Thursday

{S.W.A.K.} Marriage Killers

{The weekly carnival Sincerely 'Fro Me to You will return next Thursday!}



{Please leave a comment on today's post for your entry for one of these fabulous door prizes. All winners will be announced on Valentine's Day}

With A Southern Flair-2 Monogrammed "His" & "Hers" Hand towels (Value $20)

From *Me Tees-a Matching His/Hers "My husband/wife Rocks" t-shirts (Value $50)

Bid My Cleaning- $200 gift certificate for house, carpet cleaning, (most of US)

Sorme Lip Gloss-sponsored by PS He Loves You (Value $10)

Sheila Wray Gregoire-author and speaker, marriage audio downloads (value $5 each)

Pampering Beki- a beautiful hand-stamped silver 'Love' necklace (Value $23)

Sarah's Blue Castle $20 gift certificate to this great Etsy store! Check out her fun items.

The IE Mommy-A Pair of Chic Bud Earphones with Swarovski crystals in a collectible tin (Value $45)

4 Reluctant Entertainers is donating a copy of the book she co-authored "Married, but Not Engaged". You can read more here.

Decor To Adore- a beautiful Vintage Valentine Corsage from this sweet Etsy store (Value $14)


Here are a few more door prizes that were donated locally (so there isn't a link):

Things Remembered- A beautiful heart keepsake box (Value $25)
14k gold Heart earrings (Value $25); An Adorable Tote Bag-(Value $20)
Ring Watch by Jenni (Value $42), Ring Lipstick by Jenni (Value $22)
The best-selling book "The Love Dare" from the Fireproof movie (Value $15)
Awesome marriage book "Better Love Now! Making your Marriage a Lifelong Love Affair (Value $20)

Welcome to the S.W.A.K. Carnival. Please link up your love story posts here and continue to visit all the great blogs. I'm still reading and feeling very inspired!


Even the best marriages, have difficult times.

There aren't perfect marriages, just like there aren't perfect people.

Jesus was the only perfect person and he never married. Maybe that's why He stayed perfect. I'm just sayin'.

There are several things that kill a marriage. We all know the obvious, like being unfaithful and lying.

I want to talk about the less obvious:

Using the words always and never
We have a word graveyard in our home. There are a few banished words (for adults too) that have been laid to rest. The words always and never are powerful words and are rarely true. How often do we say, "You always do ______" or "I never get to ______." These words allow for gross exaggeration and put people on the defensive. May these words R.I.P. in your marriage.

Keeping Score
We are all naturally selfish people. It's our nature to put ourselves first. But when we marry, we are to become one flesh, not two halves. Putting the needs of your spouse before your own will only help your marriage. I think playing this game will kill a marriage: "You can go here, if I can go there," or "You can spend this if I can spend that." This forces us to keep records to make everything fair (which is impossible). Put the other person first. Give and it will be given to you.

Putting your children first
I love my children. They are my heart. But they are needy little people and they are not afraid to voice their demands (or commands). It is easy to put kids first because the squeaky wheel, well, you know. And as a mother, it is natural to meet our children’s needs. I think moms must be very careful because seeds of resentment and jealousy can grow during these hectic years when we feel pulled in every direction. In those moments, I have to remind myself that I am a wife. And if my marriage is suffering due to lack of attention, so will my motherhood.

Lust and pornography
This is a big one and I could write many posts on what I've learned by reading some fabulous books about the way God created men (and after being married to one for 14 years!) Men are visual. And this is a temptation for probably 95% of them. I believe many more struggle with this issue than the church or wives know. Talk with your spouse. Be transparent, loving, forgiving. But know that this isn't a part of God's plan for a healthy marriage. And there is freedom and healing.

Money
Early in my marriage, 95% of our disagreements centered around money (which is funny considering we didn’t have any). This battle was frustrating and exhausting. We worked through numerous issues, got on a budget (which I recommend) and we made the decision to share our money and have nearly equal input. (I defer to my hubby because he’s more knowledgeable in this area). We also agreed not to spend a certain amount without telling one another. If this is an area you struggle in with your mate, I highly recommend Dave Ramsey's program.

Withholding sex
Wives: Please read For Women Only: What You Need to Know about the Inner Lives of Men. I think it is an essential book for every woman and I think it is a MUST READ for every woman. Check it out from the library, borrow it, buy it for $10. It completely changed the way I understand men, specifically my hubby. I learned how men think, what they retain, what they need, why they need it….and this information is based on hundreds of men, like our husbands. So, if you use sex in any other way in your marriage then the way God created it, it’s wrong and utterly damaging. Or if you don’t make yourself available to your husbands, you are making his life very challenging and you may even weaken his resolve for purity. And of course, your hubby needs to read this version For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women.

What have I left out? What do we need to watch out for that is destructive to a healthy marriage? Talk to me. (Friday we'll be talking about Marriage Thriller!)

The S.W.A.K Carnival is being sponsored by The Date Night Planner. My hubby and I discovered a new restaurant with this interactive program. We are keeping track of some fun local spots. Check out this awesome tool!

