5 Things I Stopped Doing in My Marriage (and you should too)
Things To Stop Doing in a Relationship
No one teaches you how to be married.
I mean, there are lots of things out there meant to prepare us for marriage. But nothing can compare to real hands-on experience.
I’m going to start this off by telling you something I’m not very proud of.
I basically threw a temper tantrum the other day. It was not my finest moment.
But let’s be real!
Marriage is full of many moments that are definitely not our finest. And here’s the best part about my little outburst.
I can’t even pinpoint exactly what set me off.
All I know is I was extremely annoyed and fully convinced that it was all my husband’s fault.
I could blame it on that time of the month or a lack of caffeine in my system but I won’t.
It was just something that happened. It was a small blip in our day.
Marriage is full of small blips. And some pretty massive blips!
I am not an expert on marriage. But I am an expert on being passionate about the health and happiness of marriage.
We are about to dive into things I stopped doing in my marriage. For the most part. I am not a perfect person or a perfect partner by any means.
But what I am is a work in progress. And so is my marriage.
My marriage grew by leaps and bounds when I put a spotlight on behaviors that were doing damage.
This is like a reverse to-do list. We are working on a not-to-do list.
Here Are 5 Things I Stopped Doing in My Marriage
I have withheld affection. Kept my hands at my sides during a hug. Left an “I love you” unanswered.
No reciprocation was my idea of punishment.
I did this for a very long time.
For days after an argument, I would not say I love you.
My silence was the “take that” my husband deserved. That’s what I told myself.
But really this was just what I thought I needed to do to have control.
And that right there is the root of the issue. Control.
This is a tough one for me. And maybe for you too.
It can feel really good to have a sense of control. Even if the way we go about achieving control is destructive.
When I feel myself being pulled into a control vortex, I ask myself a question.
Will this help or hurt? Asking and answering this question out loud helps me switch my mindset up a little and put things back into perspective.
And I remind myself that punishment has no place in marriage.
2) Everything Has To Get Solved Tonight
I am a lover of words. In any and every form. Written words and spoken words alike.
If you want to talk until the sun comes up, I am your gal.
Hashing it out with my husband until we have lost our voices is my style. Well, not so much anymore.
It has taken me years to accept the idea that it does not all have to be figured out all the time.
I was always caught up in a “when this” mindset.
When we get past this issue everything will be great.
When we talk about this we will get along better.
But this caused me to want to fix everything immediately. And that’s just not realistic.
You can not sit down and create a perfect marriage with one conversation. No amount of conversations will help you achieve perfection actually.
I am the kind of person that wants to fix things. I want to find a path to make things better. And I want that path to be short and sweet.
I am constantly reminding myself that it is OK if every argument or discussion does not end with it all wrapped in a pretty bow.
Everything does not have to be solved right here or right now.
3) Stop Caring So Much What Other People Think
We care about how others perceive our relationships.
We want to be the marriage others look to as an example.
I always wanted people to look at marriage as a good one. I was determined to have others look at my marriage in a positive light.
This came down to validation. I was looking for validation that my marriage was successful. I desperately wanted other people to look at my husband and me and think one simple word.
But why was I looking to other people for this? It seems silly now. I can assure you it did not seem silly then.
I truly was looking for other people to label my marriage with some nice words.
You want to know what I have learned?
People are always going to have an opinion about your relationship.
You can’t control this. No matter how hard you try to create that perfect display case.
People will form opinions. They will think what they think.
But the real question is why do you care about their opinion?
Who is next to you in bed at night?
That person that you share a mattress with and maybe your blankets with. You should care about what that person thinks of your marriage.
4) Drawing an Invisible Line in The Sand
There are two sides to every story. This is true.
But the problem comes when we are stuck to our side like glue.
Being stuck with no budging will get you nowhere.
The “my side” and “your side” mentality can be dangerous. It sets you up for a nice and long game of tug a war with your partner.
Fighting to get someone to your side rarely works.
Finding common ground is the way to go. It’s not the easy way.
But it’s the way that will allow growth in your marriage.
5) Holding on to a Timeline
Since I was a teenager, I remember sitting around with my girlfriends talking about our timelines.
At 16, most of these timelines were similar. There were a few little differences but there was one common theme throughout.
Married by 25. Three kids by 32.
There was always a heavy emphasis on age. And what needed to be done by a certain age.
The recipe for a happy life was all about numbers.
The problem is these timelines don’t stop.
Dreamhouse by 35. Vacation home by 40. Have it all together by 42.
When we don’t meet these timelines we feel like a failure.
We have it drilled into our minds that things are supposed to be a certain way by a certain time. The idea of “supposed to” will drain you and suck out every ounce of joy from your life.
I love planning. Deeply. And this is not about protesting making life plans.
But do not get so caught up in plans that even the idea of things not working out crushes you.
Don’t base your life off of some almighty checklist that exists in your mind.
I’m 35 and not living in the house of my dreams. But I am living a life I really love.
No massive walk-in closet or kitchen island necessary.
Does all of this mean my husband and I share our pasta like those dang dogs from Lady and the Tramp?
First off, NO WAY.
Secondly, he better stay away from my pasta.
But I do think we work a little better because of these things. Like a decently oiled machine.
Some days we are firing on all cylinders and some days it takes quite a few cranks to get started.
Think about everything you bring to your marriage. Think about your behaviors and habits.
Are they adding to your marriage or are they causing damage?
What do you think of these things I stopped doing in my marriage? Let’s talk!
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