5 Ways To Keep Your Marriage Strong With Kids: # 2- Acts of Service 

No matter what your love language is, I think everyone enjoys having something done for them. This can be very important in a marriage. Washing your spouse’s car, helping with the cleaning if you don’t normally do it, doing the laundry, or cooking/doing the dishes. I of course am not allowed in the kitchen. Not after the chicken incident of 1999, (long and different story, LOL).
So #2 on the list of how to keep your marriage stronger with kids is  Acts of Service.

  
This may sound strange but on occasion, because of the busyness of life (especially with kids), either the husband or the wife may need some alone time. This may sound counterproductive since there is no “together time,” but this can give husband/wife time to decompress and recharge their batteries. This in turn will allow increase energy and make they better life for her husband. 

The particular act doesn’t matter. The point here is that this will not only make your spouse happy it will more often than not make “won” stronger and it let your kids see that marriage is about communication and teamwork. 

Stay tuned for more.

5 Ways To Keep Your Marriage Strong With Kids:  #1- Surprise Gifts

#1 Surprise Gifts

  
When there are kids around obviously they need attention. But the parents, husband and wife, must remain connected. Failing to keep connected while raising kids can lead to lack of communication, failure to understand each other and temporary break in fellowship. So finding ways to remain connected is vital to the marriage.

I don’t know too many people that don’t enjoy a surprise. Surprising your spouse with a small gift can be fun, exciting and romantic. It doesn’t have to be a big ticket item either. Flowers, a simple note saying how much you appreciate your spouse, a photo gift of some sort, etc. The purpose here is not to break the bank but to make your spouse feel special.

I will admit, I’m not the most observant person in the world. So surprise gifts take a special effort. But again, this doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. My wife knows I’m not creative. I’ve actually sent my dear wife texts during the day to let her know how much I love her and that I appreciate her. 

These are just small examples but can be invaluable in creating conversation, making your spouse feel appreciated and also it can be a great first step in staying connected and “won.”  

Stay tuned for other ways to keep a strong marriage.

5 Ways To Keep Your Marriage Strong With Kids 

It is not uncommon in a marriage for the communication and the relationship itself to take a back seat to a child. It’s natural for husband and wife to shift their attention from each other to the child. However, this can be done to the detriment of the marriage relationship if the couple who became “won” is not careful.
  
This can especially be challenging for blended families, where a relationship has to develop with step kids. But for any family, one of most lasting gifts a husband and wife can give to the kids is to model a strong marriage. This was written by Carol Ummel Lindquist, PhD, author of “Happily Married with Kids: it’s not just a Fairy Tale.” Dr. Lindquist wrote, 

The irony is that a strong relationship with your partner is one of the best things you and your husband can do for your kids.”

In light of this, I wanted to list 5 things that keep your marriage strong when kids are part of the family.  I will list these separately over a few days.  Stay tuned.

Signs That Your Marriage Is In Danger: Last Sign

“Mom, he just doesn’t understand the way I feel. He constantly talks down to me.” “Hey dad, we just can’t get along. She expects too much. Should I call it quits?” 

If these are the questions either husband or wife are asking, and if these are the people from whom they are seeking answers- their parents- then there may be a good chance that their marriage could be in danger. The fifth sign that a marriage could be in trouble is if either person involves parents in their marital problems.
Marital problems will happen. It’s not a matter of if, but when. They are not fun and can a temporary break in fellowship. But these problems belong to the married individuals, not the respective parents. Scripture is clear that a husband is to “leave and cleave,” Genesis 2:24. And this means that the individuals are cleaving to become “won.” 

Involving others in arguments will most certainly breakdown communication. This has the potential of making the husband or wife feel that trust was betrayed and getting that back is an uphill process.       

If there’s a significant problem that can’t be worked out, a neutral third party such as a pastor or counselor is always the best way to go. What’s needed in these situations is someone who will speak truth an life into the situation, not someone who will pick sides.  

So there you have it, 5 signs that a marriage may be in trouble. Do you have any other signs to add?

Signs That Your Marriage Is In Danger: Part Four

The fourth sign that your marriage could be in trouble is if couples have lack of intimacy. Now intimacy involves much more than sex. Although sex is important in a marriage, it’s definitely not the only thing that will keep the marriage together.   
However, scripture does point to the importance of physical aspect of intimacy in the marriage relationship: 1 Corinthians 7:5, “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
‭Webster’s defines intimacy as “a state marked by emotional closeness,” and “a quality suggesting closeness or warmth.”  

