Friday, May 2, 2014

On Being Grateful For Your Spouse

It may be awful to say, but I am so thankful for my husband every time I hear about something terrible a friend's spouse did/said/didn't do.  Is it bad that other people's hardships in marriage/partnership make me so very happy to have a normal and functional marriage?  Not that our marriage is without fault or that we don't have problems; we all do.  But I am talking about those issues your friends tell you about that you just. cannot. believe that one person would do or say to the person they love most in the world.  So and so lied about what they were doing, said this horrible thing, was chatting with other people on a dating site, really really screwed up the relationship with brother-in-law.  Whatever it may be, I just cannot imagine my husband EVER doing anything horrible to me or anyone else. 

I may not have this marriage thing totally figured out, but I do know how we make it work for us.  It is a work in progress, like all relationships are.  That is actually something that many young couples don't realize; you have to work on your marriage, EVERY day, if not every moment of every day.  Throughout the day, you have your sweetheart in your mind, and in all you do think about how what you choose to do will benefit them and help them.  That sounds harder than it is!  Aren't you thinking of them off and on anyway?

I believe that you will be much happier in your marriage/partnership if you realize your partner is the way they are whether you like it or not, and they will never change because you want/ask them to.  Instead, support them with their unique traits in mind.

If your spouse is forgetful, remind them gently about commitments periodically, or if they have a phone with a calender, ask them to schedule events and appointments they need to attend, or times you need them home for whatever reason.  If your spouse has a tendency to get angry quickly, think of ways you can either avoid that happening or healthy ways to cope with it yourself (go for a walk to give them time to cool off, take a bath/shower, go engage in some retail therapy, etc.).  I'm not saying it is your fault if someone gets angry, but you do get to choose how you react in any situation.

In the over 10 years I have been with The Hubby, the last 4 have been the best for us, as far as understanding each other and working with that knowledge to help each other with everything.  I know that he needs time to unwind, and I can just tell when the unwinding needs to happen.  He can tell when I am about to lose my mind with the kids or life in general, and will take over a task or just pitch in.

I'm not sure how we got to this point exactly, but things can happen to you that make you grateful for what you have, or just push you into a downward spiral of despair and self-pity.  Since we decided to have me stay home and raise the kids after our second was born, and live on one income, I have found so many opportunities to be thankful and grateful for what we have.  Not a day goes by when I do not think about how lucky we are and that we are able to make this situation work.  It might change in the future, but for the last 3 1/2 years it has worked, and we have relied on each other for encouragement and to help keep our eyes on the prize.  (The prize being we raise our kids, and not pay someone else to do it.  I'm not hating or judging if you do that, just stating that that is what we have chosen to do in our family.)

We often say to each other how much we appreciate what the other does for us and for our family, how much we love each other, how grateful we are for each other, our kids, our house, our everything!  I love that quote that goes something like, "There are no happy people, just grateful ones.".  I'm sure I have that wrong and I cannot find it anywhere to check if I have it right.  But I love it, because it is the truth!

I guess what I am really trying to say is, be grateful.  Don't take anyone or anything for granted.  You never know when things might change and who wants to have regrets in life?  Life your life without regrets, and say thank you for everything.