146 comments:

Amber@theRunaMuck said...

Right on.

If we could get the selflessness down, the others wouldn't be issues.

Chilihead2 said...

I like to think that my marriage is one of the best I've seen. My husband and I take time for ourselves w/o kids. We respect each other. I let him play golf whenever he wants. We don't "keep score". I think the not keeping score is huge.

Chaotic Joy said...

I will say that I have heard of several marriages lately that are on the rocks because of connections with old friends of the opposite sex on social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace. What may have began innocently enough evolved into emotional affairs. It's really made me be more careful about who I allow into my inner circles. We must always guard out hearts and our marriages and keep the doors firmly locked against anything that might make that relationship seem less in our eyes.

Great post!

Upstatemomof3 said...

That is a great list. The putting your children first thing is a big one. People seem to think that we should put our children first but we need to put our marriage first. It was there before we had kids and it will be there after they move out.
For us a big thing is not walking away angry. A fight cannot end until both parties are done talking (my poor Hubby is always done before me) this keeps us both feeling good about how the other one is dealing.

LifeAtTheCircus said...

This was great Kristen. I agree with all of your points. I read the book Love and Respect this past year and I really liked what he says about what men truly need (respect) and we as women so often to fail to fill their "love tank". I highly recommend it if you haven't read or heard him.

HeathahLee said...

I think unforgiveness/bitterness/holding grudges is a HUGE marriage breaker. I have learned the hard way that sometimes in order for my relationship with my husband to be where I want it to be, I have to forgive, no matter if he says "I'm sorry" or not. And bringing up past offenses is just as bad. Because if you're bringing them up, you really haven't forgiven him. Such a hard lesson for me to learn, because in my pride I want to hold onto my "Well, HE can apologize first...I'm ALWAYS the first one to apologize!" attitude. Yuck.

heather said...

I am reading For Women Only right now and it is truly an eye opener. I love my hubby and I think we have a fantastic relationship but it can always be better and more understanding.

Muthering Heights said...

Great points! I agree with you, and hope many readers benefit from this wisdom!

Natalie said...

i am going to check out that book you mentioned! thanks.

mommy4life said...

I have some great marriage resource books for giveaways this week. Come over and check them out. One of them is "For Women Only"!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I am new here, but love your blog!!!
kaylamonk@hotmail.com

AmyNaab said...

Great advice. Hard but worth the effort.

Piper Paradise said...

Great post - thanks for the reminder!

piper3301 at msn dot com

CC said...

Awesome reminders!!

southerninspiration said...

Great list...another one is DO NOT "snipe" at your spouse in public....ie, sarcastically criticize them in front of others.....NO ONE. this is a killer!

Suzanne

Jackie said...

This is perfect!
I think it is SO important to avoid joking, "I'm going to leave if..."

Don't even consider or joke about it.

Stonefox (otherwise known as Heidi) said...

I've been married for nearly 15 years, but am learning so much by going through the For Women Only Bible study. This is a great resource. Thanks for this carnival, it is so much fun!

Kaycee said...

Good points. The hardest thing for us right now is just finding time to be together. I will check out that book.

Dill Family said...

Good list! I'd like to add that the "S" word is banned in our home. "Shutup" is such an ugly thing to say to anyone.
I'm enjoying your blog, I hope you had fun at the "blog weekend". It was so nice to meet you at the b-day party. Hopefully we might all get together again while I'm in town.
Now, I must go update my very out of date blog!

Kiy said...

We have been married for 15+ years, quite happily. Sure, we too have had our ups and downs, but I sincerely feel that makes a marriage stronger. We love each other, and tell one another, every single day.

Thanks for the chance to tell the world what I feel about my hubby. I embarrassed him madly. And I love it!

Kiy

Cheri-Beri said...

Thanks for the list!! I'm feelin' all emotional-like so I'm going to post my blog about my hubby.

Don't Start None...There Won't be None said...

Those are all GREAT!! One thing I do is never talk bad about my hubby to anyone else. If he and I have an argument or disagreement. It stays between him and I. I don't go run to my friends to talk about it or my mom. It forces us to communicate with each other. Which, thankfully, is not a problem for us. My friends hate( not really) me because they think my husband is perfect. Although he's not perfect, they will never find out his imperfections from me!

Monica said...

I think realizing that marriage is not 50/50 and each person striving to give 100% and beyond without comparison is important.

Lori said...

I love this carnival and had so much fun writing my entry post. Thanks for inspiring me to remember how God brought us together!

Jenny said...

You have put so much work into this project. Thank you! Those are wonderful reminders for us all to think about. God bless!

lig said...

Great post! Our marriage of 22 years has gone through many changes to arrive at the place it is today. My biggest hope is that our daughters will have picked up something along the way, and will one day happily love their future husbands.

Andrea said...

