Peaceful Home. Peaceful Family. Peaceful Life. Part three.
Today I want to talk about having a peaceful marriage and how it contributes to having an overall peaceful family and peaceful life. If you have not been following along with my current series Peaceful Home. Peaceful Family. Peaceful Life. you can read the first two posts here:
My goal as a homemaker, wife and mom has always been to create a peaceful atmosphere where my family, the ones I love the most, can come in and just forget all about the outside world. I have learned many lessons since becoming a wife about how to create a peaceful atmosphere. I have learned that it starts within yourself before you can begin to create a peaceful atmosphere in your home. You have to have a peaceful mind first. Another lesson I have learned is that in order for my home to be peaceful my marriage must be peaceful. But how do I do that? Marriage is the union of two very different people in most cases. How do you take those two very different personalities, with different needs, desires, quirks, and upbringings and still create a peaceful marriage and home life? It may seem impossible to some but it’s not and I want to share with you how my husband and I achieve a peaceful marriage despite our differences.
If you know me and my husband well, you know that we have a very peaceful and fun marriage. It’s not because we are anything alike or even that we had similar upbringings. Actually we both had very different upbringings and our personalities are nowhere near similar. He is outgoing and talkative. Me not so much. He can’t sit still and I love “my down time.” He is such a morning person it can be nauseating. I can’t function unless I have had at least two cups of coffee. But despite our differences our marriage is strong and peaceful. How? There are several things we do to ensure peace within our marriage. Some of them we have done from the beginning. Others we have learned the hard way throughout it. Below are ways we keep peace within our marriage.
- Make decisions together
When I married my husband, I vowed to share my life with him. We decided that we were in this thing called life together. Since we are in it together, doesn’t it make sense to make decisions together? I have heard many people say that the decision is their decision and their spouse can get over it. Well good for you. Let me know how your marriage is doing in about six months and then we will see if you feel the same way. Decisions, especially big decisions should be made together because it doesn’t just affect you. Every decision you make affects someone else by default. You may not see how it affects them but it does. And often times our spouse may see something that we don’t see and it can be useful to have their wisdom when making a decision. I touched more on this in safe guarding my marriage.
- Discuss any decisions with your spouse
Okay so I know that I just said to make decisions with your spouse. And you should make decisions with your spouse. But there are some things that we decide on our own like activities we may do with the kids or going out with our friends. Now please don’t get me wrong. My husband and I are very considerate of one another and we never tell each other what we can or cannot do. If my husband wants to do something and asks me “if I care” I always say “well that’s a silly question, you’re a grown man you can do whatever you want” and vice versa. But I always run my decisions by my husband just to make sure he’s okay with them. Maybe he had something else planned or maybe he wanted some alone time with me or to do something with the kids. It’s always a good idea to make sure you keep an open line of communication with your spouse. It really will save you from misunderstandings and silly arguments in the future.
- Keep arguments between you and your spouse
Speaking of arguments. I know I said my husband and I have a very peaceful marriage but that doesn’t mean it isn’t without fault. We do have our occasional argument. But when we do argue we try our very best to keep those arguments to ourselves. We don’t allow our families to see us arguing because it may cause them to feel awkward or it may make them feel as though they can insert their two cents into our marriage and that’s one place our family’s two cents is never allowed. We also do our best never to argue in front of our children. Children need to know their home life is secure and peaceful. Arguing in front of children will make them feel turmoil and uncertainty. Even if you know that your marriage is secure, your child may not. In order to maintain peace for them it is important to keep arguments private.
- Let your spouse be themselves and enjoy hobbies
I have had a couple friends tell me that some of their friends think it is weird or not good that their husbands play video games or hang out with friends while playing these video games. First of all- what?? Second of all, here is how I see it. My mom used to tell me that she would much rather her husband be playing video games than be out at a bar late at night. Don’t you have a hobby that you enjoy? Reading? Shopping? Coffee with friends? Allow your husband to have a hobby that he enjoys. Something that he can do to get away from the busyness of life and stress of work. Yes I love my husband and I love my children but sometimes I need to do something for me. Why is he any different?
