I pulled this list from my own #barefacedbride experience of 23 years. However, before any of you ladies get upset with me, I want to clarify. I didn’t make this list to blame the girls for everything that doesn’t go right in a marriage. Do many of these items apply to both bride and groom? Of course, they do.
But sometimes, ladies, we can take some steps forward to make things better. And to be honest, you can't immediately expect to see equal effort from your partner, and you probably won't.
When I knew I was doing my best to make things better in my relationship with my hubby, I saw my perspective change as well as my relationship.
You see, from experience, I've learned the grass does not get any greener unless I am willing to turn on the hose. And I had to make an every day effort not to let anyone or anything drive a wedge of discontent to affect the way I viewed or treated my significant other, whom I have willfully dedicated myself to the life long service of the give and take of loving.
The permanent change needed to break some of our internalized bad habits is a day-by-day journey in which we embrace love in the thicks and the thins of our frail human skin. And that takes a lifetime of patient, purpose-built, love-focused, and grace-centered persistence.
Here's just 35 things that I've learned doesn't make my marriage better. Why is this so long? Because I'm sure, from your experience you can make it longer.
So here goes:
1. Not giving your guy time to unwind.
2. Always trying to throw blame his way.
3. Making him feel that he is never your priority.
4. Always thinking he needs to bow to your wishes or else.
5. Never allowing him to make a final decision.
6. Taking your work stress out on him at the end of the day.
7. Trying to hide something because you are afraid he’ll get mad or it will hurt him.
8. Taking away his responsibilities because he’s not “doing it right.”
9. Not recognizing when he does something (even if in your eyes it's small) to make your life easier.
10. Never backing off from an argument unless he says you’re right (especially when you’re wrong).
11. Always finding something to complain about—what’s not right in your life, home, or on your dinner plate.
12. Having a habit of reminding him what he did wrong a year ago or that he always does (blank) wrong.
13. Not asking how his day is and truly focusing on listening.
14. Withholding affection until you get your way.
15. Sending him “to the couch.”
16. Treating your guy like his opinion doesn’t matter.
17. Making fun of or bullying your guy, especially in front of others.
18. Calling him derogatory names.
19. Willfully hurting your guy to get back at him.
20. Trying to make your guy jealous.
21. Criticizing your man in front of others (especially in front of your kids) as well as behind his back.
22. Venting your anger about your guy on social media.
23. Never having the presence of mind to think things through before you “let him have it.”
24. Not telling your guy in a kind way about the things that he does that hurt you.
25. Not letting him tell about the things that you do that hurt him.
26. Never wanting to go to counseling for fear of what others may think.
27. Not spending alone time together.
28. Having your kids take "who's the better parent" sides.
29. Expecting your guy always to drop everything to be at your beck and call.
30. Ignoring him because you're “just angry.”
31. Allowing the outside world continually to invade quality time with your guy.
32. Not bothering to take an interest in anything he likes.
33. Forgetting to tell your man on a consistent basis that you love and appreciate him and what he does for the family.
34. Only praying for God to change your guy, and not to change you.
35. Not taking the time to pray for him. This can't be just relegated to your quiet time behind closed doors or after an argument. I mean pray for him, so he hears it and feels it.
Don't just pray over him when he feels bad. Lay your hands on him and bless him in prayer. Don't schedule it, but continually look for moments when he is not looking to receive anything.
Verbalize God's blessing over him for wisdom as the head of your home. Pray for cures for discouragement and clarity in choices. Bless him as your husband and the man who is a nurturer to your children.
That kind of continual blessing is the glue that binds two people into a heavenly oneness. That is vulnerability and beautiful intimacy, and it has the power to break down every wall and overcomes ever obstacle in your path.
It has been a long, treacherous road for ourselves at times, but in this, I want to point myself in a determined direction that I'm never, ever making everyday choices that take me down that path again.
Because God brought us together, even though we were thousands of miles apart. Because he is truly one of the people I admire the most and he still is the PB that makes my heart turn to jelly. Because we are truly a team that functions better together, than when we are apart. Because I truly am, THANKFUL for US!