Thanks for the reminders. We are big Dave Ramsey fans here!

stephanie said...

excellent post! I will be looking for the books that you suggested. All is good to help strenghten the 13 year marriage.

christinnjon said...

These are excellent! We kind of went on the same thing, though I focused in on a specific area that can destroy a marriage. Thank you for doing this!

I don't see Mr. Linky, so I will just add my link in here. Just incase. :)

http://christinnjon.wordpress.com/2009/02/12/swak-valentine-carnival-day-2/

Mommie Daze said...

What a great list! Those are all so true.

When we got married we said from the beginning that divorce just wasn't an option. Having that off the table when you have hard times or an argument makes all the difference in the world. Because you know no matter how bad it gets you're both committed to working it out and seeing the marriage through.

Sandy Toes said...

Wonderful post...so many truths! As a stay at home, I was very involved in so many committees...VP of a big MOMS Club, fundraisers that this REALLy cause some problems in our marriage b/c "he" was left on the back burner while I was running around like a chicken with her head cut off. The balance between girlfriends and committments are important!

But, wow...you did a great job! Thank you.
-sandy toe

Veronica said...

I totally agree with all that you said. I also wanted to add some fair fighting rules. If your going to have an argument, do it right!

1. No threats during argument.
2. No blanket judgments or labeling generalizations.
3. Stay on the topic at hand.
4. No interrupting.
5. Stay in present tense.
6. Don’t argue in the dark.
7. Don’t walk away or leave the house without saying to your partner, “I’ll be back”.
8. No finger pointing.
9. Take responsibility for your thoughts. Use “I” language.
10. Write down the topic at the beginning to insure staying on topic and clarify the issue.
11. Try to avoid over-dramatization.
12. Allow time to collect your thoughts. Immediate response is not necessary.
13. Approach the argument with a problem solving attitude, rather than blame.
14. Try to avoid statements so critical that the other person has no course but to retaliate.
15. Don’t save up feelings and dump them all at once, try to air feelings often.
16. Try not to yell.
17. Don’t use abusive language or labels.
18. No gossip.
19. Speak for yourself.
20. Neither person is right, there are only differences. Both win when the conflict is resolved.
21. Admit you’re angry.
22. Go forth as equals. Don’t use power plays. Gauge the intensity of your anger to the ego strengths of the other person and be responsible with the things your mate has entrusted to you in your relationship. YOU ARE ON THE SAME TEAM!

ryleeandnoahsmom said...

We always remind people to "fight fair". There is no need for name calling ("you jerk!") or yelling. Even when you disagree, you can do so in a civil, yet loving manner. This makes a huge difference.

Jennifer said...

The subject of marriage is so near to my heart. I would like to do everything I can to have a happy one, not just for myself but for my children. Thanks for the post.

Stephanie said...

This post is so good. I have learned many things in my short 11 years of marraige. Here's just 2: 1) Lower my expectations. If my sights for him are set so high...I will be disappointed. 2)Ascribing motives to his actions is always dangerous. Sometimes I think it's easy to assume (and you know what happens when we assume...)the worst. He is not sitting around trying to think up ways to hurt me. He loves me...even when things are crazy. This has been a good contest and has provided some encouraging reading. Thanks

Elaine A. said...

We also NEVER use the word "divorce." Not that it comes up a lot! ; ) We just committed to never using it, even when we refer to other couples who have... We simply "bleep" it around here!

Thank you for this post, lots of good info. for people.

Kristy K said...

What I recommend to everyone is marriage counseling! Sometimes I think couples get in too deep with the keeping score, lying, lusting, etc... and only a third party can be objective enough to help. At year 6 of our marriage we were both ready to be done. Someone in our circle recommended a Christian counselor and it was the best thing we could have done. We learned so many skills to help us communicate, which helped us to heal many old wounds. We also learned to NEVER say divorce, ever.

We celebrate 10 years in April and I can honestly say, it keeps getting better!! When I think of how far we've come and how I almost walked away, I'm amazed at what God has done!

The Mommy said...

Thanks for sharing this! My husband can't stand the words "always" and "never" in terms of our relationship and responsibilities. Maybe after hearing you say this, I'll really try to use those words less frequently.

Stacia said...

Great post! We can all use reminders like these, or even implementing the ones not currently used. Thanks for this one. langston6 at juno.com

Momof4 said...

Great list. I agree with all those points. I've been reading your blog for awhile now but I love this carnival so much I am commenting for the first time! People do not put enough time and effort into marriage and I am surprised by the number of people who do not enjoy spending time with their spouse! My husband is my best friend and my first choice when I need someone to talk to, spend time with, laugh with, or a listening ear.

Jowanna said...

I think anything which takes focus off "being one" in any way can kill a marriage. We have known couples who essentially live separate lives while living in the same house. We've seen people take vacations separately, keep different schedules, use different bank accounts so they didn't have to be accountable to each other, and even drive to church separately. Last summer we went to a big pool party/cookout....one of our friends showed up without her husband. We talked for a few minutes, and someone asked her "where's Bruce?" She said, "oh, probably home mowing the grass". The worst part was that she wasn't even sure - and she wasn't the least bit upset about it. To her, it's normal. This is hard for me to understand - even during those few times my husband and I aren't together, I at least know where he IS.

