My wife and I have a wonderful and happy marriage. Over these last several years we have learned from each other, grown with each other, loved each other and fought with each other.
I still remember when we first got married; all the hope and faith we had of being together forever, living happily ever after. We are still living our journey towards “happily ever after,” however a brief separation only two years into our marriage would challenge the strength and foundation of our friendship and act as a wake-up call to how difficult that journey could be.
The road to healing our relationship was paved with tons of hard work. In any relationship, there will be times you just want to give up and throw in the towel, however, I urge you not to give in too soon. You will be amazed what time and self-reflection can fix.
I write this to you as a husband, to remind you that your husband is not just your spouse. He is your best friend, your teammate and your partner. This is the one person in the entire world who truly has your back.
These 8 tips are from my experience and may point out things you probably don’t know are pushing your husband away and destroying your marriage.
1. Being oblivious to financial matters.
There is almost always one person in a relationship who oversees all the financial matters. Stereotypically this role would fall on the husband, (though please note I said stereotypically as I am well aware that there are many wife’s that take on this burden as well.) leaving his partner completely oblivious to the state of their financial affairs.
This paradigm can lead to an unbalanced relationship. The wife could end up resenting the husband for being too controlling or naggy around topics of money and the husband could end up resentful of the wife’s frivolous spending and blissful ignorance. It is unfair for both parties in a relationship for one person to take on all the stress, risk and responsibility that comes with financial decisions.
You are partners that have come together in marriage to build a future and part of that is sharing the responsibility of building your financial security.
2. Putting your parents or friends in the middle of your relationship.
Two’s a party, three’s a crowd. As single individuals it is a common practice for us to share our troubles and woes with those we love and who love us. This is not a bad thing; in fact it is completely natural. So it is understandable that this is a common mistake couples make at the beginning of a relationship.
The problem stems from the fact that our family and friends love us so much that they will automatically go to bat for us, even if we were the one in the wrong. Not to mention the fact that often it is too easy for us to tell our “version” of the truth that depicts ourselves as the sainted victim and our spouse as the heartless villain.
If you truly and deeply love your spouse, once you have vented all of your anger and hurt out to your loved ones, you realize how silly the whole thing was and it is much easier to return home with an open mind and a calmer more forgiving heart. Not so for your friends and family. You see, they truly and deeply love you, not your spouse. So it’s a lot harder for them to forgive, much less forget.
3. Micromanaging him on the little stuff.
Remember that before you became one in marriage, you were two independent people with independent thoughts, actions, likes and dislikes. Marriage doesn’t change this. She likes coffee, he prefers beer. She likes to sleep in; he gets up at the crack of dawn. These same wonderful differences that caused you to fall in love with each other can often be the very things that drive you apart.
At the beginning of a romance it’s all sunshine and rainbows. You wouldn’t believe that your Love could ever annoy you… much less drive you to the edge of sanity. Anyone who has been in any long term relationship can tell you though that there is a point where you will begin to fight about the most inane and pointless things; things like him not putting the toilet seat down or the lid back on the toothpaste or her spending all afternoon watching I Love Lucy reruns.
The easiest way to escape this spiral of doom is to remember that you are both human and therefore wonderfully and perfectly flawed. As much as your husband might be annoying you, don’t forget that you are no peach to live with either.
Learn to have patience and understanding for each other. Compromise is important but don’t compromise yourself out of existence; allow each other “me” time where you can enjoy and express your individuality.
4. Not being on the same page on the big stuff.
Often, we can be so busy obsessing and micromanaging the little things in our relationships that we completely forget to address the big stuff until it is too late and we are blind sighted when our partner is not on the same page as we are.
Some of these issues are the simple basic stuff such as life goals, finances, when to have kids and how to raise them, politics, religion, etc. While these may seem obvious factors to have settled early on in a relationship, it is often not the case.
These topics can be very stressful and hard to discuss and most people are very set in their opinions with no desire to compromise. Because of this, when building a relationship, many people choose to ignore and skirt around these topics in an attempt to avoid conflict. I urge you to avoid this trap though because these topics will invariable come up in your relationship; you may find that not only are you not on the same page, you’re not even reading out of the same book.
5. Not trusting your husband.
If you believe your spouse is cheating, chances are that they probably are. If they haven’t though and you continue to suspect or not trust them they invariably will cheat on you.
Because you fear they may be cheating you will naturally withdraw physical affection. Then, your doubts, fears and lack of trust will seep further into your relationship and manifest itself by you snooping through their phone, grilling them about every aspect of their day and acting jealous and territorial in front of all members of the opposite sex.
Trust is fundamental to a healthy relationship. No one can feel truly loved in a relationship that they know that are not trusted in. Eventually, they will naturally gravitate towards someone else in order to find that love and trust.
If you have been hurt before by someone else in the past it is understandable that you would have fears and insecurities. But if your significant other hasn’t given you any cause to doubt them, be cautious of punishing them with your fears caused by someone else’s actions. If you are not careful, your doubt will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
6. Thinking that Men read minds
One of the main elements that led to the separation between my wife and I was a lack of communication. There were times when I would say or do things that would upset her, however being a passive person she would bottle it up and not tell me. If you don’t share your hurt or feeling when asked, you can’t ever come to a common ground with your spouse. Which means you will never find healing. Don’t just respond with nothing when something bothers you.
7. Not taking care of yourself.
Some may view this as a harsh, but I feel it is something that needs to be said. Love and physical attraction are not the same thing. Most people typically fall in lust before they fall in love. While marriage can result from a deeper love of your personality, character and ideals; there was still an element of physical attraction that first drew you to each other.
Think back to the first year of your romance, chances are you would never go out on a date without attempting to look your absolute best. Now with hectic life, kids, jobs and the numbing effects of familiarity it is all too easy to forget to put yourself first. This may manifest itself in a few extra pounds, un-tweezed eyebrows and overused sweatpants.
While your partner will still love you, they may not be as physically attracted to you. Sex isn’t the only factor in a healthy marriage, but it is a key stone in the foundation and it begins with you. Not only because your partner may not find you as attractive, but because you will find yourself less attractive.
Taking care of yourself by putting yourself first will increase self-esteem; higher self-esteem translates into you feeling sexier. Feeling sexier leads to sex which leads to orgasms. Orgasms raise serotonin levels, reduce stress and will make you feel sexier which will in turn raise your self-esteem. I think you get the picture.
8. Being embarrassed to share your sexual fantasies
If you assume that most people do not enter into marriage prepared for divorce or the death of the spouse, then I believe it is also safe to assume that a common preconception accompanying marriage is that this is, ideally, the only person you will be having sex with for the rest of your life.
If this thought is going to have any kind of appealing nature for either party, it is going to need more than just your love and loyalty. We are all created as sexual creatures. It is that simple. And yet, our sexuality is as unique and complex as our individuality.
You could possess all the carnal knowledge and skill in the world but if you do not understand the likes and dislikes of your partner, you may not necessarily enjoy new levels of intimacy in your relationship.
Your mind is your most powerful sexual organ and if you are going to have a healthy, lasting and satisfying sexual relationship you cannot be afraid or embarrassed to share your ultimate desires and fantasies.
Sex can be one of the most open, exposing and vulnerable expressions of love. It is not just your body that is exposed and shared, but your mind and soul as well. Let your partner in on the imaginations of your mind.
Reflect on the 8 things and see if any one of them can be used to spice up and sustain your relationship.
Featured photo credit: niched wallpaper via google.com