- Don’t nag
Proverbs 27:15 says the nagging wife is like a dripping faucet. Ouch. I don’t want to be compared to an annoying, dripping faucet do you? I try to steer clear of asking my husband to do something over and over. If there is something that needs to be done and I can do it myself then I do. But if it is something only he can do then I will ask him once and he always gets to it whenever he is able. He doesn’t need me to constantly remind him of something. I am not his mother and he is not my child. I have heard some women tell their husbands how to dress or do their hair. I think that is absurd. Most people learn to dress themselves at a very young age. Chances are your spouse did as well and they don’t need your help. I never tell my husband what to do or how to do something. There may be some things that he does that I am not particularly fond of. For example; the way my spouse loads the dishwasher is completely different than how I load it. I strategically load it to make everything fit and make sure as much as I can get in there gets in it. My husband on the other hand will not load it completely full. He hates doing the dishwasher. That’s okay. Instead of nagging him to do it the way I like, I just do it myself. It gets done the way I like when I do it and then my husband doesn’t have to do something he hates while listening to me nag him. Everyone wins. Please remember your spouse is your partner not your child.
- Keep everyone else out of your marriage
I touched base on this earlier but it is so important to a peaceful marriage that I want to talk about it again. My marriage consists of two people. My husband and myself. My parents aren’t in my marriage, my friends aren’t in my marriage, my siblings aren’t in my marriage, etc. It’s me and him. But sometimes there are people in our lives that’s just won’t stay out of our marriages. Maybe they won’t stop cutting down your spouse or pointing out their flaws. Maybe they know about past arguments or mistakes and won’t let them go. Maybe they won’t stop trying to insert themselves into your discussions or decisions that are between you and your spouse. My mom gave me some sound advice before I got married and I never forgot it. She said after you get married please don’t tell me anything that you and your husband disagree or argue about. Keep the private things private. It is hard for a parent to stay neutral. It is hard for any family member really. So in order to make it easier for our family members and friends it is important to keep them out of your marriage. How do you do that though? I was blessed with understanding parents and family members who keep their two cents to themselves, at least when it comes to my marriage with my husband. But what if you have a parent or family member or friend who just won’t stay out? First bring it to God in prayer. Ask him for guidance and wisdom when it comes that person. Secondly keep anything that is private and between you and your spouse out of any conversation with that person. It may be hard at first but eventually it will get easier. If it doesn’t seem as though that person is getting the hint, maybe they keep trying to push themselves into your marriage, then it would be wise to have a mature sit down with them about your boundaries. My husband and I have had sit downs with people before about boundaries. I can tell you that although the conversation is difficult at the time in the long run they are always worth it and almost always create a much better relationship all around.
- Let the little things go
We all have quirks. There are things about me that my husband doesn’t really care for and vice versa. For example, right now as I am typing this there is a laundry basket of clothes in our room that has been sitting there for about five days. No joke. I hate putting away my clothes and if I can put it off I will. This drives my husband batty. He is organized and likes everything neat and tidy. But our room right now is anything but tidy. And it is completely my fault. I know it is. Instead of nagging me or getting upset that I am unorganized or messy he just lets it go. Something that we both tell each other when we joke about our quirks is “you knew who I was when you married me.” And it’s true. So those little things that may be annoying you but honestly don’t really matter in the long run, learn to let them go and just enjoy your spouse. You will invite peace in to your marriage when you do.
- Have fun together
I married a very funny man. Well at least in my opinion. He makes me laugh on a daily basis. If we know how to do anything it is have fun together. Now I don’t mean we go out all the time because we don’t. But we do enjoy each other’s company. We appreciate the time we have together. We make memories with one another and with our children. Those are the moments that I look forward to and that really create a strong connection and bond. When you have fun together it also allows stress to leave and puts back into perspective what truly matters.
When you let go of all the little things that don’t matter in the long run, when you stop nagging and start appreciating, when you love your spouse and your marriage then you are able to invite peace in and a peaceful marriage is an beautiful thing you guys. It truly is.
Until next time