Tag Archives: Marriage

Why Is It That Many Women Out There Marry Low Quality Men?


I was at my parents house the other day and my mom was watching the TV show Four Weddings . In it, four brides-to-be attend each other’s weddings and judge it based on four categories: dress, venue, food and overall experience. Overall Experience: The woman who’s wedding is judged the highest receives a dream honeymoon for her and her new husband.

I’m not opposed to a reality show judging weddings, but this criteria is really bizarre. Anyone can do research of hire an event planner and be pretty flawless on these points, it just takes effort and money — I know, I used to be an event planner. So, in a sense, it’s kind of a contest about who already has the most money, and who is wise enough to listen to the advice of venue staff and industry experts. The actual bride would benefit by being a passive middle man between these people and the event, rather than competing herself.

In this sense, the show was missing what I think the real competition of getting married is about — the groom. Why isn’t there a groom category they judge each other on? That’s the most important part of getting married.

There are criteria that vary by woman’s preference — does he participate in the ceremony? Is he witty vs. goofy? Does he adhere to whatever standards of attraction the woman has?

But there are a vast and legitimate number of objective ways we could judge the groom–are his friends and family cool? Does he have a good job? How much does he care about his bride’s happiness? Does he know how to control his anger? Is he reasonable?

I had an acquaintance years ago who was 29 and extremely militant on his I’ll-never get-married-and-kids-are-dream-slayers philosophy. To him, his whole life was his and he really wanted to make it as a writer so getting married and/or having kids would be giving up the freedom he needed to do that. Then he met a girl and they started dating seriously. Right before he got engaged to her we went to lunch with another friend who asked him if kids were down the line since he’d changed his mind on the whole marriage thing.

He said no, obviously, he’d made up his own mind and although his soon-to-be fiancé wanted to change his mind, it would never happen. She also wanted to do premarital counseling, I guess, to make sure they were compatible but it was going to be uncomfortable and require too much work so he’d made the decision that they weren’t going to do that.

To me, this is a low quality, but common husband. He not only does not care about what you want, but he belittles you to the people in his life. This wasn’t just his secret acquaintance personality, he was a forthcoming person. She was just enamored by how funny and tall he was, I imagine, to care that at a very deep level he just does not give a shit about anyone else. This is a guy that you say no to, no matter how charming he is. Or, you allow yourself to get swept away and have a few good years followed by several miserable ones.

There’s no epidemic of people having shitty weddings (well, there is, but who cares?) But there is an epidemic of women marrying below them. This choice is what, if anything, people should judge you on — not your wedding venue.

By Rosemary
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Three Pieces Of Marriage Advice You Should Actually Listen To


Inside most of us is the yearning desire to find that one person with whom we can spend the rest of our lives. We long to grow old with someone, to sit in our rocking chairs on the porch when we are frail and gray, yelling at all the neighborhood kids to stay the hell off of our lawn. Yes, this is the dream. But, it doesn’t always come easily. Even once you’ve found the person who you will vow to stay with in sickness and in health, things aren’t always smooth sailing. This is the marriage relationship advice they always forget to tell you about. This isn’t to say that marriage is bad — it can be bad, it can be good, or it can be teetering somewhere in the middle.

In lots of ways, marriage is applicable to those annoyingly inspirational sayings you always find on t-shirts: it’s what you make of it. Still, going into a marriage and expecting nothing but bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens is unrealistic. Sometimes the warm woolen mittens have holes and you secretly want to grab the bright copper kettle and bash your spouse over the head. In other words, marriage has its ups and down. But, being prepared for this is marriage relationship advice that will benefit you. So, as you saunter down the aisle into Mr. and Mrs. land, remember:

1. Marriage is hard : Marriage is hard, and no, not just in the bedroom (sorry, fellas). It basically requires you to live sixty or seventy years with one person, accepting their faults and hoping they accept yours. There are times you’ll be mad at each other and times where you may even look at your wedding day like you look at the day you tried to drink a gallon of milk in under one hour: you’ll regret it. But, there will also be times of fun, excitement, and utter happiness. So, if you remember one piece of marriage relationship advice, remember this: no one ever said marriage would be easy. They only said it would be worth it.

