April 17th, 2019 will mark two years of marriage for my husband and I. I’m married to the best person I could ever imagine actually doing life with. I, unfortunately, didn’t grow up with many healthy marriage examples at my fingertips. But the marriages I was blessed to walk alongside established what “happily ever after” fully encompasses. It also taught me that marriage isn’t like the Disney movies I loved as a young child. Marriage is greater and deeper than any man could attempt to explain or ever will accurately depict.
Love and Respect= The Foundation
I quickly began to realize how important it is to establish and stick to healthy boundaries and habits in your marriage. The early years are pivotal to the health of your union. Meaning, whatever habits you get into now tend to stick with you throughout your marriage. This becomes an issue for some couples because when the puppy love and sex don’t smooth you over in the same manner.. what do you have left?
LOVE AND RESPECT FOR EACH OTHER
But okay, what does that really mean?
Wives, your husbands NEED respect. It’s actually wired in their being to thrive or retreat off of feeling respect. This is important to be aware of in conversations you two engage in together and with others. It is vital for each party to know they are being heard and that you also respect what they feel or say.
The goal is to gain understanding, not agree.
Husbands, you really need to learn the best way to love your wives. The book about the 5 love languages is very helpful in this area. My top love languages are Quality Time and Words of Affirmation. Other things Tarik will do things like Gifts or Physical Touch also which are great too! Get creative and remember that love is an ACTION not just something we feel. And ladies your husbands want to have their love tank filled too! This can be hard to read because its not always the same way we feel loved.
You can take the Five Love Languages Quiz here
Intimacy Levels With Others Shift
Prior to marriage, you may have had a best friend or a parent you leaned on for emotional support and all around moral leading. Sadly to say but in a marriage that changes completely and it’s absolutely a MUST change. I’ve had and still have girlfriends I hung out with every day and we did everything together. It’s great when you’re single and I believe its healthy! I realized there must come a time when my husband actually holds that space completely. Your best friends are still allowed and should hold a close level of intimacy in your life. That’s why I put forth the effort to make time for them and catch up on the phone when possible.
Healthy tip: Be prudent to always prioritize your marriage! else can wait!
I knew deep inside that there exists an intimate space that my husband is meant to and was also designed to fill up. No other physical person can fulfill your love tank in the same way your spouse is meant to. On that note, your spouse also doesn’t “complete you”. You guys have to come together as two whole people not two half people. When you expect your spouse to “complete you” it creates a dangerous co-dependent relationship that will never be truly fulfilling for either party. It will leave you never feeling loved the way you crave to receive love and will cripple you from learning to love yourself fully.
Marriage Changes YOU
We live in a day and age where marriage has become so casual to people for some reason. The lack of wisdom behind the reality of what marriage vows are is saddening and needs to be openly spoken on. Marriage is something I believe is so deeply beautiful and does change you for the better with the right person beside you. It is the lost wonder of the world. I believe its meant to propel you into your destiny, grow you mentally and emotionally and fulfill you in so many ways you can’t predict! Your spouse should become your mirror and explain and help you grow out of unhealthy habits.
Marriage is designed to sharpen you and the sharpening isn’t always pretty. There have been many times when ive been upset about something Tarik did to only truly find peace in how I can grow to be better every day. As I focused on how I can be the best wife and best friend to him, he shifted. I didn’t have to try and “change him” and thankfully, that isn’t my job.
My job is to LOVE him!
Now it’s time for you to gain another perspective. Most of you voted for Tarik’s thoughts as well, so here they are!
I literally copied and pasted it so there was no meddling on my end… enjoy!
*Disclaimer: Tarik and I aren’t marriage therapists we are just speaking on what we believe and have learned!*