Recently someone asked me the question “is marriage even worth it?” Believe it or not, this is a question I get quite often. And I truly believe that I am getting this question because of the way that some married people behave. They are guilty of being unhappy and miserable in their marriages and then spreading that narrative to others…promoting questions like “is marriage even worth it?”
Because it starts with us married folks, let’s make a vow that this year we are going to be happier and thrive in our marriages vs. just existing in them. I know some of you are tired of feeling like roommates who are just always annoyed with each other, so let’s DO SOMETHING to change that.
Here are 10 things married people need to stop doing ASAP:
1. Stop acting like you’re the only ones!
Okay first thing’s first: we have to stop acting like the issues and seasons of marriage are just unique to us and our situation. There are so many people that go through the same things you do. And often times, the answers to how to overcome those things are right around you. But you just need to stop being so prideful and ask for help.
For any relationship to grow, you must invest in it. And sometimes that means getting some new information and a new perspective. You may think you have all the answers. But if what you’ve been doing isn’t working, then give something new a try.
2. Stop holding things in and being resentful!
When my relationship clients complain to me about their spouse or marriage, the first question I ask is “well does he or she know you feel this way?” Most times the answer is either “well he/she should just know!” Or, just a plain old “no.”
Not this year folks! If something is bothering you enough that it’s putting a strain on your relationship, instead of becoming resentful, become proactive and let it be known.
Ant this brings me to my next suggestion…
3. Stop it with the silent treatments!
I’m amazed at the amount of couples who really don’t talk to each other. I know some of you are thinking “well we’ve been together so long there isn’t anything else for us to talk about.” WRONG – because we are always growing and evolving. And our needs and desires and changing too. Open your mouth and start talking again; you’ll be amazed at how many things you’ve been missing.
4. Stop ignoring each other!
Odds are, you probably don’t have much “extra” time laying around. So if you don’t prioritize quality time with your mate, you probably won’t get any. Your spouse should get the best of you, not what’s left of you after everything and everyone else stakes a claim. You won’t thrive in your marriage without intentionally spending time together. Hey, you might even start remembering what you loved about each other so much when you dedicate your efforts to the beauty of togetherness.
5. Stop holding out!
I know life happens and sometimes sex can be the last thing thing on your mind. But, trust me when I tell you it’s very important. Sex keeps you bonded and connected and a relationship lacking in sexual intimacy will start to feel distant. Spontaneity is great…but if planning sex means it will actually happen… then get your planning on! Truth is…once you start putting that “motion in the ocean” you won’t care if it was planned or not. So get BUSY…literally!
Read: Sex Doesn’t Fix Everything, But Here’s What It Will Do for Your Marriage
6. Stop “popping off” at the mouth!
Gone are the days of you speaking bad about your spouse to them or to others. Loving actions and words produce loving feelings. You married your spouse for a reason and it wasn’t to find everything that’s wrong with him or her and then broadcast it to the world. Your words have the power to build or break…choose to build.
7. Stop being boring!
Find something that y’all love to do and do it….often! That could be matinee movies, dancing, skating, traveling, staycations, massages, playing games, dinners…whatever! Just find something that you and your mate can look forward to and know that when you do it a good time will be had.
8. Stop neglecting yourself!
Many times your marriage isn’t thriving because you’ve lost yourself. So whether something with you is lacking physically, spiritually, emotionally, socially or career wise, do what’s needed to get it right. Like Lauryn Hill said “How you gon’ win if you ain’t right within!?” The better you feel about yourself the better you will treat those around you, including your spouse.
9. Stop acting a fool!
Don’t forget that your children and others are always looking up to the example you are setting. If your kids chose a marriage like yours would you be proud of them? Think about it!
10. Stop being ungrateful!
It doesn’t cost you a thing to just be nice. And saying “thank you” is also one of the biggest compliments you can give your spouse. Instead of getting caught up in the fact they are “supposed” to do this or “obligated” to do that, be appreciative that they actually do it. It’s the little, day to day things your spouse wants to know that you appreciate.
Things like clean laundry, a sink with no dishes, completed yard-work, dinner on the table, or being there for the kids are often thankless tasks. So let’s create a new narrative surrounding that! I have no doubt that you are very thankful to your spouse for these things, so let’s go one extra (small) step and let it be known.
Okay, if you’re truly committed to thriving again in your marriage, then do this one last thing and share this article so that others can start to do the same too. We are all in this together and so let’s set the example so that less people ask “is marriage even worth it?” Our communities and families need to see us together and thriving!
BMWK – what are some other things that married folks need to stop doing?