often misunderstood as weakness. It is represented as being something women do not want to “be” because those who portray meekness do so poorly. A meek woman is actually very strong, and knows what she is about. She understands her position in Christ and her place in the Body.”
Could a woman actually be truly stronger by having a spirit of meekness? Could this be why their may be the appearance of strength, yet a lack of results?
Sometimes for a woman, being argumentative and forceful can be equated to being strong and powerful. In a relationship, however, these characteristics may not yield such a positive result.
Proverbs 21: 9 – Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.
Proverbs 21: 19 – Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.
Could it be that God is not pleased with this type of temperament? Could this be a reason for break-ups and divorces? Could this thus make matters worse in the relationship or marriage? The author of “Meekness vs Weakness” goes on to say, “I find meekness to be lacking in many women these days. We seem to have become argumentative, spiteful, and vengeful. Many women are this way in the home and workplace and even in the church.”
The “Good” book goes on to further explain the hopes and expectations of women.
Titus 2: 3-5 – older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
And of course it has to be pointed out what God’s purpose and reason was when he created “Woman”.
Genesis 2: 18 – The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Now I could be wrong, but it appears that God is more concerned with what the woman looks like on the inside than on the outside. Therefore it is my belief, that the secret to a success relationship or marriage is developing, enhancing, and refining what is found within.
Remember: If you are beautiful on the inside, it will not only be visible and pleasing to God, but to man as well.
The website “Bible Counseling for Women in the Blog titled “Meekness vs Weakness” can be found at http://bc4women.blogspot.com/2011/04/meekness-or-weakness.html
We talk about wanting our relationships and marriages to be blessed and led by God. But that starts with doing what God’s word says for us to do. If we choose to change around his words or omit them altogether, then why would he bless our unions? A lot of the strife and chaos comes from the fact that we are not doing what God has asked us to do. We actually have adopted the World’s way of handling and managing our relationships. So many people have the mind state of “what have you done for me lately.” They are constantly looking for someone that will give them what they want and provide their every need. Having an “I’m doing me” attitude is not what is taught in the Bible and is not a Godly principle. We have developed these ideas and thoughts thought from so many different places that it is hard to name them all. Everything from TV, Films, family members, friends, co-workers, and the list goes on. But what does the Bible say about how we should treat people? What does the Bible say about what we should avoid in our treatment of others?
(James 3:14-17) “But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”
Are your relationships being led by your envy of what others have or can attain? Do you desire relationships that will make you the envy of others? Things like having a mate that’s better looking, have more money, or have a bigger car and house and so on? Wikipedia’s definition states the following. Envy (from Latin invidia) is an emotion which “occurs when a person lacks another’s superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it.” Are you being led by selfish ambition? What is selfish ambition you ask? It means to be self-seeking and always looking out for one’s own interests above the interests of anyone else. The Greek word for selfish ambition is eritheia. Eritheia thus identifies heart motives of pride, self-love, and self-advancement. It reveals the drive to put oneself ahead of others, and to deceive by “spinning” the truth in order to look good and hide the inner selfish purposes as one pursues getting his own way.
Consequently, what we do may seem right to us in our mind, but is it right in God’s mind? Is the behavior we exhibit with our mate in line with what the Bible says?
(Proverbs 14:12) “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”
So are practices like selfish ambition, lack of humility, being inconsiderate and non-submissive leading to the death of our relationships and marriages? Is this one of the reasons why we can’t keep, sustain, and maintain our relationships?
(Philippians 2:3-4)“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
If we are following these Godly principles, (humility, value and interest of others over ourselves, peace-loving considerate, submissive, etc.) there is no way that God will not bless our union.
REMEMBER: This is about YOU, not someone else. If YOU are in a relationship where YOU are not doing what the Bible verses ask YOU to do, then you can change the tenor of your relationship by putting this into practice.
Sources that were used in the writing of this blog are:
Whether you write it down on paper or keep it in your head, almost everybody has a list of traits they want the person they desire to marry to have. Some lists are short and to the point, while other lists are very long and detailed. Some people’s lists have become infamous, like the list that Chili from the group TLC provided on her short-lived reality TV show. Having a list is good because it allows you to stay focused on the qualities you are looking for in a mate. That being said, here is a suggestion that I believe will make your list even better. Instead of building a list that is concentrating solely on things you want from him now, create your list based on the qualities you would like from him when you are married 20-30 years from now. Think in terms of your relationship and marriage as a long term investment. When you are in your golden years together what will be important for you to have from him in your companionship? Try not to be short-sighted in your view of the substance you value from your mate.
We all know that we will go through changes in life, so it must be important to not base your list on things that could change quickly or fade fast. Now there is nothing wrong with having items on your list like looks, income, sexual prowess, etc, but where does this leave you if for whatever reason these elements change quickly or fade fast? Do you go out and cheat on your mate because things have changed? Do you seek a divorce? Do you spend your days complaining about what has changed? But if you focus on building your list around lasting characteristic that you require from your mate, you are now building a list that will not only bring you happiness now but for years to come. Focusing on substantive traits like sense of humor, ease of communication, attentiveness, thoughtfulness, and caring, I believe will lead to more fulfillment as the years move on.
