Marriage tips from the clueless girl: How to fix your marriage right now!
Ok, darlings. So where are we with this marriage situation? Are we happy? Or are we on the verge? I hope we are happy. I wish everyone in the world a happy marriage. Because it is what I would want: happiness in my marriage. Joy, laughter and tons of whoopie. 🙂
But what if you aren’t happy? What if you are sad or discontented for one reason or another? What can you do? How can you save this thing? Well, you know what? I am not a marriage expert. So I don’t want to misadvice you. But if I had to sort of talk to a friend about this, I would give her (or him) these five tips:
1. Stop blaming your spouse for everything. You are not perfect so get off your high horse, take responsibility for your role in the misery, and set out to put a stop to the behavior right away and get back to having a harmonious relationship.
2. When you fight, try not to go too far back in the past. Stick to the issue. This is hard because, especially for us women, we don’t forget anything. I know for myself, its all written down and so I know the dates and I know the expressions and I know the nuances and I just have to re-read that stuff to refresh the memory….but is it worth it? Isn’t your marriage worth more than this petty holding on to grudges and this low-ball digging far back in the past to make your spouse feel even worse than he or she should? Don’t do that. Try to stop doing that. It’s not good. It’s unhealthy. It’s unfair. It’s okay to journal but let the past stay there and deal with issues as they come up.
3. Resolve outstanding grudges. It’s hard to let go and forgive sometimes and I think that just gets harder when you feel like the other person didn’t get your pain and your hurt. This is a huge cancer in a relationship. Closure requires that you listen to your spouse’s hurts and address these issues head on, and get to place where you both walk away feeling validated. If you’re hurt, you’re hurt. You shouldn’t have to pretend you’re not hurt to keep peace. Because that stays inside you and thirty years later, you’ll still be fighting about this stuff. Resolve issues as they happen. Talk out your problems and try to do it in a way that respects the other person, and without name-calling and finger-pointing. It’s not easy to do all the time. But this is the goal, to resolve issues rationally and respectfully and get closure for the two of you so that it doesnt’ eat away at your marriage.
4. Be a united front against the world. The world, as you probably have heard me say countless times, is a very evil place. A marriage, on the other hand, is something I think should be sacred. That is how it was intended to be. Marriage as we know it traces its roots to religious tradition, to Biblical traditions. I think that when two people fail to understand that a part of their job is to protect their marriage from the rest of the world, they will have big trouble in that marriage. No one is invested in the success of your marriage except the two of you. The marriage is a living organism that feeds, breathes and grows and you have to nurture it and protect it from pests. You have to garden your marriage to get rid of the weeds. You have to spray
insecticide pesticide to keep moles and other nuisances out. You have to do it together. If one of you doesn’t understand and take seriously this obligation, problems will come into your marriage, brought there by third parties who divide and conquer you. This is really very seriously critical. You have to understand that this is very key to the success of your marriage – protect it from the world.
5. Laughter. I am such a laughing hyena that it is no wonder I think laughter is good for the marital relationship. I laugh even when I cry. Sometimes, I laugh and cry at the same time (but rarely, only when I am truly and deeply upset.) I believe in laughter as a stress reliever; there is no joy without laughter. Sometimes, you have to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all; of life, of the sorrows, or the challenges. If you can’t laugh together, you really can’t be happily married over the long haul. Cause life does suck sometimes; it’s hard. And you need humor. You need laughter. It could be something so horrible, like one or both of your lost your jobs and you don’t even have food and you are hungry. Clearly this is not funny. But you know what? Even that calamity can be laughed at. Even if you also cry. And then, afterwards, somehow, it lightens your heart. And you can go on to the next day. And maybe, just maybe you will think of a solution to the problem that plagues you. And then you laugh again. Because why didn’t you think of that before?
Ok. And one bonus tip: Give each other a big, long, warm, loving, sweet hug just because. Hugs are very healing, you know. 🙂