After 17 years I still remember shopping for my wedding dress and finally selecting the one that nearly brought tears to my eyes. My wedding day had been a dream of mine since I was a little girl.
While I envisioned the details of the wedding, I had no idea what type of wife I should be. I didn’t have many examples around me when I was coming up, so I had to wing it. What I would learn was that my idea of winging it wasn’t going to serve my marriage well.
I didn’t quite understand marriage initially. Sacrifice and making my husband feel like a priority was difficult for me. I couldn’t remove myself from that equation. What about me, what I want, what I need?
I had to be honest and recognize that what I didn’t like was hurting my marriage. I was solely responsible for my actions and I needed to change.
Actually, I thought my marriage was all about me. As you can imagine it made our marriage quite challenging. We could go days without speaking.
There was no such thing as agreeing to disagree, someone had to win. And it was going to be me. The communication was lacking and that sacrifice thing, yeah wasn’t happening. But I didn’t quite get the fact that our marriage could be better.
I thought we could just get by and that maybe marriages were meant to be average. Meant to be difficult. Maybe they weren’t suppose to last and there was a reason for such high divorce rates. Boy, was I wrong. A happy and healthy marriage is possible if you want it, and I wanted it. Here’s how I changed what I didn’t like.
1. I had to be honest and recognize that what I didn’t like was hurting my marriage. I was solely responsible for my actions and I needed to change.
2. I began studying relationships and completed a 9 month life coach training program with the sole intent of coaching couples and saving marriages.
3. During my study of love and relationships, I discovered a book that transformed the way I viewed my marriage called The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz. The training and my desire were strong enough to help me overcome the majority of the baggage I carried into my marriage.
4. My husband and I also joined a church that challenged us to be better. We learned how to pray for our marriage and household. We learned to seek God daily. I became Director of the marriage ministry which helped at holding me accountable for taking better care of my marriage.
5. I began to take responsibility. This was the hardest part. Admitting I was wrong took some growth and maturity. But I needed to do it. Those selfish behaviors and thoughts had to go.
6. I worked on me and learned by watching other couples. I observed wives who knew how to take care of their men. They made them feel like kings of their castle, ensuring they felt loved, respected and desired. My husband was amazing to me and treated me like a queen so why shouldn’t he feel like a king in his castle? He had earned it.
7. There needed to be healthy couples in our circle. Spending time with other couples who also know the value of marriage was good for us. It made us desire to be better as well.
Had I not changed what I didn’t like about me as a spouse, I probably would be divorced right now. I am crazy about my husband, and I’m grateful that we were able to overcome a rocky start and become the couple we are today.
BMWK, how will you change what you don’t like about your marriage?