I am sure you do not want to find yourself growing apart because the qualities you sought on your list were not enduring. I am also sure that you do not want to be the couple at the restaurant that can’t wait for the food to come because you both can’t communicate with each other? Have you thought about how would he look at you twenty to thirty years from now? If he is looking at you from a purely physical standpoint, and your physical appearance changes over the next several years, than will he look at you the same? But if he is looking at and loving your inner beauty, your spirit, your energy, your wit, your humor, your personality, your values, your talents, then he is looking at the essence of you, and those qualities rarely ever change.
The question you have to ask yourself is “what traits do I want my mate to have years from now”? Do we enjoy each other’s company? Do we enjoy talking to each other and can talk for hours about anything? Is this person my best friend? What is his value system? What is his Belief system? Do you have the same interest in health and diet? Does he enjoy hearing about your ideas and views? Is he doing things for you right now that you know will bring you lasting happiness for the next forty years? So instead of building your list solely on the attributes you want today, think about the attributes that you want from your mate as you grow older with him. The ultimate question is “are the attributes on your list that are important to you now, going to be important to you as you grow older?
Remember: Life is not a sprint, but a marathon. Therefore endurance, not speed, wins the race.
I’m a woman, divorced after 7 years of marriage. I read your post and appreciate the heart behind the advice. The fact that you recognize the part you played in the scheme of things is a feat in itself. Being able to face the past with openness and humility is admirable and not something many can, or even want, to accomplish.
Given my experience, there are some key concepts I learned in my journey as well. We women have equal responsibility in making a marriage work. For all the points mentioned for husbands, there are perhaps also some for wives I would like to share.
1. Always seek out the best in him. Dwell on those things, not what you don’t like about him.
2. Have sex with him. Often!!! All the time if need be.
3. Seek counsel from older, wiser women who have succeeded in their marriages. It’s impossible to make good decisions when we’re emotional. And seeking counsel from your friends who are your own age isn’t as good as counsel from elderly women.
4. Let him zone out. He is not ignoring you; men just have moments of brain freeze.
5. It is not your job to change or fix him. We are all on a journey.
6. Tell him how big/strong/smart/manly he is ALL THE TIME. They tend to forget.
7. Never forget or take for granted that your man chose you.
8. Laugh at his jokes. Even if they aren’t funny.
9. We are responsible for our reactions, no one else. We must take full accountability of our emotions and how we respond. And so must he.
10. Make him that goddam sandwich.
11. Allow your man to just be. Be a comfort, gentle, and giving spirit when the times call for it.
12. Quit your bitching when he gets home, let him chill.
13. Love him in the way he needs it, not the way you assume he needs it. Find out your different love languages and be sensitive and ready to show him you love him in ways he understands best.
14. Make yourself look pretty. The more feminine you act the more it reminds him he is a man.
15. Be present. Give him your time and attention when he needs it. In my experience, during those times I did serve him, he over time, served me.
16. Never talk about other men, even if they are fictional or movie, even if it’s to say “you are so much hotter than that guy” Most men already think they are, so this will confuse them.
17. Be willing to have him sexually. Let him know you need his masculine presence, that you trust him fully.
18. Never read advice on the internet from strangers. They probably don’t know you and will make you do stupid crap that will not be applicable or appropriate in your marriage… except for singleblackdatingtips.com (I couldn’t resist!!!)
19. Give him space. He needs times to find his new self (we change constantly) before he can give of himself.
20. By doing these things it would not mean a wife doesn’t expect her husband to be great too, or is to blame for the breakdown, just that she is doing her part to make a better half of a marriage.
21. Be vulnerable. Do not be afraid to share your fears and feelings. Men tend to know when we’re keeping things from them. And they know when we’re transparent. And, I can’t emphasize this more: acknowledge your mistakes. Say you’re sorry when you know you need to.
22. Allow your husband to love you his way instead of comparing his expression of love to your own ideals. If you keep comparing, you may miss the most beautiful moments of tenderness.
23. Do not be afraid to be fully transparent. This builds great trust over time.
24. Don’t ever, ever, ever put your spouse down in public! He has to have someone that he knows will have his back. If you need to discuss something he did or said, do it in private. No one wants corrected in front of others. Once discussed and fixed, let it go!
25. Find common hobbies, goals and dreams. Also, find common ground in your faith. Never stop growing together. Laugh lots. Fall in love over and over again.
26. Many times, we cannot connect or reconnect because we have created a version of them in our mind and hearts that justifies our own weakness. As long as we see them as the caricature we’ve created we cannot connect to them, because that caricature is not them. Own your feelings, own your results, meet your own needs, turn to a higher power for what you lack, and allow your higher power to make up for what pain your spouse will cause. Even the best human among us will cause another pain, its part of being human.
27. Don’t let financial issues come between you.
28. Acknowledge and embrace each others pasts, it made you who you are. Speak up, talk about “it” when it happens instead of fighting about it a month later.
29. Forgive. Don’t let history hold you or your man hostage.
30. Never underestimate the power of simply touching each other. Sometimes it can say what words can not.
31. Always, choose love. Love is action, not emotion. Don’t miss that.
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