If you want a quick assessment of how you’re doing as a person–ask a teenager! The other day I was just the slightest bit (okay, maybe more than the slightest bit) passive-aggressive toward my husband. “Mom,” my daughter said to me after my husband left the room, “you wouldn’t talk that way to a friend.” Ouch!
No, I wouldn’t. My daughter’s comment hit the mark and I changed my ways. The results were immediate; my passive-aggression disappeared. So did much of the tension between my husband and me! If you aren’t “lucky” enough to have a teenager point out your shortcomings, use this happy marriage checklist for a quick fix.
Look for the good.
Are you looking for the good in your husband, or zeroing in on the bad? Quickly look over this list of things you can be thankful for about your husband and your perspective of him will change for the better. Instead of getting annoyed with him, find one positive thing about him and say to yourself, “I am so thankful that my husband is ______.” The act of looking for the good can instantaneously improve your view of your husband.
A marriage without affection withers away. The more affectionate we are toward our husbands the more affectionate they’ll be with us. Beyond simple affection, consider how you and your husband are doing in the sex department. Check in with each other regularly and you’ll be back on track to a happy marriage.
Handle anger carefully.
Harsh words said in anger are like an explosion–they destroy a whole lot of good. We need to do our best to avoid these four dangerous patterns when we are angry: escalating, invalidating, assuming the worst and avoiding. If you’re upset with your husband, start the conversation with a gentle opening.
Repair and reconcile.
Disagreements will happen, even in a happy marriage. So will arguments and disappointments. The key isn’t to avoid these, it’s to take the steps of repairing and reconciling when they do. In other words, kiss and make up. If you don’t, bitterness can creep in. If you feel bitter, talk to your husband.
Be emotionally mature.
If we act maturely, we will act kindly and responsibly. Emotional maturity will give you a more peaceful marriage and a more peaceful home. Acting maturely means that we remain in control of our actions, no matter how we feel.
Talk about what’s going on in your life. Listen when your husband shares about his life. Dream together. Plan together. Spend one-on-one time with each other. Spend undistracted time with each other every day — even if it’s just 10 minutes. Keep in mind that you and your husband are a team. Work some team-building into your marriage so that you can grow closer and stronger.
If you look over this marriage checklist and see that you’re missing more than one item, it’s okay. These are the types of items that can have an immediate impact on your marriage.
Which one do you think you need to focus on?