We have to be careful not to let anything break that spirit of "we do life TOGETHER". Things like our own selfishness, or a thought life that's focused on outside activities (or other things), busy-ness, or a job can easily come between us - but only if we let them. Too many people are content living like roommates instead of having the full life together that God intended for them. Divorce papers aren't the only sign of a dead marriage.

Obviously, we don't need to neglect ourselves, but the other person should always come first.

Okay, the soapbox is now available. NEXT!

Jowanna @ The Porch Swing

marky said...

We did Dave Ramsey last year..it made a big difference for us..
Great Post today!

tanyadennisbooks.com said...

Great list. I would also add "disrespect" to this list. Husband- and wife-bashing kills a marriage. It may be slow and painful, but it's a death nonetheless. Whether we say nasty things about our husband in front of him or just in a "friendly" female bonding session, we are cutting him down with terrible results. This negatively grows in our hearts and our souls until all we can see are the things that drive us crazy. We need to focus on the good things. When we build up our husband in front of our friends, they grow to admire him which then encourages you to adore him more. That grows a marriage.

Norse, Jesica, and Boden said...

A very helpful post. I like that you pointed out Jesus was never married, thus ruining his perfect-ness :)

I've only been married 8 years, but we have gone through and continue to try to work through each one of your points. Marriage is work, but worth every argument, tear, and sleepless night. I am so thankful for the hard times that have made us better people and our marriage stronger. It is only by His grace that we stay committed daily.

4prettybabies said...

I'll admit...I am guilty of some of these...so's my hubby. I'm going to print this post and keep it where I can re-read whenever I need help. Until it is permanantly implanted in my brain! I am also thinking a great Valentines Day gift will be the For Women/For Men Only books you recommend. Love your posts...they are so insightful and make me laugh every day!

Mom to 5...Daughter of the King said...

Wow! Amazing giveaway!

Cheryl said...

I'm in my 2nd marriage, and I will say that this one is much better than my first one. We talk more and he's much more receptive to what I have to say than the ex. Talking is a big thing and it does wonders.

Tara said...

Great Post, I love the "word graveyard"!

Mrs.Naz@BecomingMe said...

Fantastic list. I could not agree with you more.

Lois Lane II said...

Such a true list! Thanks for being so honest! I feel so sorry for some of my newlywed friends, because I honestly think they believe that their marriage is supposed to be this perfect fairytale, complete with no fighting -- EVER. And I just want to say, "Uh...it's okay if you fight. Just make sure you don't let it get out of hand. And there WILL be problems in your marriage. But you can work through them and have a stronger marriage in the process." =)

Lora Lynn @ Vitafamiliae said...

You put a lot of time and work into this. Nicely done!

Carol @SheLives said...

About the money thing? Yes! Most folks I talk with say their early arguments centered mostly around money issues. A budget is essential. Communicating about expenditures is imperative! A budget is the only way to go.

Voice of 22 years' experience, here!

Tiffany @ Lattes And Life said...

What helps me the most is just to simply remember that my husband is human. He isn't perfect. He isn't always going to be happy, or helpful, or nice. He's going to have his bad days, and that's okay. I think a lot of women get caught in the trap of expecting their husband to be perfect all the time,and to be their source of happiness. But no human can ever live up to those expectations!

Beth W. said...

Great carnival! I completely believe the comment about Facebook and MySpace coming in between marriage partners. People forget to live for who they are today, what they have become and start thinking of 'what it was'...very dangerous.

I know I have to remember to put my marriage first all the time...takes a bit of reminding sometimes.

looneymom said...

Our marriage has seen rough spots and great spots. It all makes you have a stronger marriage. Our marriage isn't perfect, and can't be. But, I know that everthing we go through, gives us skills to get through the next thing. I will say this, our marriage got ALOT better, when we started going to church.

Mrs. Smith said...

This is such a fun blog! As a newlywed of one year, I feel like I can learn a lot from this site!

Just last week in my small group, we were talking about how it's so easy to blame your husband for anything that goes wrong in life. I think deciding your happiness is dependent on your spouse is a marriage killer. It sets him up for failure and can make him passive as the head of the family, making it that much hard to submit to his leadership, messing up God's design and thus, making life even less happy. Yikes!

Runningamuck said...

I LOVE your list! A hearty "AMEN" to each point! Your RIP words I'd "never" thought about before. Great tip.

I would add TIME to your list. It's so easy with our busy lives these days to just tag-team our time and never actually be around each other. Hard to build a relationship when you never see each other face to face. =0)

I'm so loving this carnival

Rachel@just another day in paradise said...

an obvious one: spend time together. . .no matter what. My husband works away from home, so this is even harder than for "normal" couples. We really have to make this a priority for it to work.

Heather said...

Great post!

