Monday, January 17, 2011

The (Possibly) Slightly Offensive Marriage List

It's so easy to think of ourselves.
What will make us happy.
What feels good at the moment.
What we're feeling and why.
We spend so much (pathetic) time thinking about ourselves.
What a small, lonely world it is when we blind our vision from anything but our own SELF.

Soooo, stop that selfish stuff. {wink}

A marriage is a union with no room for selfishness in it.

For awhile, my husband and I have been riding in bliss, wrapped up in a total sappy, romantic, nauseating, "it's all a rose garden" stage. the past we have had extremely trying times. During that time I put together a list
that proved to be invaluable.

I made this to share with anyone who has their heart tied to another in a forever covenant but whose life partner is driving them crazy. (A lot of this can be reversed to for the guy readers) It really works and will make you and your lover stick together better than a tongue on an icy cold pole on a winter's day.

The Rules of Loving Your Lover
holding nothing back,
possibly slightly offensive

- It's not all about you, so get over yourself and move onto bigger and more fulfilling things in this great wide world...a good start is unconditionally loving your husband.

- No, you really DON'T deserve better. "You deserve it" it chanted so liberally and it is one of my greatest pet peeves. We are all equal people. We all fail. We all have weaknesses. Why would you deserve better? What makes you more special than anyone else? We don't "deserve" anything. We are all blessed to get all the life treasures we receive. Gratitude wins.

- No, you're not better than him. Step off your self-made pedestal. If he royally messes up, still support him. There is no better person on the earth that is able to encourage and respectfully lift him back up than you, his spouse. He is your teammate. Lots of marriage lessons can be learned by watching sports. In games, the team functions as a unit, those teams on a self centered quest fail. And I'm sure you would appreciate the same unified treatment from him when you mess up.

- Brush it off. Resentment will destroy your heart. It will make a beautiful girl ugly. Don't white knuckle the hurts he has caused you. Not only does it steal your beauty but it paralyzes him from moving forward in life. Let it go and let him go. And you'll be amazed at what he can be when you remove the mean labels you've assigned him.

- Laugh life into your union. Don't take each other too seriously. Be excited that you have a forever teammate to enjoy every single life moment with!

- Have sex with him. All the time. And when you're proud of yourself for the quantity and high frequency....realize that you're just establishing a baseline and...have more. Don't be lazy. Don't be tired (that's an excuse you actually make yourself believe). And if you truly are tired, eliminate something else from your schedule so he can get the best of you. Allow yourself to love every second of it. We think it's important to feel loved, to eat daily meals, to shower....he thinks it's important to have sex. Respect that and embrace that about him. Let him be your man and be sure to always be HIS girl!

- Respect, Respect, Respect him. And it's not your right to judge whether or not he has earned respect. Respect him unconditionally just as we want to be loved unconditionally. He is YOUR man, your hero. Get excited over his skills, abilities, and strengths! And recognize the fact that as the man you respect, he will love and protect you. (yes, it's okay to need can still be a strong woman...I promise) {wink} Respect his advice, his decisions, and wisdom.

A little note for my lover:
Christopher, I love you like crazy.
You're my favorite person in this great big world.
I LOVE having a forever teammate.
It's the biggest treasure in my life.
Oh...and when I am a brat, you can remind me of this blog post.
It will probably make me more mad, but it's worth a shot...

The sunglasses make us cool. Summer 2010

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And a SWEETER STYLE to add to my list above:

She brings him good, not harm all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:12

"She delights him with her company and conversation,

sustains him with her strength,

emboldens him with her praise,

bolsters him with her cheerfulness,

comforts him with her love,

and heartens him with her courage."

Did you catch that super important part?
It's worth repeating:

"She brings him GOOD not harm
ALL the days of her life."

I have other marriage posts: Love Birds and Pudding and
Let Your Husband be a Dad


Christina said...

I just had to stop and comment. I seem to have couples all around me that are either giving up or having affairs. I actually sat with Jose and cried about it. I mean how can people just walk away so easily from someone that they vowed to be with in good times and in bad. And the affairs, the cheating just stabs me. It's co-workers, friends and even family. It's a disaster and it breaks my heart that these woman (and some men) have decided to not work on thier relationship with their partner but work on a relationship with a third party.

I love your post and couldn't agree with you more on everything. There is only one person that has the right to judge and it's not us. And the bit about RESPECT ! I swear by that. It is the single most important thing in a relationship because if you respect the person that you are with...their feelings, their decisions, their mistakes, their desires (and that respect is returned)...then it makes life so much easier and simpler.

Michelle said...

Hubby and I have been part of a stepfamilies group at church for the past year and half and it has been truly life changing.

We have studied stepfamily issues but we have also study marriage issues. A lot of our studies have been great but "Love and Respect" has been one of the best. It truly changes your outlook on life, your marriage, and what you have to put into your marriage for both you and your husband to stay happy and fufilled.

Great post!

Tater said...

This list is so NOT offensive! It's dead on and I wish more people treasured their marriages better! God bless you and your family :)

Unknown said...

Just like Christina..I too have just been so heart broken over couples I have known that just give up after years of marriage. I almost go into a mourning when the breakup or divorce happens. It truly is like a death. Marriage is hard but when you work hard at making it is so amazing. Thank you for this post. I love every word of it:). I was just online looking for some marriage articles to share at my Home Study we have on this is perfect!!!

Pinky at Designs by Pinky said...