2. Marriage takes sacrifice: Saying that marriage takes sacrifice isn’t exactly “stop the presses, breaking news”; most people are aware of this. But, what they might not be aware of is that both parties should sacrifice as equally as possible. Sacrificing in marriage isn’t the problem — most things in life take sacrifice. But, when one partner sacrifices as often as a pitcher bunting with a runner on first and the other partner sacrifices almost never, you run into problems. This isn’t to say there needs to be a tally (one sacrifice for me, one for you), but it should be as fair as possible. Good marriage relationship advice is to be cognizant of who is sacrificing more (or making the bigger sacrifices) and put forth an effort to even things out.

3. Marriage changes things, but that’s okay : If you’ve dated your partner for years, lived with them since a Republican was in office, and settled into your routine (work, dinner, “Dancing with the Stars”), it’s hard to believe that marriage will change things that much. Yet, it’s not so much marriage. Making it legal via a piece of paper and three hundred of your best friends doesn’t automatically lead to drastic alterations. Rather, it’s time that changes things. While your spouse may have been totally into sex in their mid-twenties, they might not be as much fifteen years later. While your partner may have always wanted to go out and do things, they may become content to sit at home and chill.

While the both of you may have once talked each other’s ears off, you may now notice more silence fills the room. Time marches, and typically that march is towards change. But, it’s important to remember that change isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Change can be good, exciting, — or if your spouse decides they no longer hold the cast of “Jersey Shore” as their personal heroes — even something you embrace with open arms and sighs of relief.

By Stefan

Inside most of us is the yearning desire to find that one person with whom we can spend the rest of our lives. We long to grow old with someone, to sit in our rocking chairs on the porch when we are frail and gray, yelling at all the neighborhood kids to stay the hell off of our lawn. Yes, this is the dream. But, it doesn’t always come easily. Even once you’ve found the person who you will vow to stay with in sickness and in health, things aren’t always smooth sailing. This is the marriage relationship advice they always forget to tell you about. This isn’t to say that marriage is bad — it can be bad, it can be good, or it can be teetering somewhere in the middle.

In lots of ways, marriage is applicable to those annoyingly inspirational sayings you always find on t-shirts: it’s what you make of it. Still, going into a marriage and expecting nothing but bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens is unrealistic. Sometimes the warm woolen mittens have holes and you secretly want to grab the bright copper kettle and bash your spouse over the head. In other words, marriage has its ups and down. But, being prepared for this is marriage relationship advice that will benefit you. So, as you saunter down the aisle into Mr. and Mrs. land, remember:

1. Marriage is hard : Marriage is hard, and no, not just in the bedroom (sorry, fellas). It basically requires you to live sixty or seventy years with one person, accepting their faults and hoping they accept yours. There are times you’ll be mad at each other and times where you may even look at your wedding day like you look at the day you tried to drink a gallon of milk in under one hour: you’ll regret it. But, there will also be times of fun, excitement, and utter happiness. So, if you remember one piece of marriage relationship advice, remember this: no one ever said marriage would be easy. They only said it would be worth it.

2. Marriage takes sacrifice: Saying that marriage takes sacrifice isn’t exactly “stop the presses, breaking news”; most people are aware of this. But, what they might not be aware of is that both parties should sacrifice as equally as possible. Sacrificing in marriage isn’t the problem — most things in life take sacrifice. But, when one partner sacrifices as often as a pitcher bunting with a runner on first and the other partner sacrifices almost never, you run into problems. This isn’t to say there needs to be a tally (one sacrifice for me, one for you), but it should be as fair as possible. Good marriage relationship advice is to be cognizant of who is sacrificing more (or making the bigger sacrifices) and put forth an effort to even things out.

3. Marriage changes things, but that’s okay : If you’ve dated your partner for years, lived with them since a Republican was in office, and settled into your routine (work, dinner, “Dancing with the Stars”), it’s hard to believe that marriage will change things that much. Yet, it’s not so much marriage. Making it legal via a piece of paper and three hundred of your best friends doesn’t automatically lead to drastic alterations. Rather, it’s time that changes things. While your spouse may have been totally into sex in their mid-twenties, they might not be as much fifteen years later. While your partner may have always wanted to go out and do things, they may become content to sit at home and chill.

While the both of you may have once talked each other’s ears off, you may now notice more silence fills the room. Time marches, and typically that march is towards change. But, it’s important to remember that change isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Change can be good, exciting, — or if your spouse decides they no longer hold the cast of “Jersey Shore” as their personal heroes — even something you embrace with open arms and sighs of relief.