Open communication with everything tends to solve a multitude of problems, and keep many things from even becoming problems. Thank goodness I have a man who likes to talk :)

FromThe Creek said...

I am really enjoying this carnival and I totally agree with you. Those are horrible marriage breakers. I posted about what the things that have threatened my marriage over the years as well.

Vanessa said...

I have been married 28 years and one thing I have practiced throughout our marriage is to never talk badly about my DH to anyone.

Jaden Paige said...

I love the first point... As I was reading it, I was nodding my head, thinking "Yes, I say those things... and no, they are not true 99.9% of the time." I think those words contribute in a big way to fueling any argument we have going on. Thanks for the tips!

Lisa said...

Please know that I remain ever faithful to your blog. I read everyday even though I do not always comment. You have become a very ingrained part of my life, lifting me up, encouraging me to be better. You are doing such a great job with your blog and where you are headed. Hope you are feeling great about it. But please know that even though I don't always comment, I am always watching and following you!!! Eweee, kind of weird huh? =)

Audrey said...

Don't loose yourself. Remain some of the woman he married. I got so involved in being a good mom and taking care of the house that I lost who I was when my husband and I first met, and I almost lost him because of it last summer. Now I make time for myself and am working on loosing the weight I've gained, and I found myself again. Our relationship is stronger now then ever.

Sarah Schneider said...

I have a few to add here...

We almost completely wiped out sarcasm in our marriage, it is a painful tool that so many people tolerate these days. My husband and I learned that 50% of what people "tease" about they actually feel or mean, so we started saying 50% when someone teased, but we have weaned almost completely out of sarcasm in our marriage to avoid hurtful things being said!

This is no surprise but we eliminate the word divorce from our vocabulary. It is surprising how many people will suggest "well it's not that we are headed for divorce, but some things could change". It is such a casual name and being previously divorced before we decided this would never be an option for us--period!

We also don't keep any secrets from each at all.

Stay in contact with each other! You should be "in the know" of what your spouse is going through, feeling, doing, etc. I don't mean like a nagging wife that drives him crazy, but if he is open to hearing from you throughout the day cease the moment! My husband and I talk about 10 times throughout the day either via email or phone to touch base, make sure we let each other know we are thinking of the other and to stay on track with our daily things together.

Teachable Hearts at Home said...

Wow! Been through that entire list and back again. Praise God we learned the hard way. We learned about the not using the words never or always in conversation from marriage counseling. I thank God he ressurected our marriage from the marriage killers!

Heather said...

This might have already been said, but my tip is to make sure that you really do leave your father and mother and cleave to your spouse. This goes for both the man and wife. You can't run home to mama at every problem, compare your hubby to your dad, or put your family's wants above your husband's. You will always be a part of the family you were born into, but once you are married, you have a new family. It's important to establish that, and sometimes it can be hard for parents to let go of their adult children.

MyLinda said...

Great information! Thank you for sharing.

franticallysimple said...

Another killer? Not making time for each other.
I have been guilty of keeping the laptop on my lap and showing it more love and interest that I was showing him.
And always go to bed at the same time. It's lonely to lay in bed alone.
Another one of my past sins - staying up to work on something. that just says, "This is more important than you."
I'm working on them. :)

Heather said...

I agree with all of it. Now, if I could just do all of it all the time! :)
Thanks for the reminders.
I recently read: what if God's goal for marriage isn't your happiness but your holiness?? Now, there's something to think about. :)


triplett dot heather at gmail dot com

Jenn said...

I have to agree that the book For Women Only is a real eye opener. I think every wife should read it.

Lynn said...

Read the book....did a Biblestudy based on the book...highly recommed the book.

Great tips.

Thanks for the chance to win such awesome prizes!

Robin said...

I read For Women Only a few years ago. Probably time to read it again. Great stuff today!

life during naptime said...

Something I was recently convicted of....am I a giver or a taker? applies to more than my marriage relationship!

IE Mommy Blogger said...

I think jealousy is a big one. It doesn't have to be jealousy over a person either. It could be jealousy of his job, joy for his job, how many hours he works, it could sports or a hobbie, it could be for his siblings. I think jealousy creeps up in very subtle ways but it's a dangerous thing.

Amber @ Classic Housewife/ Modern World said...

Great advice, all of it!

The key to all of those is putting your spouse ahead of yourself. Selflessly loving him will mean you don't keep score, you don't make accusations, you don't withhold things from him, and you don't make him take a back seat to the kids. Of course, it's also the hardest thing to do - we're naturally very selfish creatures and it's hard to set aside our own desires because society tells us we're doing ourselves a disservice by doing that. Society doesn't realize what amazing things you gain in a marriage when you put each other first.

I'd like to add a small addition to your list, something that is hardest for me and is my own personal challenge. RESIST THE URGE TO RETALIATE. When your spouse slips and does say always or never or brings up something from the past or whatever..take the high road. It's so hard for me not to slip into that mindset along with my husband and start throwing retorts back. It only makes things worse. So my advice; let it go, take the high road.

