Yesterday, Ace and I got to hear about marriage and how to build a stronger marriage (we love learning about how to strengthen our marriage). Nicely, we left feeling like we'd already figured most of the things we were being taught out before now and that our marriage was flowing fairly smoothly because of it. It did, however, inspire me to want to write about marriage some today.
One of the biggest things that seems to need saying is that no one can read another person's mind. If you are mad at me, there's probably a very good chance that I don't know exactly what I did to make you mad. Most people, usually women, get mad at their spouses and then won't say why they are mad. And that just complicates things for no good reason.
To be honest, I think the biggest thing that kills most marriages is that no one in that marriage is communicating clearly with their spouse. Ace and I occasionally miss what the other person said or have misunderstandings of the ideas trying to be communicated. But, instead of just getting mad, we try again to communicate with each other. It helps us communicate with other people better, because we are working on communicating within our own marriage.
As the pastor spoke, he mentioned that if the couples he would counsel would just communicate more (and be allowed to tell their spouse what changes they need in the relationship without anger being expressed over them), most of their problems would not exist. That doesn't surprise me. Ace and I talk a lot and we don't have many problems in our relationship because we don't let things fester. I don't continuously get onto him if he leaves his dirty socks out of the laundry, but I occasionally remind him that it really bothers me. He doesn't constantly tell me that I need to start doing X or Y more often (he has things for X or Y, but I'd rather not discuss them today), but he does remind me from time to time that he'd prefer it if I'd do them. We vent the frustration quickly and then we move on to other, more positive things.
Ace and I don't push each other's buttons when one of us is mad. We walk away from the discussion for a few minutes and calm down and then discuss it calmly and rationally (normally, I'm the one who feels the need to calm down, and I haven't needed to do that in years). There's passion in our conversations, but there isn't anger or hurt. We fix the cause and that pulls us closer together. So, for heaven's sake, talk to each other! Be honest and open, but respectful! This could help keep your marriage from being a negative statistic!
Now comes the exciting part of this post. I'm going to talk about sex. Men, if you want more sex, give your wife some non-sexual affection. You can go look up non-sexual now, we'll all wait. If you are wondering how that works, when a woman gets non-sexual affection, she starts to feel loved and cherished instead of feeling like she is just someone you want to have sex with. It starts making her want to return the affection, which leads to sex. If you try giving your wife non-sexual affection and it doesn't lead to sex within a week, I'll be happy to refund you your entrance fee for reading this post. Women, if you have sex with your husband, it will lead to more affection. I'm not sure how it works, but sex will somehow make your husband more interested in giving you hugs and kisses and holding your hand and all those other things he did when you were dating (if he didn't do those things, I'm not sure what to tell you, other than point out that if he does them, he'll get more sex).
While you are doing those 3 simple things, remember that while they may feel like you are doing a lot of work (and that it may only start out with one of you doing these things, because someone has to start the process), they quickly become easier until they become habits. And once they become habits, you should realize that they are fun. Sex is fun! Non-sexual affection is fun! Communicating is fun! Not needing to fight about things is fun. And more importantly, it helps you to have a more stable relationship. I know this, because Ace and I do this. We communicate openly and honestly, we show affection for each other, we have sex and both enjoy it. And we both want you to have all of that too.
Isn't a great, fun marriage worth a little bit of work? Especially when it saves you work in the long run?