By Stefan

7 Honest Pieces Of Marriage And Parenting Advice That Aren’t The Least Bit Sugarcoated


Producer’s note: Someone on Quora asked: What is the best marriage advice you would give? Here is one of the best answers that’s been pulled from the thread.

As someone who’s been through a divorce and is getting married again, I can confidently offer this:

Love isn’t enough. Marry the person who brings out your best and will stand beside you at your worst.

Life will happen. You’ll screw up. You’ll fight. You’ll probably even slam a few doors and say something horrible you don’t really mean. That’s what happens when we’re human. We’re flawed. Expecting perfection,rainbows, and glitter is unrealistic.

Whenever a couple tells me, “We never fight,” I know they’re in or already having trouble. No one can look great, have a perfect home, perfect kids, job, friends and be happy all the time. Believe me, I’ve tried.

You’re going to lose a job, have money problems, have a death in the family, bury a pet, lose your hair, get wrinkles, have diarrhea, vomit, forget deodorant, put your foot in your mouth, leave the seat up and spill stuff on the sofa.

The wedding is one day, the marriage for the rest of your lives.

I’m planning a wedding right now. I actually found my wedding gown today. It’s a very exciting time and a lot of attention goes into things like dresses, bridesmaids, invitations, parties, flowers, food, music, venue, etc.

The day you marry you look the best you’ll ever look. It’s taken hours of preparation and planning to look as good as we do on our wedding day, and it’s all down hill from there.

It’s very exciting, but it’s not your life. Life is farting in your sleep and spilling coffee on the cat. For one couple I know, once the wedding was over, there was nothing. Once they were married, they didn’t get along because they weren’t distracted by this big party. They had nothing to talk about.

I’m very excited to see my friends and family, throw this fantastic party, be a bride (my dress is amazing), but I’m most excited to marry the man I love. I’m looking most forward to our life together and growing old together, not the wedding.

Fight fairly.

You will fight. It’s inevitable.

Don’t bring up the past. Last week’s fight was last week. If he cheated on you 5 years ago and you forgave him, it’s off limits. If she broke your favorite mug last month, let it go.

Don’t ever use the words “you, always or never.” Ever. For example, ” You ALWAYS leave dishes in the sink and NEVER help out with the dog.” Never? Not once? Really? And being accusatory, using “you” is an attack. Instead, try, “I get really frustrated when dirty dishes are still in the sink and the dog hasn’t been fed. It would really make me more relaxed and happier if I got some help with those two things.”

Don’t talk, listen. It’s so frustrating when you’re talking and you know the other person is just planning his retort in his head. How can you respond if you don’t listen?

You will never change or fix anyone. Ever.

If there is a behavior which needs to be changed, it must be changed by the person displaying the behavior. No amount of nagging, pleading or threatening will make someone change.

It is not your responsibility to change anyone but yourself. Learn to deal with this behavior or get over it. Or don’t get married. Or get divorced.

She will only change when she is willing to recognize and fix it herself.

You are two separate people and are not expected or required to think, act or behave the same way.

Be your own person. Keep your own hobbies, interests and friends. Your partner should support and encourage this, if he doesn’t, you’ll soon be resentful, angry and unhappy. This goes both ways. Let him go to his friend Pookie’s man cave to watch the game. Use the time to do something you want to do. He should reciprocate so you have time to kick Jill’s butt at tennis or read the latest issue of Wonder Woman at a Starbucks like a grownup.

Children will change everything no matter how much you promise each other they won’t.

When a couple becomes three, life will change. You can’t have a tiny, stinky, loud, crying, hungry, fussy human being who will never let you sleep again living in your house and nothing changes.

You will argue about who has baby duty and why you haven’t gotten to shower for three days. Your wife will be emotional, scared and may be an on-call milk service for a while. Your husband will be confused, scared, nervous, stressed and may start wearing sweatpants and old flip flops to the store.

This is all normal. Life will change, but, eventually, you’ll figure out what works for you and how to sneak in romance again.

You have to find your new normal as parents, not just a married couple.

You may not be out partying in the hottest clubs in designer clothes anymore, but you’ll be so excited the baby just smiled and said, “greebo,” that you’ll be content to have a new kind of party involving ordering Chinese for the nth time, watching reruns of The Walking Dead and getting four solid hours of sleep.

If you’re fighting constantly about something specific, solve the problem.

For example, if you argue about cleaning the house, look at your finances and figure out how to have a maid service come once or twice a month.

