3 Things You Should Stop Doing in Marriage
- Calling each other husband or wife all the time. You are married to a human being who has a name and characteristics beyond what the "His Needs/Her Needs" books can give you. Continuing to call each other by our roles can aid in the process of beginning to see nameless faceless expectations instead of a person. Once we do that, we've lost site of the other person, and they become shapeless creatures, there only to meet expectations and not simply to exist as the person you've chosen to love.
- Blame shifting. Marriage should actually be much about you. What I mean by this is that it's about your choices, your issues, your wounds--because YOU are the only person you can do anything about. Oh I know, your spouse has faults, maybe worse than your own. It's not fair that you should work on yours when they choose not to, but the reality is no amount of arguing, yelling, nagging, or even calm conversation can force them to change. But you can. And you'll find that if you do, you'll release your spouse to do the same. Freed from your control and manipulation, your spouse will be free to change and develop. Actually, they'll need to! Because once you change, you'll shift the whole dynamic of the relationship and they'll need to adapt.
- Reading marriage books. I know, I know. They can be helpful. I love to learn--in fact I'm pretty sure I've read every marriage book out there. But when my marriage was in crisis, I often used them to get out of doing the hard things. I used them to hide. A book was safe, as were the nameless faceless expectations contained within. It took me months to finally put the books down and face my husband, face Kevin. The key to marriage is to cultivate vulnerability and intimacy, and to talk with those in mind often. For a girl like me who loves to hide, it was agonizing to put my heart out there, not knowing if he'd handle it as carefully as it needed to be. Books are safe. Love is not.