I’m going to be totally honest with you: sometimes, I am annoyed when folks say they want a marriage like mine and Don’s. What they don’t know is that we experienced many ups and downs in our marriage. The ‘downs’ seemed to last forever. We’ve experienced the difficulties of blending a family, homelessness with 3 kids, numerous periods of unemployment, a child in and out of the hospital, a child going to jail, and an emotional affair with someone other than each other, just to name a few. Listen Linda, this thing has not been pretty.
I am so thankful that those days are behind us. (Yes, we still work each other’s nerves every now and again.) However, we are more intentional about working together to ensure our marriage is one based on love, mutual respect, service and of course, God.
During the rough times, I prayed for strategies to save my marriage. I know for a fact, that these helped us stay together. My prayer is that you find them to be useful. I believe they will have a positive impact on your marriage if you start right now.
If you are engaged, take notes, print this out and get to practicing these strategies. Trust me, I wish I knew these seven things before I got married.
- Prayer – I did not know that my marriage would literally have me praying like a nun. When I couldn’t call my girlfriends, I had to call on the Lord. The funny thing is that God brought a prayer partner into my life within my first three weeks of marriage. He knew I was going to need reinforcements. When you hit those rough patches, prayer will help you stay sane and calm. Most times, I prayed to keep from cursing Don out. I’m thankful I learned to dig deep and trust God to work on my marriage.
- Forgiveness – This is a biggie. If you cannot forgive and forget, you will not have a healthy marriage. You cannot allow your mama, your sisters or your girlfriends to influence your decision to not forgive your husband. They will have you divorced and lonely. Once, my husband cursed me out in front of my kids. At that moment, I told myself that when he went to bed, I was out the door. God showed me, during prayer that hurt people, hurt people. The minute I absorbed that truth, I began to love my husband through his hurt. I forgave him for his words. They no longer had the power to hurt me. When we occasionally find ourselves those
- Listening – Yes, ladies, we must listen. Even if he is redundant, listen to him. Even if you could care less about what he has to say, listen to him. If you don’t, there is some woman at his job, the gym and even church that will give him her undivided attention. That happened to us. My husband even blurted out one day, that they listen to him and that’s why he couldn’t share anything with me. He said this to hurt me. I dug deep and used it to grow me. I decided right there to listen to everything he said. He thanked me recently for just listening to him without judgment and without trying to fix him.
This is only the first 3 tips….I hope you don’t hate me for them. These helped me tremendously to grow and to become a better wife. Staying Married takes work. it is not easy however, it is worth it. I always say, it takes two to Tango and it’s no different in marriage.
Make sure to come back and read pt. 2. In the mean time, while you are working on your marriage, check out Black Love Doc on OwnTV. From the first episode to the last of Season 1, I was hooked. I watched it several times since I DVRed it. Trust me, you will fall in love again with your man after watching this series. Hit me up to let me know your thoughts. Let the Black Love Doc motivate you to do the work to have a great marriage.