In healthy marriages, both partners work together to make and keep their relationship strong. But, no marriage is perfect, and every husband and wife need to continually reevaluate what is working and what is not.
All couples make mistakes, even happily married ones. Here are 6 common errors any couple can make.
Making plans without consulting your spouse
Everyone has busy schedules. In a marriage, it’s important to be considerate of your spouse’s schedule. To make sure you don’t schedule over something your spouse already has planned and to avoid conflicting schedules, you need to communicate.
You can set up a weekly scheduling meeting and discuss what plans are already in place. Write down who has what when and work through any overlapping conflicts. Also, there are several apps available that allow families to share the same online calendar, which can alleviate potential scheduling mishaps.
Splitting responsibilities equally
In theory, it sounds like a good idea. Divide all responsibilities evenly between husband and wife, right? The problem with this is that it can lead to keeping score. If you’re keeping a mental (or even physical) tab of who does what and how often, you’re going to find yourself frustrated and feeling like you’re taking on more responsibilities than your spouse.
The better solution would be to discuss which tasks are best done by who, and then find ways to help each other as time and schedules allow. And remember, just because one spouse is “in charge” of a certain job, doesn’t mean the other one can’t help out when needed.
“Spend too much time fixating on fairness today, and you risk not making it to the long run when things often balance out,” states a marriage article. Find what works but be flexible.
Skipping sleep until you resolve an argument
While you may sleep better if you’re not in the middle of a fight, the later it gets and the more tired you and your spouse become, the more likely it is that you’ll say things you don’t mean or that you’ll regret.
Instead, sleep on it. Things become clearer and less intense after a night’s sleep. It’s a similar concept to counting to 10 to calm down before speaking. Agree to disagree for the night and discuss it when you’re both more rested.
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Thinking you married a mind reader
Don’t think your spouse will do something just because you think it’s obvious. Even though you may think your spouse should do something, doesn’t mean he/she will catch the telepathic messages you’re trying to send. For instance, the garbage can is full and needs to be taken out. When your spouse doesn’t do it, even though it’s obviously full, this can cause friction if you blow up because of the oversight.
The better idea is to be transparent. A little, “Hey, honey, would you mind taking the trash out?” is a simple communication that can nix a potential argument over something as trivial as the garbage.
Forgeting your spouse has feelings too
When we’re comfortable around another person, it’s easy to snap at him/her or to take out our stress and frustrations. It’s a weird phenomenon that we often hurt those we love the most.
The remedy for this is to calm down before talking, discuss what’s bothering you, and, if you have spit out hurtful or harsh words at your spouse, apologize and make it better. If you’re on the receiving end, forgive. Instead of blowing up back at him/her, ask if there’s something you can do to help ease the stress of frustration.
Waiting for “someday”
Someday, we’ll go on a date. Someday, you can go have a girls’/guys’ night. Someday, we’ll take that trip we’ve been talking about. If you’re always putting off these moments you need as a couple or as individuals, “someday” may never come.
Make commitments to your spouse. Set a specific day and time for a lunch or dinner date and make it happen. Be deliberate in your choices. Don’t wait until there is nothing else going on. There will always be something else going on unless you make an intentional effort to put your spouse first.
Marriage is about love and working together to stay in love. After all, both spouses are just people, individuals with needs and busy lives. Couples have to work together to share the load and find ways to communicate. Make time for each other a priority so your healthy marriage doesn’t disintegrate. Make your strong relationship stronger.