All this month I have been sharing my love story. It has been fun sharing with you how Jon and I met, fell in love, got engaged, and about our wedding and honeymoon. Today's post is sharing some advice about dating and marriage. I will share with you two separate sets of advice. The first one is for those who are not married yet, but really want to be. If you are dating with the intention of getting married (which you should because otherwise, you're just wasting your time, in my opinion) you need to look for what I call:
The Four F's To Finding a Mate
Faith:It is vital that you and your significant other share the same faith. It will be the cornerstone of your life and marriage. You need to make sure you both believe the same things and are supportive of the other growing in their faith. If you are not it will just tear you apart later on down the road.
Family:This is two-fold. (1) Be on the same page with your significant other on your ideas for family planning. Do you want lots of kids, a few kids, no kids? Do you want a family pet? If you're not on the same page this will always be a struggle in your marriage. (2) Make sure your family and friends like (and even love) and approve of your significant other. Infatuating love can be blinding. If the people who know you best are seeing warning signs or things they don't like, listen to them. It may be hard at first, but it will save you a world of heartache in the long run.
Finances: You need to be open and honest about your finances from the start. If you have debts your significant other should know about all of them. Set up a payment and saving system that works for you as a couple. Have complete trust in each other and never do anything financially to break that trust.
Friends: Like I stated previously it's important for your friends to like and respect your significant other, and that your significant other likes and respects your friends. You shouldn't feel like one is trying to steal your attention from the other. If that happens you need to reevaluate both relationships and see where the problem lies, if there is one. Both your friends and your significant other should be encouraging and supportive of the relationships in your life. Find a good balance between the two.
For example, my husband is a gamer and a social butterfly. He plays games (card, board, and/or computer games) with his gamer buddies at least once a week. I try to set up a girls night out for myself and my friends every other month or so. That works for both of us. Find the balance that works for your relationships.
Marriage can seem like a struggle sometimes but Jon and I try to keep in mind that we are a team. We need to work together and not against each other. We have made some really wonderful memories, and shared some really tough trials, but the most important thing is that we've done it together.
Ten Words of Advice for a Good Marriage
10) Divorce is never a word in your vocabulary
If you have issues that you can't work out together, get counseling. There's no shame in needing help. Marriage isn't easy for anyone, but worth all the effort you put into it. Marriage is more about commitment to each other than love. Your love grows the more committed you are to one another.
9) Leave notes and words of love and encouragement for each other.
For years I made our lunches for work every night. I would always leave a little note on his napkin. Try to think of small creative ways to keep telling the other that you love and appreciate them.
Side note: You need to read The Five Love Languages book. This is one book that we both read before we got married and it has been a marriage saver. Once you learn how to your spouse feels most loved, you will then have an important key to keeping your marriage strong.
8) Keep a date night/day once a month.
Make sure to mark it on your calendar too, because once life starts getting busy it can be hard to find the time to spend alone together.
7) Never fight in public or in front of your children.
Keep your arguments private and clean. No one else needs to know your business. Never fight with the intent to injure the other physically, emotionally, or spiritually.
6) Show affection in public. PDA is OK!!!
Of course, there is always a fine line between appropriate and too much, but it not only lets your mate know that you cherish them with a physical touch, but it also shows people around you that you are one in love and life.
5) Always thank your partner and/or give a compliment to them for the chores they do around the house.
Showing that you appreciate their hard work to make your life easier and happy always warms the heart of the person who has toiled over the work. For example, I always thank my husband for mowing the yard and compliment him on a job well done.
4) Let "I love you" be the last thing you say to each other before you fall asleep at night.
Your time on this earth is never guaranteed, so make sure your spouse always knows how much you love them.
3) Be quick to forgive, but don't avoid the issues.
If you have a fight, make sure you stay on topic to what you are really upset about. If you don't forgive and let go, those past hurts will come back up and continue to tear you apart.
Side note: Sometimes going to bed angry just has to happen. It's not fun and you probably won't sleep well, but staying up all night just to hash it out doesn't always work. Getting some space, some sleep, and then reevaluating the problem in the morning can make the issue seem not as huge as you once thought it was.
2) Never cease praying together and for each other.
"The family that prays together stays together." It's SO true! Make sure God is always at the center of your hearts, minds, and marriage.
1) COMMUNICATE AND LISTEN!
It is always important to stay open and honest with each, even though it's not always easy. AND don't forget to work on your listening skills too! A marriage is not only talking things out but also listening to your spouse and working together as a team.