We have been married for 43 (!!!!) years now and I wish I had your list long ago. Every marriage has some (or many) rough spots. BUT, as you say you promise to love and cherish this person for your life. That means working on it all the time. BOTH of you, it can not be a one way street. Love is shown with words but also acts. My hubby shows how much he loves me in countless unspoken ways. I think I will print out your list to look at periodically. Thanks!!!! XO, Pinky

The Quintessential Magpie said...

There is not one offensive thing in this entire post, Lisa. It is perfect because you based it on the Bible. This is what God wants us to do for our husbands, and He also wants men to love their wives "as Christ loved the Church." That's a tall order, so someone who loves that much deserves this in return. And as to this post... you go girl!


Sheila :-)

Blondie's Journal said...

This is a powerful post, Lisa, and so well written. You are so on target, girl! My biggest beef is lack of respect. Once that goes, the relationship crumbles. If I see my children {they're older} show a lack of respect in any of their relationships, I come down hard. It is the GLUE!

Thanks for a wonderful post!


Becca said...

Great advice, Lisa. It all sounds so familiar... said...

What an incredible post! Sage advice - very heartfelt and candid. There's absolutely nothing offensive about it.

My husband and I will be celebrating our tenth anniversary in just a few months - finally reaching marital double digits! Like any marriage - there have been ups and downs, trials and tribulations, joys and sorrows...that's what marriage and life are about...a journey through it all.

Your post really spoke to me. I think there are some lessons in here that we would all be wise to reflect on.

Thanks for the reminder to focus on what's important! :)


Kristen said...

This is perfect - I really needed this list. Gave me a much needed kick in the arse ;)

Gretchen said...

beautiful. Wonderful. Perfect. how are you so wise and so young? Great post!!

Kelly Miller said...

I appreciate your list, Lisa. If every spouse applied these rules to each other (replacing sex with intimacy for husbands toward wives), our divorce rate would be drastically different.

Moms In Need Of Mercy said...

Found your blog, and this post, from WFMW. It was so right-on and encouraging (and challenging about the base-line) :)

I wrote a similar post a bit ago that ties in well with what you're saying. Troubled by divorce on all sides of my family (and my husband's), and friends, it's called Stand By Your Vows.
I'd love for you to check it out if you get a chance!

Here's the link.

Sommer said...

As much as I agree with most of your list it goes without saying... no one thing works for everyone. Most of the things you listed aren't things people don't know, just things they need to be reminded of. As far as the sex goes. I'm not a robot. And when you have a husband who can never get enough it starts to feel like a job, like anything else. Dishes, homework, dinner, sex... Ugh. No woman wants that. She wants to feel cherished, sought after, sexy... It deffinitely takes a little effort on the part of the man if he wants his girl to give it up on a regular basis. Sex should not be a chore.

Unknown said...

YOu are amazing. I need to remember some of these more often. My husband would love this:)

Sarah said...

I love the reminder that we don't deserve anything. It is so easy to get into trouble with the term 'I deserve it'!

Lana said...

My heart hurts for those who don't have a "great" marriage.

Everyday since my kids were in the womb, I've tried to pray for their spouses. (They might not even be born yet.)

I want to them to not settle on good but rather on God's Best!

Blessings to you,
Lana @ ilovemy5kids

Jenny said...

This was a wonderful post. On the days when my husband and I aren't 'clicking' we make ourselves stop our lives and spend time together. We talk it through. We sing each others praises. But we never, ever wait on this. A loving relationship deserves the same amount of attention we would give to an overflowing bathtub. You have to stop and deal with it right then.

Wonderful, wonderful post.

It sounds like you are on your way to being in tune again!

Nancy said...

You and Chris are so cute! And because you are a team you create such a loving home for your boys. I love how marriage gives spouses so many opportunities to practice Christlike virtues =) The best things in life never come easy

Chelsea said...

Wow! SO well said. Brilliant, in my opinion. Thank you for the reminder. The world needs more wives like this! and we can always improve.

Anonymous said...

great post!! :)

Malory {Snips & Spice} said...

I have been married for just over a year, and I think you are very insightful!

Carrie Lynn said...

I don't know how I stumbled upon your blog, but I did. And here's the thing: I think this list is great reminder advice for women who are ALREADY IN STABLE RELATIONSHIPS. You wouldn't tell an abused wife that she doesn't deserve better, yet so many stay with their husbands because they believe that very thing.

I agree that there are too many failed marriages because people give up really fast, but I DON'T think that all women following this list will find happiness either. In fact, I think a lot will find themselves even more miserable.

Happily married,
Carrie Lynn

Anonymous said...

Thank you!! That was just perfect and not offensive in any way. I'll be bookmarking this to re-read on days when I need it!

Jo @ SmileMonsters

Melissa said...

this is the first time I've looked at your blog....That verse was just what I needed, what a great reminder for all wives.Thank you so much!I look forward to reading your blog more often!

Holly Lefevre said...

Of all your crafts and inspiring ideas, this may be my favorite post. It is so honest and real and teaches us all something. Beautifully written and just simply perfect in its honesty. The sex part - no one wants to talk about it, but it is true. I have a friend and she always says the secret to a happy man - sex. Really great Lisa!

Can I post this on my wedding blog in a week or two? (just an excerpt and then link to you).

Jennie Louise said...

SOME of the points you rise are valid... everyone deserves respect, married or not.
I disgree somewhat with the 'give him lots of sex' comment -- that has to be earned from him as far as i'm concerned.
I wonder if you've wrote one from a mans point of view aswell as it's very one sided.
Jennie. x

Randi~Dukes and Duchesses said...

This is an awesome post, Lisa. I'm always inspired by the way you love your husband and kids. Marriage is NOT easy but it's so worth the work and I think your list is great!