I’ve been married for twenty-one years. I admit that it’s not easy at times, and I need to often work on my marriage to change patterns of behavior that trigger stressors in my relationship with my husband. For me, this means finding new ways to reconnect, rediscover, and renew.
In recent efforts to work on my marriage, I have turned to author and blogger, Gretchen Rubin. Rubin is the author of the acclaimed, New York Times bestseller, The Happiness Project. Her most recent book, Happier at Home, has also gained popularity among literary circles. One noteworthy blog by Rubin is called, 5 Mistakes I Continue to Make in My Marriage. The following list summarizes Rubin’s 5 mistakes and offers ways to address them.
- Demanding gold stars. Instead of unrealistically expecting recognition and appreciation from our spouses for every completed chore, we need to relish in the satisfaction of doing things for ourselves.
- Using a snappish tone. We need to curb our tempers. If you have a short fuse or become easily irritable, try to keep your temper in check by not getting too hungry, getting enough rest and exercise, or controlling your voice to keep it light and cheery.
- Not showing enough consideration. Studies show that married people treat each other with less civility than they show to other people. Let’s work hard on demonstrating basic consideration, such as warm greetings and farewells, and not working on the computer when having a conversation.
- Score-keeping. “I cleaned up the kitchen, so you have to run to the store.” If this sounds familiar, perhaps it’s time to stop calculating and remind yourself of all the tasks that you don’t do. Love is not a “tit for tat.”
- Taking my husband for granted. It’s easy to focus on flaws and forget virtues. We need to stay alert to all the things that we love about our spouse, and let go of the petty annoyances.
Rubin suggests that we kiss more, hug more, touch more. She calls it “KMHMTM.” This allows us to be loving and appreciative. It doesn’t take extra time, energy, or money, and it enhances your relationship and improves the atmosphere of the home.
Do you make any of these mistakes? I do. And I plan to fix them in order to reconnect, rediscover and renew.