So, intimacy also involves hugs, hand holding and my wife’s favorite, “cuddling” in the morning. That may be why I’m always rushing out the door, LOL. These are all examples of showing affection and are extremely important and necessary for a marriage relationship.    

  
Therefore, intimacy, although physical, also refers to the emotional side of the relationship, which has to do with sharing the our deepest thoughts making one’s self vulnerable. This is the stuff that “woness” is made of.  

What are your thoughts?

Signs that Your Marriage is in Danger- Part Deux

The second sign that can signify danger in a marriage is if couples stop investing in each other. I presented this topic previously as reason for high divorce rates, https://twobecomingwon.com/2015/07/15/marriage-investment.  

In order to get a return on any relationship there must be some sort of intentional investment. If the only time a husband and wife meet is after work in the evening’s for dinner, and the rest of the time is filled with children activities or home projects, there will not be much of a foundation to build upon.  
We all have a need to feel loved, accepted and valued. This is especially important in a marriage. Failure to invest in these needs leaves your spouse’s “marriage bank” depleted. When the emotional needs bank is running in empty there is room for bitterness, resentment and lack of intimacy. When these items are continually deposited into this “bank,” disappointment and desperation can set in.  

This can be, and usually is a slow fade. We will reap from a relationship what we sow. How are you investing in your marriage or relationship? 

Signs That Your Marriage is In Danger

 It was a clear but brisk day in the Fall. Everything was seemingly going well with Joe and Elaine. But on this day Joe entered the kitchen as one enters a theater knowing exactly where they will be seating. Noticing Elaine by the sink, he dropped the bomb; “I don’t want to be married anymore.” Elaine stood lifeless as if a news anchor had just announced that Mars was invading the Earth.  

These are fictional names but the situation is only slightly altered. How could something like this happen? Is this even possible? Weren’t there warning signs? 

 The answer to all these questions is yes. As the old adage says, where there’s smoke there’s fire. Unfortunately, individuals in a marriage sometimes either ignore the “smoke” or have blinders tending only to the busyness of life.  As a way to bring some light to this scenario, I will be presenting 5 warning signs that a marriage may be in trouble.  

The number one sign is if couples avoid discussing a difficult topic.

Sometimes couples find themselves in a precarious position of not wanting to discuss a difficult topic as if somehow, magically it will disappear.  This can be an unresolved argument regarding the house, work, kids, finances or a possible problem relationship with someone from the opposite sex.  

Unresolved conflicts can fester and just like cancer, metastasize to all areas of the marriage relationship. Couples with healthy marriages leave no stones unturned when it comes to discussing the difficult things. They understand that the “woness” of a marriage depends on it.

I will be going into the other signs on the next few posts.  Feel free to add some other signs that you think are important. 

Marriage Valentines 

As Valentines Day has come and gone, I wanted to share my thoughts on Valentines as an acrostic for our marriage life as “won.”

  
VIBRANT 

Letting our love life be lively, dynamic and active. Not letting our marriage life to be passive.    

ALIVE 

Keeping our marriage alive by paying attention to each other 

LOVE 

We don’t just say we love each other, we show each other love daily 

ENCOURAGE 

 Encouraging each other when one may be feeling down. 

NURTURE

Investing in each other emotionally and spiritually 

TIME

In all the business of life we make time for our marriage. Never putting  our marriage relationship on the back burner

INTERESTING  

Keeping marriage interesting by not allowing routine to define our marriage 

NOVEL

Trying new and novel ways to express our love for one another.

ENJOY 

Enjoying  each day because tomorrow is not guaranteed 

SERVE

Letting our marriage life be marked by serving each other 

5 things a wife wants to hear from her husband 

 So if your reading this, you probably read my wonderfully brilliant, kind and loving husband’s post https://twobecomingwon.com/2016/01/31/5-things-husbands-want-to-hear-from-their-wives/.   So we, the we being us “two becoming won”, decided it was only fitting that I write the same article from a wife’s view. 
 But first let me talk to the guys out there… If you’re reading this and thinking , “But I’m just not a ‘words’ kind of guy”.. that’s ok. And as a matter of fact ladies, I’m going to tell you the same. This may be a list of things a wife wants to hear, but I’m giving you permission to abide by the old saying “Actions speak louder than words” So as we go through this list, think of ways you can, well, show the words!