If you argue about money, set up a budget or get an accountant. Restricting one partner from ever spending money reasonably or controlling the finances is not good for a marriage.

If you fight about not having time to yourself because of your children, schedule a regular time with your partner when he can watch the kids for a few hours and you can go to the gym. Be sure to give the other partner the same opportunity.

If it’s still an issue, hire a babysitter or get help from a friend.

Schedule romance and sex.

This sounds unromantic, but, sometimes, we get so busy and stressed we forget how hot we are for each other.

Making Friday night a date night or planning to go for a walk and holding hands reconnects you. It’s nice to feel special and attracted to your partner who you’ve only passed in the hall on the way to clean up the kids vomit or looking for clean socks.

A couple may be working, parenting and the social calendar may be full, but, taking time for your marriage and physical affection is important. It takes work.

Some things should not be shared.

I love my fiancé and he loves me, but I don’t want him to show me how much ear wax he just cleaned out and I won’t show him how I can pop a zit with one hand.

He closes the bathroom door. We all know what’s going on, but I don’t need to see it or smell it. I don’t pluck my eyebrows in front of him. I’m not ashamed or embarrassed, but it’s nice that my eyebrows are always groomed (magically.)

This isn’t about shame or pretending we’re perfect or hiding things from each other. It’s about keeping the mystery going.

He doesn’t need to see me change a tampon and I don’t want to see his belly button lint. Again, if we’re sick or hurt or needed help with any of this stuff, that’s different. I’d wipe my fiance’s butt in a heartbeat if he needed me to. In the meantime, I’ll scrub dead skin off my feet in private, thank you.

Being married means accepting all of someone, their flaws and ugliness, not just the good parts.

Finding the person who brings out your best and stands beside you at your worst is key.

By Suskyd

I am Broken After I Overheard My Wife Tell Her Friends That My Manhood is Small, What Should I Do?


Dear Coleen,

I’m writing this letter with tears in my eyes. I’m about to celebrate 30 years of marriage and my wife and I have three grown-up kids and the two boys still live with us at home. Last week, my wife and I were at an event with some of her friends and ended up going back to one of their houses for another drink. When it was time to go home, we called a taxi and I waited by the door for it while she carried on talking to her friends in the kitchen.

One of them asked her if she could go back and do one thing in life that she’s missed over the past 30 years, what would it be?

My wife replied: “Another night with John.” I was totally shocked – John was her ex-boyfriend who she lost her virginity with. I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me and had to hold back the tears. None of them saw me standing by the door.

Then one of her friends asked why this was as she has such a good husband and my wife said: “But he lacks in the trouser department and John was a lot bigger and better in bed.” Then she went on to talk about the other four men she’d slept with who were all bigger than me.

I was devastated, not least because she’d always said she’d only slept with one other man before me. At that point, one of her friends saw me and insisted my wife hadn’t meant anything by what she’d said and that she was just drunk. My wife doesn’t know I heard any of this, although she knows something is wrong. I keep replaying it in my head and can’t sleep. How can I handle this? I’m thinking of walking away.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Coleen says –

First of all, you have tell her what you overheard and explain how much it has hurt you, and that you don’t know how you can come back from it. I’m sure she’ll feel terrible because she probably was drunk and people do say things when they’re drunk that they’d never say sober.

But whatever she’s comparing you to, the fact is that your marriage has lasted 30 years. If these other guys were so wonderful, why did she choose you and stay with you for all this time? They are exes for a reason.

Whatever her reasons were for saying what she did, you can’t move forward unless you talk about it. She needs to know how hurt you are and you need to give her the chance to explain and apologise for hurting and embarrassing you.

This could obviously affect your confidence in bed and if you feel you can’t move on sexually, then it would be worth seeing a psychosexual counsellor. But I think you should work hard at not throwing away 30 good years for a drunken off-the-cuff remark.

Don’t let your ego and pride kick away everything you’ve built up.

Leave your comments below and help this poor man out.

By High Sparrow

One Step to a Happy Marriage


I got a request today from a mom at my kid’s school. She asked me if I would blog about what I learned during the couple’s workshop my husband and I attended. She is hoping she can get a knowledge nugget to bring a little life back into her marriage. I am getting my Masters in Spiritual Psychology at the University of Santa Monica. When I heard they were having a couple’s weekend, I asked my husband if he would join me. He said, “Sure.” I was tickled pink! Not only so we could grow closer, but also I was excited for him to see exactly what I do at school. Many of my friends had asked their husbands to come, and they declined. So, I would like to acknowledge my man for taking my hand and walking with me! Was this his first choice on how to spend the weekend?

