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The joys of a Breezy marriage
Don’t we just love breezy days? It’s cooling enough to stay home or go out, and it feels like anything is possible!
Most marriages start with a Breezy weather, in which possibilities abound.
Commonly called the honeymoon period, it’s a time when you discover new things about each other. Enveloped in that honeymoon glow, there’s hope and optimism in the air.
There’s anticipation, joy, and excitement. You work hard at doing things together, for each other; it’s effortless to go the extra mile. You express love spontaneously. This reciprocation fuels a wonderful sense of being desired.
In such an atmosphere, love and trust develop easily. There’s no second guessing each other’s actions. Giving your spouse the benefit of the doubt is easy as mutual trust is strong.
Yet a Breezy marriage is not only for the newlyweds. Maybe you have been married for over 30 years, and now – with an empty nest – you find yourselves again able to explore new things to do together. Or you could have a young family with kids who are growing in independence, and you can now carve out regular couple time. A lot more things feel possible again.
The stresses of a Breezy marriage
As attractive as this weather may be, it can come with its challenges. Just as some people are allergic to pollen from blossoming flowers blown in by the wind, relationships can get the sneezes and wheezes too.
Unexpected irritants can be found in each other’s quirks, like how dirty dishes are left in the sink overnight or one can work with piles of books on the study table. A bigger hiccup could be realising your spouse really doesn’t like visiting your parents or that one party expects to have sex more regularly than expected!
Some couples find their differing attitudes towards money a constant sticky point. Others experience tension with household chores or childcare responsibilities.
Whatever it is, don’t let the irritants distract you from the big, beautiful picture. Work through the things that bug you, so that resentment doesn’t seethe and become festering wounds later on in your marriage.
You may also be (re)discovering the strengths each of you bring to the marriage – you may enjoy budget while DIY is in your spouse’s DNA. We are always learning new things about each other – some more welcomed than others, and how we approach it makes the difference between appreciation and annoyance.
Talk about it, and listen well to each other. Often, the very thing that may cause us to be annoyed by our spouse (e.g. lack of structure) can also be the thing that demonstrates their strength in another area of marriage (e.g. spontaneity). Instead of allowing each other’s strengths to leave you or your spouse feeling unappreciated, talk about how to make the best use of them, in order to work together better as a team.
After all, when it’s a breezy day out, that’s the best time to go out there to create good memories for keeps.
Making the best of a Breezy marriage
For the husband
- What can you do in this weather?
- Initiate new rituals to strengthen your relationship, such as date nights, pillow talk, etc. Set time aside to connect with your wife, beyond just juggling work and the household.
- Seek out other married couples you both enjoy hanging out with or look up to. Go on double dates! This is a great way to form a community to journey with you and your wife.
- Create a Vision Board to express your hopes and dreams for the year. Take time to listen to your wife, understand what’s important to her, and be her biggest cheerleader.
- Things to watch out for:
- Most women thrive on communication and connection. Don’t brush off the need to communicate and have healthy emotional talk when you sense something’s wrong.
- Don’t expect your wife to change to be more like you.
- In the day-to-day, don’t assume that she feels your love. Take steps to express your appreciation and affection for her.
For the wife
- What can you do in this weather?
- Learn how best to communicate with your husband. You may want to elaborate with stories when talking about an issue, but your husband may prefer that you get straight to the point. Talk about talking!
- Discover each other’s love languages, so you don’t end up showing love only in your preferred love language. This way, you both avoid feeling unappreciated if your spouse doesn’t seem to respond as you hope he would!
- Encourage and affirm your husband when he initiates conversations or does the chores.
- Things to watch out for:
- Comparisons can be toxic in a marriage. Don’t try to change your husband or make remarks about how you wish he could be like your friends’ husbands.
- Control the urge to nag, or irritably repeat instructions in order to change a particular behaviour. Instead, tell him it bothers you, explain why it is important to you, and trust him to change.
- Don’t stay quiet to avoid “rocking the boat”, or give him the cold or silent treatment when you are angry. It sets an unhealthy communication pattern in your marriage.
Couple conversations in this weather
- How are we similar to each other? How are we different?
- What is one quirk or habit about me that frustrates you?
- What is one thing you would like me to do regularly to express my love for you?
A thriving marriage in every weather
Take time to celebrate and enjoy each other!
Every bride and groom enters into their union with a promise to have and to hold, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do they part.
When the marriage hits a rough patch, consider how you can live out your vows. As someone once said: It is not love that sustains the marriage, but marriage that sustains the love.
“I didn’t marry you because you were perfect… I married you because you gave me a promise. That promise made up for your faults. And that promise I gave you made up for mine. Two imperfect people got married, and it was the promise that made the marriage. And when our children were growing up, it wasn’t a house that protected them; and it wasn’t our love that protected them; it was the promise.” – Thornton Wilder
There can be beauty and growth in each weather your marriage is in. So, hold tight to the good, work hard at the difficult, and commit to journey through life together.
No matter what weather your marriage is in, you can make your relationship with your spouse the best that it can be.
© 2021 Focus on the Family Singapore. All rights reserved.
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