Jack should be writing this blog. It’s supposed to be about giving up our personal preferences once we’re married. Hands down, Jack has been more accommodating of my quirks than I am of his. But I do try… What do I tell my single friends?
1. Compromise. Remember how we learned to take turns in kindergarten? It’s a skill essential to married couples. You can take turns watching your favorite TV shows, doing house chores (i.e. one cooks, the other one does the dishes), and taking care of the children. Sorry, men! Gone are the days when the wives had to do everything! Actually, now that I am pregnant, my only tasks are to bathe the two girls when our helpers are out and to do a bit of cooking. Jack takes care of everything else–bringing the girls to the potty, rocking Reese to sleep, and bringing the girls to the nearby market while he buys ingredients for our meals.
2. If it’s not a life-and-death matter, give in to your spouse. There’s a big game on TV that your husband wants to watch. Let him! If there are dirty dishes he has to attend to, let him take care of these after he’s done watching the game. No one will die!
3. Be slow to anger and quick to forgive. When our husbands make a mistake, let us go easy on them. I know of many wives who are very patient with their girlfriends. But they easily flare up at their husbands’ teeniest boo-boo… when our husbands deserve the very best treatment from us! Forgiving our spouses easily is part of letting go of ourselves and our pride.
4. Learn to be first to say sorry… even when you know it’s not your fault. It’s okay to say, “I’m sorry for making you feel bad.” Or, “I’m sorry for upsetting you.” Whenever I do this (which is oh-so-hard!), it diffuses the tension and makes Jack and me both more open to talking and sorting our petty differences out.
5. Be upfront with each other about the big and small things that really matter to you. It’s okay to tell your spouse about the many things you really like doing…no matter how small. Do not assume that your spouse can read your mind. Make it easy for your spouse to make you happy.
When we learn to let go of ourselves, it’s when we find true happiness and contentment in our marriage.