No. But, he did it for me, for us, and we later found out, for himself. Just like my friend wanting a nugget to take back to her marriage, so did I. I take my husband on marriage retreats from time to time, to spruce things up and to get our groove back. It is so easy to get stuck in a rut and once you’re in it, it’s so hard to climb out. We are all running as fast as we can, working harder than we had anticipated, and we never have enough money. All of this adds up to too tired, too stressed, and too unsexy to connect. I want to be lovers, not roommates. I want to have my hand held, my face touched, and regular make out sessions. I want to feel heard, seen, and appreciated. I also want to do the same things for him. I want to be the kind of partner I want my husband to be. I want my home to be the place that is filled with love, support and laughter. So, when the disconnect is weighing heavier than the good stuff, it’s time for a regroup, reboot, retreat, or in this case, a couple’s workshop. I have been married 16 years and we have five children.

There is a lot going on. My husband is an actor and never has a regular schedule, my kid’s interests are all over the place and so are the locations, and I am giving attention to my creative endeavors. There is never a dull moment in our home. Even just hanging out is an event because there are some pretty amazing personalities living under one roof. We are scheduled tight, so we make sure there is time set aside for mediation, family meetings, family night, rest, etc. I find the more organized we are, the more time we have to play and have fun. Our life wasn’t always like this. When our kids came into the picture, our attention shifted from the love we shared exclusively, to loving the little ones too. The disconnect between husband and wife happens gradually. When you have your first kid, it is the biggest life changer. You were only focused on you two, now there is another human being involved so: no more spontaneous trips, staying out until whenever you want, or sleeping in. When the second child comes, you realize you can actually love them both equally and the balancing act begins. By the time the third child comes, all bets are off. My dad once said, “After three, it doesn’t matter. You can just keep throwing kids in the mix and figure it out as you go.” That’s about right. He had six. The biggest thing I learned from the weekend is that we attract a partner that will trigger us and push our buttons, eliciting feelings that we didn’t like so much from our childhood. But now we are adults and can look at them with an adult mind, while we work through them and heal. It’s about turning the finger I am pointing at my partner when I want to say, “I am mad because…” and turning it back at myself, so that I may get to the real root of the issue…me. “Success in marriage depends on being able, when you get over being in love, to really love.” -Eleanor Roosevelt I am aware that my husband loves me and he is going to trigger me so I can get to work on myself and heal. If I continue to point the blaming finger at him every time I get upset, the cycle will continue. It will continue in this marriage or the next or the next. How refreshing is it to think that my life partner loves me so much, that he would trigger me to allow me to heal my past hurts and feelings of unworthiness? Every time we get triggered, there is something inside us that needs our attention, our love.

It is never about the issue, it’s about how you react to the issue that’s the issue (not sure who said this, I heard it in class). Imagine next time your partner upsets you, instead of getting mad at him / her, you look within. Look at how you are feeling. Where does it hurt? Have you felt this way before in your life? Are you angry? Is there sadness under the anger? When did you feel sad like that in the past? The more we have ownership of our feelings, the less we can play the victim role. And I am saying victim role with no judgment, it’s just part of the story we tell ourselves and others to justify why we hold ourselves back; why we can’t be happy, why we can’t do what we really want, why we can’t have it all.

I am working on owning my feelings, using past and current hurts as learning tools, and rewriting a new story for my life…my childhood version no longer serves me. Marriage is like anything else in life. It is there to teach and support us. When you learn your lessons and do your work, it’s awesome! When you don’t it sucks and the same issue will come again and again until finally it knocks you down so hard, you have no choice but to look at it.

Start looking now. Go within. Listen to what the hurt or upset is trying to tell you. My school says that healing happens when you apply loving to the places that hurt inside. Give yourself love. (I have specific ways you can give yourself love to move towards healing, if you are interested.) Oh, one other thing my husband and I are doing that I love is; saying three things we appreciate about each other and ourselves at bedtime. I’ll have you know, it’s a great way to fall asleep. Dave is enjoying my workshop take away more than me! I am almost to the place where I can thank him for pissing me off and showing me that I have more work to do. Almost. All right, it’s time to pick the kids up. Good luck out there and remember to turn that finger back at you.

