There’s no such thing as a perfect marriage. Especially between my husband and me. For the majority, we get along wonderfully; we pick at each other, help each other, and regardless, we’re 100% supportive of what we do.
Okay, more like 84.9% supportive.
In almost 2 years of marriage and 1 year of being together before that, one of the most critical things Bret and I have learned is that the best thing we can do for each other is listening.
And so, our first segment of Marriage Monday is thus; LISTEN TO YOUR PARTNER.
There are days you’re going to be so aggravated that it has nothing to do with your relationship. Maybe you had a bad day at work, you got pulled over and was given a ticket, or the bank decided to overdraw your account. Or perhaps you’ve just had it with your partner’s shenanigans of being lazy, unreliable, or hanging out with his buddies until the crack of dawn.
When your partner needs to vent or explain their feelings or side of the story, please, listen to them.
Acknowledge their emotions, and just be there to lend an ear for them. Even if you don’t agree and they’re lashing out at you, it’s essential to hear their case. It’s okay to disagree, and it’s okay to reprimand them lightly. But don’t yell back.
Example from personal experiences; my husband and I work on two entirely different shifts. He works 8am to 3:30pm Monday thru Friday, and I work Wednesday thru Friday (sometimes Saturday) from 8pm to 8am. My first day off of work, I am usually asleep all day, and I don’t get to see him or my family. He’s the type that can’t stay still; it’s also a part of his disability that he needs to keep busy. So he will take off with friends for the day. When I get up, I’m angry at myself for 1. Sleeping all day and 2. Losing family time with everybody. When he gets home, those feelings turn into being passive aggressive or snapping at anybody who speaks to me until I finally blow up, taking all of this on my poor husband.
Sometimes, he does listen. He tries to reason with me and make me see his side. And I calm down, realize I’m wrong and apologize. And then if he has had an equally bad day, he argues back by telling me to calm down.
Obviously, that doesn’t happen.
It’s an ongoing life lesson that Bret and I are having to learn. It also doesn’t help that we both deal with different levels of anxiety, which I am learning to control. In the end, listening is in the top 5 things that make a marriage work better. It’s not something that can happen overnight, but if staying up all night helps, then it’s a start.