It’s in the days after Christmas and the first week or so of January that everywhere you turn people profess their desire to “begin again!” Although January is just another month, using the beginning of the year as a starting point can be healthy. The following are some strategies, NOT resolutions (declarations with no plans attached to them), to help you get your 2012 and your marriage off to a healthy and productive start. Hopefully, once in place, they will carry you through the months all the way to December.
I know many might be thinking, I’ve loved enough! especially if you don’t feel you’re receiving your fair share in return. But but love goes beyond the daily ebb and flow of emotions that make your heart flutter or sick. Make 2012 the year you search out and discover the full meaning and use of love.
Listen More and Talk Less
Social Media, cell phones, iPhones and iPads, and Android tablets…Nowadays there are limitless ways to communicate and share our thoughts and opinions with anyone and everyone who will listen. But when is enough enough? Maybe everyone isn’t so keen on what you have to say. Your opinion just might not matter to everyone. In fact, your spouse might be trying to tell you something important but you are too busy not listening because you’ve become accustomed to talking/sharing your opinion more than listening or hearing the opinion of others. Take a pause from time to time to listen, to hear, digest and ultimately understand what is being said to you. Then once all this is processed, choose your words wisely””at work, with friends and especially with your spouse.
Forgive and Forget
It’s 2012, but your pain doesn’t know that. It might be as fresh as it was the day it was inflicted upon you. You may be reminded of it every single time you look at his or her face, no matter how long ago it was, no matter how much he or she has changed, no matter how many times and ways he or she has done their best to make it up to you. Your pain doesn’t know it’s 2012, but you do. Make today the day that you no longer allow yourself to be held back or held up by the offenses of others. You don’t have to carry that burden anymore and chances are the person who hurt you has long since moved on.
Spend Time IRL
It’s great to be able to chat with friends all over the world via text, Facebook Messenger, and Twitter, just to name a few. But while you’re at dinner with your spouse? As soon as the movie ends? While the movie is playing? Keep in mind that while you and your friends might be having a ball online exchanging statuses (stati?) you are being unbelievably rude to whomever you’re spending time with in the real word, in real life (IRL). And if both of you are doing it both of you need to stop. Why go out together only to spend time with other people on your phones? In 2012 make the effort and take the time to unplug. Put down the phone and shut down the computer. Begin talking to your spouse at dinner. Do your 500+ friends really need to see a photograph of your plate of food while you’re eating with someone right in front of you? Don’t come home after a long day’s work and remain just as disconnected with the ones who love you. Watch the news together, read a book and talk about it. Talk about things right in front of you rather than saying, “Did you see my post?” Make a plan to go for a daily morning walk, or jog phone-free. Start talking again!
Work It Out
One of the number one taboo subjects revolving around marriage are the physical changes that occur. Although marriage isn’t the sole cause for someone getting out of shape, it can cause you to become comfortable. Don’t forget to factor in pregnancies and aging together. Because calling out a spouse on his or her physical appearance is so taboo, it is quite common for spouses to complain to others, fall into a place of contempt, disgust and resentment, lose their sex drive toward that person and then begin looking at all that “green grass” on the other side of the fence. Engaging in some level of daily physical activity is as good for your heart as it is for your appearance. In the African American community where heart disease among young adult African Americans is 20 times that of similarly aged white Americans no harm can come from working out. Maybe what your spouse needs is some encouragement. But don’t go all drill instructor on them. Just be the friend that you were when you were dating. With today’s hectic schedules a workout might be the only time to spend adult time together and there is no better way to work it out than by watching the one you love work it out. In no time your workouts will be making their way to the bedroom.
These are just few suggestions and strategies for living an emotionally, physically and spiritually healthier 2012. BMWK family we’d love to hear your plans for success in life and with your spouse in 2012.