You've said your I do's and have happily accepted the role as loving spouse. You are determined to make this work come hell or high water. Til death do us part, right? Most importantly, you are determined to not be another divorce statistic. You are in this for the long haul.
One year has passed and things are peachy. Two years in and things are starting to get a little shaky. You are already showing signs of concern for the years to come. Why was everything beautiful in the beginning and now not so much? What's changing?
Chances are, you are both changing. The things you thought were cute, adorable, admirable and awesome at first are now annoying and disturbing. How is that possible? It's not only that, other things are changing too. Let's have a peek to see what things are moving in the wrong direction and how to get rid of them so we can live happily ever after, again.
This may have worked when you were first dating, and then slightly into the first year of marriage but after a while this gets old. Your partner has a voice and an opinion too and chances are they had one before they met you. Let them be heard as well and keep an open mind when it comes time to discuss things. You will see, as time goes by, that their way sometimes can be a good way too. Give up your need for victory. Winning every debate or being on top of all the discussions isn't always necessary.
2. Your contact list.
Those of you who still have some of your exes save d on your cell phones, it's time to drop them. Right now. Not only your exes but anyone else in your life that you are pretty sure will not play a very good role in your new life. Keeping these numbers in your phone is only inviting trouble. Remember your happily ever after? That won't work if you're saving "Luscious Larry's" or "Sweet candy Chrissy's" number in your phone. Time to delete.
3. Let go of control.
Ouch. Yes I know. You've been a control freak all your life. How about just controlling you and your life and let your partner live their life, of course with you both happily meeting in the middle somewhere. You don't always have to control everything. Read #1 again if you have to. Your partner has a mind and probably some really good ideas too. Let them use it. Allow them to have some freedom in this relationship too. If you don't, watch as you slowly push them away. They will eventually cower and only want to hang with people that let them be themselves, and you aren't one of them.
4. You don't own anyone.
Seriously. You are your own person as is your spouse. You don't own them so don't treat them like a possession. Treat them like an individual and they will treat you with the same respect. Don't let your spouse lose their individuality because of your possessiveness. Remember who you fell in love with and married. If you mold them into your prize possession, they will not be the same person anymore and things will fall apart not too long after that. Just watch.
5. Being jealous is for teenagers.
Not for two mature people who already stated their eternal vows before the judge (or God). If you were jealous going into this relationship, you got married anyway and you are still jealous, then you need to work this out ASAP. There is no place or room for jealousy in a loving trusting union. Let it go. It will only be the beginning of the end for you if you don't deal with it soon. There is no trust where there is jealousy.
6. Stop criticizing me.
This really goes without saying for any relationship, really. You should never criticize anyone unless it's constructive and they asked for it specifically. Other than that, it's just bashing and being mean. You are not perfect. Neither is your spouse. You two were not perfect when you got married either. That's not going to change anytime soon. You knew each other's faults before you got married. Deal with them. Try showing some love and patience instead. It will help you deal with the idiosyncrasies better too.
7. Who needs a tune up?
Certainly not your spouse. Stop trying to fix them . They aren't broken. You married them exactly the way they are because you love them, not because you thought you could fix all their faults. If that's why you got married you better secure a divorce lawyer now. They don't need or want you to fix them, they want you to love them just the way they are. Broken and all. Remember you're not perfect either.
Marriage is hard work. It's two people trying to maintain a happy household for everyone involved. Open communication is key, as is trust, faithfulness, loyalty and a good sense of humour. Never lose your identity in your marriage. Remember that's the reason this person fell in love with you and married you in the first place. For you.
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