Alicia said...

These are such great tips! Thanks for sharing. I think one of the biggest ways to sabotage your marriage is believe that your partner should make you happy, complete you, meet your needs, etc. We should be looking to Christ to make us holy by serving our spouse. No one but Jesus can truly do those things in our lives. If we try to put that responsibility on our husbands we will always be disappointed. But they can be an amazing partner on the journey to Christ-likeness.

Sweetie said...

As a blended family, I am too aware of marriage breakers, but for second (or third) marriages,defining what is our way of thinking due to our upbringing expectation versus a spouse's personal individual expectation is important...sometimes we allow our original upbringing to shade the world we currently live in and your spouse may not have had that perspective of "the rules" of how to be in a marriage or family....yet we hold our views not being agreed with as THE way we all think.

Mishababy said...

Honestly folks, don't every forget why you fell in love in the first place. Always remember those first pangs of love you had for our spouse. While those actual euphoric feelings are no longer as strong...there is no reason why you should give them up entirely.

It aslo helps to be friends as well. You should enjoy just being around your spouse. If you don't, then there is something wrong and you need to figure out what it is and talk it out. Don't let it fester. Not a good thing.

Kim H. said...

My sister warned me about using Always and Never before my wedding... so true!

Kristi said...

ah yes....never stop 'dating' your spouse. Make time to keep the love alive =o)

Queen of the Castle said...

Thanks for these great reminders Kristen! Our marriages are out best opportunity to reflect Christ to a dying and hurting world. May we all take this advice to heart and get the most out of the amazing gift that marriage is!

KCShipe said...

I'm chiming in to agree with Mommy Daze, Elaine, and Sarah Schneider - when we got married we decided one of the words in our "graveyard" would be divorce. It is not an option for us. Period.
I also liked IE Mommy's comment, but I think jealousy can sometimes we a warning light that priorities are not straight. There have been times I have gotten jealous of some of my husband's hobbies, but when I shared that with him, he would realize that he was spending too much time on them and not enough with me.
Great list & great comments!

P.S.He loves you.. said...

When i see around me the cruminess in marriages I dig a little deeper into the roots of wisdoms books like these!
Great post and reminders good job!

aggiemomof2 said...

Some of the best advice I got when I married was "Don't spend time with women who bad mouth their husbands because you'll start thinking of something to say just to join in the conversation." And it's so true. I try to surround myself with Christian women who want to strengthen their marriages. Now we all "vent" from time to time but we know that our husbands are a blessing and we don't speak negatively of them. We regularly encourage and lift them up. Not only in private, but also in public.
My husband is an amazing man--and he's enjoying this challenge by the way! :)
sylviarj at yahoo dot com

Berji's domain said...

Great advice! My husband and I promised to always be honest with each other. No hiding pent-up feelings, no "small lies" etc. I think it really helps us know that when we can REALLY talk to each other. And I've learned to graciously accept constructive criticism. Well... I'm learning...

Berry Patch said...

I wanted to thank you for putting up this Carnival. It's really made me stop & think about things. Your list is right on btw.

TV Watching Mama said...

I am loving how this carnival is making me think about my marriage and inspire me! Thank you! http://whattowatchtoday.blogspot.com/2009/02/little-things.html

Southerner said...

I have been married for 20 years. When we were in our second year or marriage we always got together every weekend with two other couples to play cards,games, or watch movies. We were all very close. The other two couples really picked on their mate and constantly made fun of them joking around. They weren't really rude- it was all just fun picking. Well, I joined in one night. On the way home my husband told me that he didn't ever want me to do that again. He said that he thought they were wrong to do that and he did not want to always be wondering if I was going to bring up something embarrassing to be funny. Well, I have probably messed up but have really made a BIG effort to always uplift him and never joke at his expense. It may not bother a lot of people but it apparantly did him so it is my job to honor him and respect and lift him up. Now, I just cut myself down and am still funny:)

Cascia said...

Great tips! They remind me of what I learned in Retrouvaille. Thank you for sharing.

Bubba's Sis said...

You are SO right on all these! It's all about love and respect. This is a GREAT post!

Grateful for Grace said...

Great post! I'm blessed with a fabulous marriage, mostly due to the selflessness of my husband. God is working on me, though.

Kristen said...

This was a great post. I totally agree with you on every point. I think another marriage killer is nagging. My husband is always saying how glad he is that I am not a "high maintenance" woman. I suppose that is not just not nagging, but also, not needing things, demanding he give up things so I can have my things etc. One last idea that I can think of is the notion of changing your spouse. To think that you can mold another person into your ideal is ridiculous. Accept them as they are, love them unconditionally.

nicole said...

Friendships with other couples can be great or disastrous for your marriage. Choose to be friends with couples that share your values. When the men are spending time together, you can know that they are not leading each other into sin, but instead encouraging each other on their walk with Christ. The same goes for us women; we need to spend time with other women who love their husbands and value their marriage. Don't let your friendships with other couples destroy a good marriage.

