Normally I try to share ideas and inspiration for a happier and better life through this blog. How to achieve a successful balance in life, how to reach our goals, how to improve our lives. I’ve shared stories of fun ways to improve our relationships with our sons and daughters as teens and also as little kids.
But I have not addressed marriage before because mine was not successful. I have been on my own with my children for several years. (Their dad is involved in their lives, but they have always lived full time with me.) I have no basis on which to advise anyone on how to have a happy marriage!
I CAN tell you what I did wrong so I can help other women avoid my mistakes. By sharing how I did NOT have a happy marriage, I hope I can contribute to someone else having a better one!
4 Ways NOT to Have a Happy Marriage
Accepting things you won’t want to live with for the rest of your life.
Bad behaviors will not improve after marriage. Never set the precedent of permitting them in the first place! From even before the first day of marriage, back when we were dating, I allowed my husband to behave rudely to me (because other times he could be so sweet), and I allowed him to be lazy around the house while I did the work and resented him for it.
I would think those behaviors were unacceptable if I saw them in a friend or sister’s relationship. Yet I put up with them in mine. I wished they would change, therefore, I kept thinking (hoping) they would someday get better.
Never put up with a man speaking to you rudely or treating you rudely. Never let it slide or ignore it. Any bad behavior will get worse after marriage, not better!
Expecting your husband to pick up on your hints.
Tell him plainly what you want to communicate. Saying you wish you had some help or telling him how nice it would be if you could get a day off from cooking dinner or from getting up with the baby are just wastes of your breath. You must spell out exactly what you need your husband to do. If necessary, you must insist or demand it. He will not do what you’d like him to because you hint around it. You can’t blame him for not cooperating if you don’t make your wishes clear to him!
Losing yourself and becoming someone else to please him.
I laugh too loudly. My husband hated that, so out of respect for his feelings, I tried to tone it down. But then he hated it when I told stories about funny things that happened to us. Soon he pretty much hated it if I spoke up in public at all! I disliked conflict and loved peace, and I certainly didn’t want to raise my kids in a stressful home, so I became what I thought my husband wanted. I was unaware of it happening at the time, but I lost my own personality along the way. I buried my playfulness and joyful side.
One day back when my teenage son was just a little toddler and my husband was out of town, my son and I were enjoying some playtime outside. Suddenly I realized that I felt happy when my husband was gone. I hadn’t felt free to feel happy in a long time. I started wondering how long it had been since my little boy had seen me laugh, and I realized I never laughed when my husband was around anymore. I wasn’t me anymore.
It happened so gradually I didn’t know it was happening. But I don’t blame the ex for this. I am responsible because I let it happen. I am responsible for my own happiness. Shame on me!
I resolved to make positive changes for all our sakes. Unfortunately, it didn’t have any effect on the marriage, but it was vital to the kids and me, our happiness, and our futures.
Not listening to your friends and family.
Your friends and your family know the real you. They love you very much and want you to be happy. If they are in agreement that the love of your life is not the best match for you, at least be open to listening to their concerns and think over their advice before deciding to marry.
I did everything wrong. I thought I was keeping my husband happy, but I made poor choices that made me unhappy. I realized the consequences of my bad decisions much too late.
Ultimately there were deeper issues in the marriage. Excuse my evasive wording, but I’ll just say that another person was involved. When I learned about that more serious and critical problem, I was stunned to realize by that point I was more relieved than hurt. It gave me a way out! It was more like being rescued than feeling devastated. Life circumstances ended up prolonging the inevitable separation and divorce, but that’s another story.
Now that I’ve shared how NOT to have a happy marriage, would you please share your tips and advice for a GOOD and HAPPY one? Please leave a comment and share your lessons or secrets to a happy marriage. Or if you’re in my situation, you can still share lessons learned that might help other women out there!
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