1) I love you

Seems pretty common and simple right? But for sure, as years, bills, kids and careers pile on, the most simple and basic words that spurred your life together into motion is either forgotten, assumed or presumed. So for this one, I’m going to break my own rule right off the back! My husband expresses his love for me through numerous acts of service. But nothing beats the butterflies I feel, when he stops the world and stirs such a deep sense of security as when holds me in his arms and says three little words, I LOVE YOU.

  
2) What I love about you

In one of our favorite movies, Jerry McGuire, there is a scene where Dorothy asks Jerry “Why do you love me?” To me, this is the same as asking what is it about me that you hold in high regard. It’s important to a wife that her husband not only tell her he loves her, but to tell her what it is that he loves about her. Her smile, how hard she works, be it in the house, with the kids or in her career… Hearing her husband acknowledge and actively recognize her positive attributes, contributions and qualities lets her know that he pays attention to her. 

3) I Appreciate You

Everyone wants to know that they are appreciated and us wives are no different. I get it, life can get busy and we all go into auto drive in our daily grind. For Rob and I, we do a lovely little automated dance in the morning: I cook our breakfast and make lunches while he makes coffee and unloads the dishwasher. We weave and move around each other like the most precisely choreographed super hero fight scene. It would be very easy for him to eat his breakfast and lunch without a second thought and I myself don’t do any of the above looking for a pat on the head. It’s what makes our lives work. But it does warm my heart, to hear him tell me that he appreciates me and the extra time and effort I take for him and our family.

4) I Hear You

Now, this may come as a surprise to some of you reading this, but every once and a while us wives may have an opinion on a few things, a complaint, maybe even a dilemma or two that we’ll bring to our husbands. Now here is the thing, we aren’t necessarily looking for a solution as much as we are just looking for an understanding ear. We don’t want to know how to fix it, or what to do about it, all a wife wants to know is that her husband is not only listening but sympathizes with her and understand her viewpoint and how she feels, even if he may disagree. This is a sign of respect, validation, and recognition.

5) You are Beautiful

Yeah, sounds rather cliché and maybe even shallow. But before marriage, during the dating stage, the wife’s now husband told her a time or two that she was, in fact beautiful. Wives as women have many admirable, dare I say beautiful attributes beyond outward beauty; we are smart, strong, kind, passionate and we love to have each one of those recognized by our husband (and husbands are more than welcomed to mention some of those in the “What do you love about me”? category). But every wife wants to know that her husband still finds her beautiful in every sense of the word.

So there it is. These five things, all in all, are expressions of love that are not only good for a wife to hear but good for the husband to remember and therefore, good for the marriage. If you think I left anything out or there is something you wives would like to hear form you husbands I’d love to hear your thoughts so please leave a comment.

5 Things Husbands Want To Hear from Their Wives

Communication is vital to the lifeline of any relationship. This couldn’t be more true of the marriage relationship. Oftentimes problems occur not because of what was said but because of what isn’t said.  This can be just as important for husbands as it is for wives.

I know this may come as a surprise, but men often times have a hard exterior which houses a fragile ego. I know that sometimes my ego has been bruised by something my wife did not say or something I wish she had said.  
Therefore, I wanted to list the top five things that most husbands want to hear their wives say:

1. Husbands want to know that their wives want them. This is different from needing. Sure, as men we want to be needed, but NOT all the time. (Truth is, we want to be needy…but that’s another story). A man wants to hear that his wife wants his opinion or his help.

2. Husbands also like to hear that they are important. Ladies, you may not even have to say it. But if a woman asks her husband for his opinion on even a trivial matter, he will feel important.

3. Another important thing that husbands like to hear from their wives is that she will follow him. As men, we want to lead and knowing that your wife is following you makes us feel like a good leader.

4. Husbands also need to know that their wives believe in them. This makes men feel like they can accomplish anything.  

5. And one of the most important things that husbands need to hear from their wives is that they’ve done a good job. Whether it’s a home project or fixing a car, before any criticism is given, please, please, for the love: tell your husband he’s done good. This will build him up and allow him to deal with any constructive opinions.  

Try these 5 things and I guarantee that it will pay dividends in your marriage relationship.