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By Stefan

Three Pieces Of Marriage Advice You Should Actually Listen To


Inside most of us is the yearning desire to find that one person with whom we can spend the rest of our lives. We long to grow old with someone, to sit in our rocking chairs on the porch when we are frail and gray, yelling at all the neighborhood kids to stay the hell off of our lawn. Yes, this is the dream. But, it doesn’t always come easily. Even once you’ve found the person who you will vow to stay with in sickness and in health, things aren’t always smooth sailing. This is the marriage relationship advice they always forget to tell you about. This isn’t to say that marriage is bad — it can be bad, it can be good, or it can be teetering somewhere in the middle.

In lots of ways, marriage is applicable to those annoyingly inspirational sayings you always find on t-shirts: it’s what you make of it. Still, going into a marriage and expecting nothing but bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens is unrealistic. Sometimes the warm woolen mittens have holes and you secretly want to grab the bright copper kettle and bash your spouse over the head. In other words, marriage has its ups and down. But, being prepared for this is marriage relationship advice that will benefit you. So, as you saunter down the aisle into Mr. and Mrs. land, remember:

1. Marriage is hard:

Marriage is hard, and no, not just in the bedroom (sorry, fellas). It basically requires you to live sixty or seventy years with one person, accepting their faults and hoping they accept yours. There are times you’ll be mad at each other and times where you may even look at your wedding day like you look at the day you tried to drink a gallon of milk in under one hour: you’ll regret it. But, there will also be times of fun, excitement, and utter happiness. So, if you remember one piece of marriage relationship advice, remember this: no one ever said marriage would be easy. They only said it would be worth it.

2. Marriage takes sacrifice:

Saying that marriage takes sacrifice isn’t exactly “stop the presses, breaking news”; most people are aware of this. But, what they might not be aware of is that both parties should sacrifice as equally as possible. Sacrificing in marriage isn’t the problem — most things in life take sacrifice. But, when one partner sacrifices as often as a pitcher bunting with a runner on first and the other partner sacrifices almost never, you run into problems. This isn’t to say there needs to be a tally (one sacrifice for me, one for you), but it should be as fair as possible. Good marriage relationship advice is to be cognizant of who is sacrificing more (or making the bigger sacrifices) and put forth an effort to even things out.

3. Marriage changes things, but that’s okay:

If you’ve dated your partner for years, lived with them since a Republican was in office, and settled into your routine (work, dinner, “Dancing with the Stars”), it’s hard to believe that marriage will change things that much. Yet, it’s not so much marriage. Making it legal via a piece of paper and three hundred of your best friends doesn’t automatically lead to drastic alterations. Rather, it’s time that changes things. While your spouse may have been totally into sex in their mid-twenties, they might not be as much fifteen years later. While your partner may have always wanted to go out and do things, they may become content to sit at home and chill.

While the both of you may have once talked each other’s ears off, you may now notice more silence fills the room. Time marches, and typically that march is towards change. But, it’s important to remember that change isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Change can be good, exciting, — or if your spouse decides they no longer hold the cast of “Jersey Shore” as their personal heroes — even something you embrace with open arms and sighs of relief.

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Eight Rules You MUST Follow When Fighting With Your Husband


Fighting is normal in a relationship. Here’s how to do it the right way.

I have been watching my aunty and his husband for some years back about there marriage life and please hear her lessons follow couples.

Aunty: After 33 years of marriage , I’m here to tell you my husband and I have had our share of fights. And trust me when I tell you, there’s been some real doozies — especially in the early part of our marriage. In fact, you’d think we were in preschool based on how we handled our arguments.

The good news, though, is that it was those earlier fights that actually taught us how to fight like adults who love each other .

These days I’m proud to say we no longer fight. Yeah, we disagree from time to time and might not even talk to each other for a few hours when we are both feeling particularly stubborn, but the serious fighting days are over.

And because of that, here’s what we’ve learned along the way that’s created a marriage of respect, peace and love.

1. Don’t fight in public.

This needs to be a hard and fast rule. Not only are you putting each other in an embarrassing situation, but it’s very uncomfortable for the people who witness you fighting . Whether it’s around strangers or friends, no one wants to see a couple fight.

You’ll never be able to solve the issue in that environment anyway, and the awkwardness of it will only escalate the problem. If you can’t leave right away then couch the conversation until you get home. One advantage to this is that it gives you a chance to cool down a bit by the time you readdress the problem.

