NEVER NEVER NEVER tell family members or even friends about intimate, personal difficulties in the marriage. It is a betrayal of trust, and will damage your spouse’s relationships with those people. How are they supposed to be polite and accepting at the big family BBQ if you just told them all what a jerk he was last Saturday? All spouses say and do stupid things… you don’t have to broadcast details. If you really need help on something, take it to people who are required to keep it confidential, like counselors.
Gratitude does not diminish you as a person. It strengthens you as a couple. Notice what he does for you, the things that make him a good man, and point out to him that you noticed and thank him! (This goes the other way, too…)
Share as many of the household duties as you can, especially if you both work. I found it incredibly difficult to cook dinner every night after working, so we ended up eating out a lot in the beginning. Soon after, DH and I have made dinner in rotating shifts–one week he cooks dinner, the next week, I cook. This way it’s less overwhelming and we take turns babysitting the little one when we’re not cooking.
Be prepared for anything when you have babies. I’m such a “by-the-book” person, I thought everything would be perfect and I’d have that “by-the-book” baby. I learned real fast that sometimes you need to throw the book out of the window. My son was/is high-needs; he never seemed to stop crying or be consistent with his naps. When he was a few weeks old, he decided he wouldn’t sleep on his back anymore. One night DH and I were up from 7 PM to 4 AM straight trying to make him sleep on his back. Every time we did it, my son would pop awake and scream. I never thought I’d have my baby in bed with me, but that’s what worked for us for awhile.
Start bringing your children up early with religion. Make it a part of their lives now so you don’t need to backtrack when they get older. Establish routines like saying prayers together, family service projects, family rosary, etc. Good luck!
When kids come along, you’re going to be exhausted and wrapped up in the child(ren). Which is natural. Kids come first. Just don’t forget to spend some time with your husband as well - my husband and I have four children and we still reserve one night a week as “date night” where we go out to the movies or dinner or something. Its very important to give that time to each other, to nurturing that fundamental relationship. Your children will benefit from happy, loving parents who are still best friends (and lovers) to each other!
Don’t try to divide everything “50-50”. Give 110% of yourself to your spouse, and he needs to do the same. I used to be a 50-50 type of person before I got married, and I am so glad I had read about not being like that in marriage. Of course, you can always ask for help if you are overwhelmed with anything, but so far it has been great to never have to fight over who did more/less, by each of us doing what we can for each other.
*1) Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have be thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.
Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dustcloth over the tables.
During the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.
Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time.
Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.
Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through at work.
Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie him down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity.
Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
A good wife always knows her place. *
When women left the home in the 1960s and entered the workplace, marital unhappiness. infidelity and divorce and illegitimate births skyrocketed. At that time, women started acting like men and men started acting like little boys, unable and unwilling to provide for, protect, love and commit to one woman. If this advice were followed today I believe that these social ills would almost cease to exist. Sadly, I think it’s far too late because it only works with men of integrity like the ones who stormed the beaches at Normandy. Men like that went extinct decades ago.
You know, I may be somewhat old-fashioned as I agree with and actually practice all of the above (except numbers 11, 14, 15 and 16 which seem to assume the superiority of the husband, which I do not agree with, and never will).
It´s not that I think he´s better than me but rather it´s a respectful way to treat somebody who has been working hard all day, and who wants to have a bit of peace and relaxation when they come home.
That´s an interesting point about confiding marriage difficulties, SaltySerena. It´s only sensible not to involve others in this. That´s also why these forums are very useful - people can find anonymous help and support for their marriage without involving friends or family.
Pamnbam thanks for your kind words. That´s true about early religion for the children. I hope to put that into practice oncw we´re blessed with little ones! And that´s great advice about throwing the book outthe window. I understand many people get very upset and lost when their baby isn´t acting exactly like it says in their parenting book. I suppose ´we´ll just need to relaxed about things once the time comes.
I hope you yourself are finding things a bit easier with your lovely son now.
