Friday, 29 June 2012

Marriage Advise From a Divorced Dad?

Posted by Mike at 19:19

Why not! A lot of people might be curious to see what kind of marriage advice (good or bad) a divorced dad has to offer. In my earlier article "Successful marriage: fact or fiction", I expressed some suggestions on what a husband and wife can do to support a healthy relationship and happy marriage. Some very good points, but there's not a lot of advice or personal perspectives on what "not" to do for maintaining a happy marriage. So the following are some "not to do" tips I've come across in a couple of no-no's that I experienced when I was married.
Disrespecting your spouse: When it comes to maintaining any relationship, respect is a very important part of any marriage. It is an essential principle that sustains many aspects of a marriage. I'm sure many of us can remember being told as a child "treat a person the way you would like to be treated". Although this principle applies more than ever between a husband and wife, as parents the mutual respect you prove towards each other will give your children a clear perspective on how a husband treats his wife and vice versa. Publicly or privately humiliating any person shows a lack of maturity. Even when an in law or friend badmouth's your spouse, you need to speak up and defend them, just like you would if anybody was talking about your best friend. I dealt with something like this when I was married to my ex-wife. Her step mother would often be little her on her mothering techniques or anything else she saw unfit by her standards, very intimidating woman. Even as I'm writing this out I can remember a couple of times when I should have stood up for her and defended her, I regret that I didn't.
Staying connected: you need to be willing to communicate, to better understand each others needs (emotional and physical). Being the father of two teenage sons and working in a barbershop is teaching me to be a better listener. I don't know if it's a guy thing or a lack of patience, but I used to get this tug-of-war thing going on where I'd like the boys just to get to the point so I can get back to my original train of thought. I know it sounds selfish, but I'm learning to break that pattern. If you are unwilling to communicate or listen to your spouse, your marriage will have problems and eventually fail. You and your spouse need to be on the same page even more so if you have children. Our kids need our full attention. A couple needs to be able to move forward with their shared goals in the direction of their marriage. Communication can build emotional intimacy in a marriage relationship and builds trust and support for one another as they grow together.
It's always important for a couple to know "what to do" in order to create and support a healthy marriage. But it is also important to recognize habits or patterns that can cause difficult situations to become more conflicting so that you can avoid them. Always remember that you have two unique individuals with different upbringing and life experiences coming together in marriage, so it's going to be challenging and downright aggravating at times. I hope husbands and wives can make use of some of the advice based on some solid-common sense principles that are outlined here. Being aware of what "not" to do can positively influence our thoughts on how we approach a healthy relationship.
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