Holley said...

Great post! I'm so glad we met at Blissdom. I just subscribed to your blog and look forward to reading more.

Superjaxster said...

I had to chuckle at the comment about Jesus staying single AND staying perfect. Too funny (and true??) I will be looking into the recommended reading. Thanks!

Molly said...

great advice. Molly

The Animator's Wife said...

I have one more hint I would add:

Don't tell anyone about that arguments you had with your husband (unless they are a counselor or pastor). You and your man will eventually work it out, forgive each other and move on... but your friend, or mom, or neighbor, or the blogosphere will remember all the grimy details you shared and may develop a growing and unhealthy resentment of your husband.

Probably the best marriage advise I ever received!

Michelle@lifeinawhirlwind said...

Great list. I would also like to add the word "divorce" should be in the graveyard. It is so much easier to give up during hard times if you have that as an option. If you think, I made a vow and I will stick by it, you are more likely to calm down, find solutions to your difficulties and work through it together.

Darcie - Such The Spot said...

I love that you included the putting your husband before your children thing. It seems nobody (at least around my hometown) does that anymore. Everything is kid-centric. I'm totally in your camp though. God. Husband. Kids. End of story.

Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

This has been so much fun! Great advice today! Thanks for hosting.

Mrs. Nurse Boy

Melissa said...

I really enjoyed your marraiage killers they were so refreshing to read. I found myself thinking back to my actions this week and finding I had fallen into some of those traps. Thanks for hosting this carnival its been fun.

Jane Anne said...

These things are so basic and essential. Thanks for sharing such a fantastic list. We can all use reminders like this!

tidymom said...

What a GREAT list!!

I think some of our main "marriage savers" are
1. We don't take each other for granted!! - I have to remind myself of this sometimes. I know how much my husband loves me, but do I always remember to SHOW him how much I LOVE HIM?

2. Communication - we TALK (sometimes we yell) - but we never keep it bottled up and let it brew.

3. Money - we do pretty much what you said - we share our money, we talk about spending, bills, etc and we agree to discuss purchases over a certain amount.

Thanks for hosting this carnival!

~TidyMom

Amanda said...

What a great list, Kristen!! I read some of the comments, but I need to cozy up with a cup of herbal, hot tea and read the rest tonight.

This carnival is awesome, one of the best I've seen and I'm really enjoying it!

Preggo said...

I have an article hanging next to my computer that I cut out of a magazine shortly after I was married (2 1/2 years ago!). It says "80% is enough. If you can look at your partner and say to yourself, 'I've got at least 80% of everything I want in a mate', consider yourself blessed." I've found that to be so refreshing - not one person can be everything I need all the time, even the Hubby. Too much pressure on a spouse to be everything to you can break the relationship down while expectations keep going up.

Vanessa said...

GREAT post and advice. I second the Dave Ramsey plan.....if only we'd done it from day one of our marriage instead of 10 years into it. : )

beckyjomama said...

I agree with every point you made. I would add that we, as women especially, have to be very careful to not bad talk our men. My mom cautioned me against this long before I ever even knew my hubby. She told me how very disrespectful it is to the men and how it poisons women's minds against men in general, not to mention your man individually. And I agree!

Takin' time to smell the flowers! said...

Thanks for the recommendations, I love reading things that are founded in God's word that can help improve my marriage. I agree with all that you said. Marriage is hard (and worth it!), love is a choice (and oh so sweet), and with God all things are possible!

Mother Letter said...

Kristen,

Thank you for writing this post about marriage killers. It is time that the people who profess to have received grace for their failures discuss the actual failures themselves. It's time that we discuss the humanity in all of us.

Although these topics are discussed in the abstract, I appreciate your willingness to bring the food to the table.

CrYsTAL said...

Marriage killers... thats a great topic, and great advice. Thanks for posting that. And i'm loving all the stories too! It's awesome!

Mrs. Querido said...

Very good reminder post Kristen! I can't think of anything to add :)

cajungal01 said...

Great post! I love it. :0)
My marriage has been one of great growth lately...it's a work in progress and we are seeing some progress now! YEA GOD!
I will say one of the main things that I always remind myself:

God tells wives to be the HELPMATE of the man.
He tells husbands to LOVE their wife.

I always think to myself "am I helping him right now? Is what I am doing truly helpful?" and I remind myself that God did not create husbands to be the helpmates. nope. When I think he SHOULD help more, I realize I'd rather get more lovin'. :0)

men need help
women need love



so VERY very true.
:0)

auntrene said...

Great Post, Great Blog, Thank you!
itsjustmerene2003atyahoodotcom

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Such an excellent post Kristen!! Thanks for all the great reminders. I do struggle with the selfishness - pretty sure that pouting or guilt-tripping when you don't get your way wasn't what God wanted in a marriage!

Loving your carnival!

cindyb said...