Terrysa the date night idea is great. My husband and I already do something similar, but since it´s not a fixed night every week, things happen and some weeks we end up not doing anything, so I guess it´s better to have a fixed night.
One thing I´m not sure about, some people say that the husband is the most important thing, and others say it´s the children. What are people´s feelings on this?
I read “the list” several years ago and my friends and I laughed over it. Funny, after you get married you realize, he really has worked had all day and many of these things are just consideration.
My best advise: make everything count, it’s very easy to get bogged down in day to day routine but even the insignificant moments should be as meaningful as you can make them. If you have a fight, fight for all your worth then quickly let it go and love for all he’s worth. It’s easy to be complacent but try to remember you may not have next year, next week, or even tomorrow with your spouse, love him right now.
Lifeisbeautiful, similar to what you´re saying - in my pre-marriage course the co-ordinators described marriage as making a gift of yourself to the other person. I like this image. That the pleasure is more in giving than in receiving.
If our circumstances allow us, hopefully I will be a stay-at-home mom and housewife (or at the most work part-time). I just can´t see how I would be able to organise everything otherwise. I know many women have successful careers, children and marriages, but I know I can´t manage to do everything, I´m probably not as efficient as other women.
I am an old-fashioned girl…I believe in showing my husband respect, admiration, and deference to his wishes (with an occasional raised eyebrow). It really works. Put your husband on a pedestal and ALWAYS put him first in your marriage (after God, of course). When children come along, make sure your husband still comes first, that he is still #1 in your heart and life. I promise you that your marriage will be the better for it.
I tend to agree with the above poster who had some ideas from the 50’s…some of those ideas are archaic but really do work. If my husband looks down or depressed, I throw everything aside and focus on him. I try to treat him like a king while still maintaining my sense of humor. In return, he treats me like royalty, and that is the truth.
Don’t criticise him, don’t talk about him unless it is how great he is, and don’t gripe about him. I get sick and tired of the women on this forum who complain about their husbands. It is a crying shame the way some women will gripe about their husbands! :mad:
Make time for romance and intimacy. Let him know how desirable he is. You can’t praise a man too much for being a good lover, they love to hear it. Sometimes I will tell my husband, “Here are the reasons I love you so much” and give a litany of reasons. Different every time.
Our marriage has lasted for nearly 25 years, through an Air Force career with having babies all over the world and enduring many overseas and stateside moves. It has lasted through good times and bad, really really really bad times. We are still deeply in love.
You can have a marriage like this, too! Just put your husband before anything else except Our Lord. And also, pray for your husband every day.
Yes the older I get, the more I find myself in tune with not only my mother´s way of thinking, but also my grandmother´s way of thinking! Now she and I have great chats and are on the same wavelength.
Years ago I would have fumed about such a list, but now I just see it as sensible (where one partner stays at home and the other works, a working woman couldn´t possibly put into practice, and shouldn´t have to either).
I agree that life is fragile. My husband now has a daily commute of 2 hour round trip on crazy Spanish rush hour traffic, and I´m terrified something will happen to him. So we are going to move closer to his job so he has less commute time, and therfore less risk. Life is too fragile.
My father has a philosophy that when you have a fight or disagreement with somebody, you should resolve it before leaving the house or before going to sleep (even if it means you´re arguing until 4am). He feels that anything can happen to the other person, and if they die while you´re on bad terms, well then it´s a terrible thing. I agree with this philosophy.
I am an unmarried man in my early 20s, but if I could extol great advice by proxy: my parents have had this kind of “date night” for a long time now, and to it they owe much of the sanity that exists in their marriage :p. I’ve heard similar testimonies from other people. It’s a good avenue to cultivate lots of good memories and intimate conversation. The fondness for these types of outings are enjoyed psychological by anticipation, the experience itself, and the rosy* retrospection *- viewing more favourably, that which, at the time, was only mildly pleasant. If for no other reason, a date night is always a break from monotony.
Good luck to you in your duties as a wife,
May God bless you and your husband richly :).