2. Don’t fight in front of your kids.

If you have children, they don’t need to be witnesses to the heat of the moment between you and your spouse, but sometimes it happens. When my son was three years old, he came running over to my husband and I while we were fighting. He made us hold hands and said, “Mommy, daddy, no more yelling. Only kissing .”

If there’s one guaranteed way to stop a fight dead in its tracks, it’s that. We picked him up, hugged as a family, and explained sometimes mommy and daddy get upset but still love each other. That moment broke the tension enough to allow us to finish what we started in a calm manner while my son went back to playing in his room.

Once we were finished, we went to my son, holding hands, and told him everything was fine. We told him to remember that sometimes people fight but when they love each other a lot; they always find a way to make things good again.

3. Don’t fight to hurt the other person.

When you’re angry, your ego tends to take over, and the ego is all about war; wars don’t exist without trying to hurt another person. When you go for their sensitive trigger points, their vulnerable place, you’ve hit below the belt and that’s very unfair and immature .

It’s critical to remember, above all else, even in the heat of the moment, this is supposed to be the person you cherish the most in your life and who has put his emotional trust in your hands. Words do hurt and they are not easily forgotten.

4. No pouncing allowed.

Sometimes when you’re angry about something your husband did or didn’t do, you can’t wait to get in his face about it. And sometimes he’s not even aware that he’s about to be on the receiving end of your anger. So if he walks in the door and is suddenly barraged by your anger , things will get out of hand much more quickly.

If he’s been gone all day, greet him as best as you can and give him time to transition to being home. He’ll know you’re upset just by your energy — trust me. Once he’s had 15 minutes or so, let him know you need to discuss something that’s been bothering you .

5. Don’t bring things up from the past.

In those heated moments, it’s easy to want to bring in other artillery from past fights that weren’t completely solved just to arm yourself with more ammo. That’s a big no no. All that does is take your attention away from the matter at hand and will extend, unnecessarily, an argument that might have been able to be solved rather quickly.

Even if the present fight is related to a past situation, still do everything in your power to stick to the issue at hand without nagging: “Here we go again!” “I’ve told you a thousand times!” A repeated argument is indicating that one or both of you isn’t communicating the truth of your anger in a way that is clear and specific, so there’s an understanding taking place on a deeper level.

And it’s not unusual for there to be an underlying issue that’s not being addressed , so you end up focusing on what feels more comfortable and safe.

6. Make sure what you’re fighting about is really the reason for the fight.

When my husband was going through a very difficult unexpected life change, he was edgy, sensitive and impatient. There were times when my compassion for his situation went out the window and off we went.

What I noticed during those moments was the fight was all over the place. I had a hard time keeping up with it. Nothing made sense. That was when I realized the fight wasn’t about anything in particular, but about our relationship . It was his fear about his situation.

Recognizing this, I stopped myself, pulled him into me and just held him. He melted into my arms. From that place we were able to discuss those fears and be lovers on the same page instead of enemies on opposite sides.

7. Avoid being overly dramatic.

Women can be experts at being overly dramatic to make a point or to make something seem like a bigger deal then it really is. Try to keep things in perspective and keep your emotional energy as even as possible . When you do, you’ll be listened to more carefully and the issue can be cleared up much more quickly.

8. Help the relationship and each other grow from the fight.

If all you’ve done is fight and found a way to smooth things over without truly feeling a deeper sense of understanding about yourself, your relationship and your husband, you’ve wasted a perfect opportunity for growth . The more you can really gain emotional and spiritual insight to what took place, the less likely you are to repeat the fight.

At the end, share with your husband what you’re biggest “aha” moment is from the experience and let him know what greater understanding you have about him that you didn’t before. Yes, ask him to give you the same feedback. If he can’t in the moment, it’s OK; I promise he’ll be thinking about it as long as you shared yourself, first.

And I’ll leave you with this: don’t share your fights with your girlfriends . Your relationship with your husband is the most sacred relationship you have. And nothing, aside from an affair, hurts that relationship faster than talking behind your husband’s back. Sharing the details of your fight and any personal information about him that he wouldn’t want anyone else to know about is destructive when he finds out.

And if you think he’s not going to find out, think again. The hurt look on my husband’s face just broke my heart. That’s all it took to never do that again. Please don’t break your husband’s heart.

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