Habits for a Happy Marriage
Some time last week, Wayne and I were on our way home in the car and we were talking about the importance of setting a morning routine.
Well, I was talking about the morning routine. He was going, “yeah, ok, sounds good.”
It’s the start of the year and the start of a new month so I was super excited about all the positive changes that I am going to make because I want this year to be an even more productive year than the last. When my enthusiasm was greeted by his melancholic “yeah, ok…”, I got pretty frustrated. So I tried to convince him that it is really very beneficial to have a good morning routine and halfway through my pitch, he tried to tell me that he actually understands the benefits and that he is REALLY ok to give it a try.
Honestly, I was just hoping for him to be at least half as excited as me about the idea so when I got that lukewarm reply, for a SECOND time, I got irritated and said some rather harsh words that accused him of being lazy and unmotivated. He didn’t rebut me at all but just kept silent. And we didn’t talk for the rest of the night.
When I was doing my devotional reading the next morning (which, ironically, is about having a Happy Marriage), God reminded me to “pray for wisdom and understanding“. I did just that and when I reflected on what happened the night before, I was able to see how self-centered and demanding I was.
While I was all excited and enthusiastic about sharing my thoughts and ideas, I forgot to pay attention to my husband’s mental state and needs at that time. He had just completed a night shift for his reservist that morning and hasn’t been getting quite enough sleep for the past 2 weeks. The last thing on his mind was probably starting a morning routine. The fact that he actually patiently listened to me talk about this topic for a good half an hour, I really should have been more appreciative than frustrated. If I were in his shoes, I would probably have told myself to shut up 10 minutes into the topic! Well, it was all out of good intention, just that I chose the wrong time and approach to bring up the topic.
To some of you, this may seem like a small matter. But I’m sharing this with you because while it isn’t something serious (yet), it was still an important lesson for me and a reminder to step into my partner’s shoes when things do not go my way. And I believe that all these assumingly “little things” do add up in a marriage. Little acts of love, care and understanding add to a loving and secure marriage while little acts of self-centeredness, irritability and frustration add to bigger and more serious issues in future.
Valentine’s Day is just round the corner. Beyond thinking about what gift to get for your partner or how to celebrate the day, I think it’s useful to first think about the little things that we can do in everyday of our lives to speak love into our relationship and building healthy habits in our marriage.
I am currently in the middle of a 14-day devotional reading plan on bible.com titled “Biblical Secrets to a Happy Marriage”. I’ve found it pretty enlightening, especially when researcher, Shaunti Feldhahn, showed links of her study results to biblical truths that did not explicitly talk about marriage.
Through the devotional readings, I’ve picked up a few important habits that I want to inculcate in my own marriage (click image to enlarge).
These points may look like something you already know, but I am sure it will be more impactful and enlightening if you read about them yourself 🙂 While they may seem like no-brainers, they are not necessarily easy to implement, especially on a daily basis. But taking cues from the Hal Eldron book that I’m currently reading, we should learn to be the person who do the RIGHT thing and not the EASY thing.
It will be perfect if both parties in the marriage is committed to inculcating these habits to build (or maintain) a happy and healthy marriage. But what if it seems like only one person is putting in the effort? As I’ve mentioned in a previous post I wrote last year, love is not just a feeling, but a decision to take action. If this is something important to you, take action and start first. Along the way, he will probably experience the difference all these habits have made to improving your relationship and put in effort to make changes too!
Here’s a printable I want to share with you for February, the month of LOVE (and also my birthday month!), to spread some love and encouragement <3 Share with me about some habits you are inculcating for a happy relationship!
Click on this link to sign up for my monthly newsletter to download the following artwork. You can use it was a screensaver on your digital devices, a card for you to pen your Valentine’s Day love notes or a reminder of what God said about LOVE 🙂