Archive for ‘tips and advice’
Have a home date tonight or this weekend. If you have kids, put them to bed early. Dinner can be simple but might include candlelight, soft music, wine or chocolate. After dinner light more candles, look through your wedding album, play, reminisce, make love.
Is all this coming and going, scrimping and saving, cooking and cleaning, arguing and compromising worth it? The balancing act you refine now will give you wisdom for future challenges. Look at it as training for a marathon. You’ll win.
(Reader’s Tip) Always think loving thoughts. Never let the devil creep in with negative talk.
Today is Earth Day. Celebrate by using less plastic and disposables for a day, maybe even for a week, maybe forever. The less we consume the world’s resources the less we will fight over who gets what. Decide as a couple one earth friendly act to do today.
“So they shook the dust from their feet…” (Acts 13:51) Some arguments just aren’t worth fighting. If you and your beloved have an ongoing disagreement, consider whether it’s time to shake the dust from your feet and let this one go.
As you and your spouse improve your conflict resolution skills, it sets the tone for the next generation. If you already have children don’t hide your minor conflicts from them. Let them see that you can disagree, work it out, and then reconcile.
(Especially for Empty Nesters) Where did the time go? It seems like just yesterday that…(Fill in the blank.) Your job as a parent may be over but you can still worry. Deal with the worry through prayer.
(Especially for Parents of Teens) You’re seldom right (in your teenager’s eyes). Stay tight with your spouse because you need each other to discern when to be flexible and when to hang tough. Remind each other you’re not crazy.
(Especially for Active Parents) The middle years of marriage can be swamped with complex childcare arrangements, overtime work, and little sleep. It’s tempting to want to give up. Spell each other. Simplify what you can. Love your kids but don’t let them boss you around.
(Especially for newly marrieds) The early years are usually full of adjustments and new traditions. Are there any customs from your families of origin (such as how you celebrate Christmas or how you vacation) that you need to let go of?
(Reader’s Tip) Wake up each morning vowing to make the decision to love your spouse no matter what. When you feel anger or negativity, look at your spouse and remember your decision to love.
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?” (John 21:16) Sometimes married couples feel they have to fish for compliments or for those magic words, “I love you.” Can you be the first to say them to your beloved today? If you missed being first, try being the last.
How can you support your spouse or child if they want to change a bad habit? Say or write the goal out loud as a start. Join them in the process. Help them set a reward/consequence. Don’t rescue but be there to comfort if they don’t succeed – yet!
(Reader’s Tip) It’s important to remember your priorities in your marriage. Never sweat the small things that may get on your nerves about your partner.
Remember your first real date? Can you recreate it in some way this week – go to the same place? the same movie? wear the same clothes? If you can’t remember your actual date, make up a fantasy one and talk about the way it might have gone down.
True love goes much deeper than physical attraction but there is also a very physical dimension to feeling loved. Share what you find especially attractive about your beloved’s body.
Many married couples’ lives are hectic. Take a rest break today. Yes, you may have responsibilities, but if you can’t find a time to rest today, commit to doing it some day this week. Rest in each other’s arms for a moment/an hour.
Is there an older married couple whom you admire? What one or two things have you learned from them?
Are you a “Doubting Thomas?” Sometimes we doubt our beloved’s good intentions; sometimes we doubt our own ability to live up to our commitments. Trust takes time and a track record. Have you earned your beloved’s trust? Not sure? Ask.
Politeness and good manners are not just for adults and job interviews. Teach your children basic courtesy, greetings, and not to interrupt. It can make everyone’s life at home less stressful. Model it with your spouse.
Chivalry and the art of politeness may seem out of vogue in favor of honesty and equality. A little romantic courtliness, however, can counter taking each other for granted. Just for fun, see who can “out-polite” the other.
(Reader’s Tip) If you want your marriage to be happy, whenever you’re wrong, admit it. Whenever you’re right, shut up.
The written word often carries more weight than talking, perhaps because it takes more effort and there is a record of the words. Why not write a love poem or limerick for your beloved. It doesn’t have to rhyme. Not a writer? Search the internet for a poem that reflects your feelings.
(Reader’s Tip) We have worked every day of our 26 married years to be the kind of couple others would want to emulate.
(April Fools’ Day) Laughter, when shared, is a healing balm. Share jokes today. Does your family have any stories about family foibles that get repeated at family gatherings? It doesn’t matter that it’s embarrassing, it becomes family mythology.