I hope many of you read yesterdays topic and kept up with all my romantic tips for a wonderful happy marriage. Today is the other five bad habits that can really mess up intimacy levels. Since we want Valentines Week to be special, we are making sure we do it all right. Make a mental note not to practice or get in the habit of the rest of this list.
6. Criticizing and nagging is listed in the top ten. Finding fault with people can be easy if it is made a habit. It usually starts with friends, to family members and evidentially our spouse. Allowing yourself to be subject of constant criticism can damage well being and confidence levels. We might think we are offering gentle reminders or being justifiably critical however the more nagging occurs the more tuning out will happen. This just makes both angrier. So the next time you see your spouse tune you out….ummm think about if you are nagging too much.
7. Never being at fault can be tiresome to a spouse who isn’t always to blame either. It is difficult for everyone to take responsibility for bad behavior. Pointing the finger at someone else is easier and makes us fell better about ourselves. Playing the victim is a control mechanism and you use it when it suits you best. The problem is that always playing the victim makes a person feel like he or she is constantly being punished which is a quick way to lose trust and respect for you. It also makes everything seem to do you wrong intentionally to hurt when in fact is not true. It may be the time to confess up to your role in the problems you face, apologize and make the necessary changes. After giving up the victim mentality you will find yourself less stressed, angry and resentful.
8. Those everyday signs of affection are what keep intimacy and romance alive and we must never forget those small gestures. As women, we need to kiss our spouse when he walks in the door, ask him if he needs anything, surprise him with a small gift, touch his arm or leg when sitting next to him; and say thank you when he does something for you no matter how big or small. These things don’t have to stop at dating but continued on. Men should kiss their wives the first thing in the morning and surprise her in making the bed. Hold the doors open for her and surprise her with a small gift and love pats can bring a smile on her face as well as making up a nickname. My nickname Jeff gave me years ago is “Sweet Pea” and many people hear him call me that. I am working on him changing it but it always reverts back to the original but still it makes me smile. I recently told Jeff in a group setting that my name was not Sweet Pea then I had a lady who was not married told me that she would be happy if she had a man to call her Sweet Pea. So, I am thankful my husband has a cute little name for me. By the way, my husband does make up the bed every morning and it makes me smile. I return the favor with a cup of hot coffee as he enters the kitchen. I get up every morning and am usually in the kitchen, therefore we help each other with these small love gestures!
9. We all must learn to relax and not to blow up over small things. So he forgot to do something you asked, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love, respect or care about you. In marriage, where so many things can go wrong you have to sort out what is worth getting angry about. Many times we make a bigger deal over matters that is so small. Pick and choose your battles and ask yourself how important it really is. We should all avoid built up resentment but no one likes to stay permanently on the battlefield.
10. Arguing to solve an issue isn’t the bad habit because we all have our views about finances, children and responsibilities of home and work. But the way we settle those differences can be hurtful and destructive. It is important you learn to fight fair. Here are some important tips to fight fair.
Don’t always try to be right but try to solve the problem with a win-win for both. Consider your partner’s point of view. Practice listening and repeating back what you have heard. Solve one problem at a time. Don’t bring up past issues and don’t argue in front of others especially children. Don’t discuss your discussions with friends or family members, avoid personal attacks and criticism instead tell how you feel and the last way to fight fair is stay away from using power struggle tactics like guilt, threats and emotional blackmail.
So there you have it! Now have you seen yourself in all ten? I know I have practiced some of these things quite a bit and still need to work on some. These little bites in a marriage will evidentially destroy it. It is time we choose to make our marriage a happy one or choose to make our spouse unhappy. This week keep kissing, keep giving compliments and learn how to have habits that promote blessings.
Prayer: Lord I thank you for giving me a husband who loves me but also who shows great example in what Christ did for the church. I thank you for his self-sacrifice in providing for our family and loving me even when we fight. I thank you Jesus for keeping us together even when there were times we battled things out with all these nasty habits. Continue to give us wisdom and insights and directing us into a higher loving covenant. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Song of Solomon 1:2, 5:16 New International Version (©1984)
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth–for your love is more delightful than wine.His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my lover, this my friend….