As a single lady who desires to be married, I constantly get messages on social media about dating, courtship and marriage. These messages come in the form of wedding photos, smiling faces, relevant scriptures and empowering statements, which are all fine, but sometimes you have to dig deeper.
Single people who desire to be married one day should be intentional about learning how to be a wife or husband while they are in their single season.
I had the opportunity to observe a panel, where I learned from several women who have been married from five to 20 years. They shared their experiences in three big experiences.
Often we don’t consider our own ways when we communicate with others, but the ladies on the panel shared that good communication goes beyond just listening.
The ladies took responsibility for their communication style and didn’t just blame their husbands for not understanding them or avoiding talking altogether.
“I have to think twice sometimes about my words and how I communicate,” shared one of the women on the panel.
They all agreed that emotions can get in the way of us properly communicating to one another and that can easily lead to disrespect.
“Try to have that mutual respect for each other so you both can understand what you are relaying to each other,” shared another wife.
This involves the Five Cs in an exceptional marriage: “Christ, Communication, Compassion, Commitment and Change.” Having Jesus Christ as the foundation for your marriage, plus building communication, generous compassion, maintaining commitment and being open to change helps your marriage grow for the better.
Sometimes life, demanding work, children and family can take a toll on your chances to spend time together. So, the need for building and maintaining your connection with your spouse was key for the panelists.
“Be intentional about becoming best friends with your spouse,” shared one wife who learned to love sports, so she could spend time with her husband. She said now they’re both involved in sports along with their children, and her husband will watch her TV shows with her as well.
“We use the Couple app throughout the day and send little messages to each other. It’s simple, but it helps us,” shared another wife about the app, which helps couples shared and document intimate moments.
That’s a great example of doing what works for you. The app not only builds on your intimacy with one another throughout the day, but it helps to keep your spouse in the forefront of your mind.
Consider how you will do your part in improving intimacy, date nights and bonding time with your spouse beyond the first year of marriage; the ladies say it will take work, but it’s worth it.
Honestly, this was the best portion of the event because it really showed the challenges that several of the women have overcome or are still facing. It’s also a reality check for many of us singles. Whether we have never been married, have kids or neither, there’s a higher likelihood of entering a blended family as we get older.
Before she became a wife, one of the panelists had to have a heart-to-heart meeting with her now husband’s son about his concerns.
“We had to have family meetings because he wasn’t at our home all of the time. I’d say that once you marry someone with a child you can’t make it about just you or you and your kids. Have those conversations about the kids, taxes, life insurance in advance.”
“What’s their relationship with the ex and what will it mean with us all moving forward. Be adults and talk to each other directly—not about or through the children. You have to be on the same page so that no one will come in between you,” another wife in a blended family advised.
“When I became a stepmother, I asked my stepson to help me figure out on working together as a family. When we have the uniqueness of God giving us kids that we didn’t make together, it was partly letting the son know that we are expecting respect and that our love for him was not going to change,” said another woman.
For an exceptional marriage, one woman advised to pray and keep consistency in your family, sharing: “You want to see the outcome and talk about it before you get there. It’s a journey; you can choose to journey well, or not.”
BMWK family, what’s one “major key” in marriage that you’re learning now in your single season?