Lots of good advice you've posted. It's taken me 20 years of marriage to understand/learn some it(and I'm still working on some!) I just hope we still have time to influence our teens to do things differently and make better choices than they've seen their dad and me make in the past.
imahobbit2 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Happy Mama said...

I think you hit them all. We talked about all of these in our Family foundations classes at Bible college!

BTW I love this carnival and thank you for sharing

Lisa said...

Great post, and lots of good followup comments from everyone too.
I think it's important to remember that "this too shall pass". Sometimes when you're stressed, or broke, or mad at each other, or frustrated with your job, it's easy to think maybe that's how it's going to be forever. And then it's easy to think well, if this is how it's going to be forever, maybe it isn't worth it. You have to be ready to weather the storms. Things will get better eventually, or at least they'll change, so you have something different to worry about instead. :)

Greta said...

Great post and definately some things to think about. The book you mentioned sounds good, men are created differently and want different things. Anything to help understand them better!
Thanks

Greta said...

Great post and definately some things to think about. The book you mentioned sounds good, men are created differently and want different things. Anything to help understand them better!
Thanks

Elaine said...

Great post! I love your blog!
eswhiteside@bellsouth.net

Jackie said...

I enjoyed your post. I've been married almost 22 years and still love my husband as much as...no, more than...the day we got married. I sometimes forget that the kids should come second...thanks for the reminder.

Sharla said...

A couple of things my husband decided on when we were married was that we would not bring up past transgressions and that we would NEVER talk bad about each other to other people. Seems to have worked pretty well so far. Thanks for making me think about my love and why I am married to him. He really is the most important thing in my life.

Andreah said...

Thanks for the great post. You hit the nail on the head in so many ways.

~Sandy~ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
~Sandy~ said...

Great points and info on this blog...I am thinking of banishing "never" and "always" too. Thanks for the book suggestion. I am always looking for things to better my marriage. We took some marriage classes last year and really learned a lot about each other. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication. I think by not having God #1 in your relationship can be pretty destructive.

cheekybowtique@hotmail.com

a Tonggu Momma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
a Tonggu Momma said...

Love those rules! Great reminders. We have a few more, mostly because I so desperately need them. Ha!

never call your spouse names
never touch your spouse in anger
never freeze out your spouse
never use your children by putting them in the middle
never get historical
never use the in-laws in a fight
never reason to win, or fight to win
never gossip about your conflict
never publicly embarrass your spouse

purplemoose said...

wow, there is a lot of wisdom in your list. I gotta learn from it.

Stephanie said...

thanks for the helpful resources you listed for a healthy marriage. So important to keep it fresh and centered - both for you and your partner as well as the children.

Nancy said...

I try not to say anything that I would be embarassed for anyone else to hear. There's an old saying about making your words soft and tender, for you may have to eat them tomorrow!

Nancy said...

oops... I left out my e-mail from the above post.

Nancy
allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

Proud Mommy said...

Always needing to be RIGHT!!!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Count me in the giveaway! Hubby & I are joining our small group tonight for another screening of Fireproof. Love that movie!

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Great words of advice!

Composing Hallelujahs said...

thanks for telling it like it is, we always need to be on guard!

Aubrey said...

Super idea! Thanks for hosting!

Brimful Curiosities said...

One mistake some people make is to not give the other spouse enough space to do something for themselves, whether it be joining book club, time in the garage by themselves, etc. While it is important to be able to do things together, it is also important to nurture individuality.

Megan @ Little Bella Bean said...

When you talk about your husband to others, be positive and uplifting! Never get negative or tear him down. Dont use sarcasm when you speak about him. You can confide in trusted sources about troubles, but when with your girlfriends, just hanging out, don't husband bash. He may not hear it, but it is hurtful to the core of your marriage.

Bina said...

I just ordered BOTH books that you suggested. I'm hoping my husband will read his, but you just never know.

And I would LOVE to get more understanding on how a man thinks, because Lord knows I have no clue right now!

Natalie said...

Love what you're doing! What an encouragement!

Comfort Joy Designs said...

Communication is key in our marriage. When one of us holds back when something is bothering us, that's when trouble starts brewing. Learning to share what's on our minds without becoming defensive has helped immensely.

Lucrecia said...

what wonderful reminders!

Sarah said...

This has been very encouraging! Thank you!

jennschmerer said...

Commenting late on this post- but there's a big marriage killer for me that wasn't mentioned yet. Don't expect your husband to read your mind- and then be upset when he doesn't! It sounds silly, but I think it's very easy for us as women to expect our man to think like we do. Some perceived slight or hurt can get turned into a very big deal in our minds very quickly and he does not have a clue that anything is going on until we erupt like a volcanoe!

I have also learned that I have to love myself or I can't allow him to love me. There are times when I project my own self-loathing onto him and believe that the kind things he does are being done out of contempt for my own shortcomings (i.e. if I can't do them, he'll do them himself, but with a grudge). But he's really just doing them because he loves me! It all just boils down to communication- and mostly not only remembering to send certain words to the word graveyard but making sure that love and gratitude are expressed daily!

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