RiverSystem and I recently had our ninth anniversary. When you both have a diagnosed mental illness and a diagnosed physical disability, it can strain the marriage. But with a little bit of care, your marriage can be a success.
Do the groundwork first! It’s always good to enter into marriage with your eyes open! This means, getting to know your perspective marriage mate first. A friend told me that she married her best friend and they’ve been married over 15 years! When you’re getting to know someone though, you don’t just want to get to know what they’re like with you but also what they’re like with others. How do they speak to their parents? How do they treat old people? Those in authority? Watch them in company because how they treat others when they think you’re not looking is how they’ll treat you when you’re married.
Not every day is good, but there’s always something good in every day. The amount of times, we’ve been about to blow up in a huge argument and something has happened or been said that makes us cry with laughter is unbelievable! They say laughter is the best medicine and it really is!
Once you move in together, you become a separate family. When you first get together, everyone has advice on how to do things and what your routine should be. While some advice is good like ‘don’t leave it till tomorrow if you can do it today’, some of it isn’t that helpful. What you need to remember is that you are your own family now. If you would rather go food shopping and the rest of the housework on weekday evenings so you can enjoy the weekend, do so! If you work, four days a week and your partner works 5 and you want to all the housework on your day off so you can spend the weekend having fun together go for it! But as one family member told me, “Listen to all advice before you decide whether or not to follow it.”
Be wrathful, but do not sin; do not let the sun set while you are still angry. Ephesians 4:26 New World Translation. I know some of you think the Bible is outdated and don’t believe in God but I do and apart from that, this is good advice. If you don’t sort an argument out straight away, then it festers and it gets brought up in the next argument. While it’s important to walk away and calm down for five minutes when you’re getting angry, it is important to get back together as soon as possible to put the problem right before it gets blown out of all proportion. And don’t publicise it to all and sundry!
Respect each other’s opinion. While you have to remember that your partner can’t read your mind, you should also remember that they’re not stupid either! Give them the benefit of the doubt that they should know what they’re talking about sometimes! And also respect them when they disagree with you. Especially if they have good reasons for doing so.
Never say “I told you so”! If your partner makes a decision and you disagree, make your opinion known, yes, but
when if it goes wrong, then don’t gloat! This is really difficult but really important!
Go on frequent dates. Do you remember the excitement you had when you first started dating? The fluttering heartbeat, the giddy head, the smile when you thought of them? Why not recreate that? Dates don’t have to be expensive! You could go for a walk together or get a takeaway coffee and sit on the bench in the park. RiverSystem and I have an agreement that we get a nice takeaway once a month and some ready meals for the other Fridays in the month and we watch a movie. It’s our date night.
I know that there are a lot of complicated situations in marriages and these suggestions aren’t meant to mend fences or solve marital problems but they will help towards keeping your marriage on track.
N.B. This post is part of the Self Care CAL. If you want to learn more about it and the giveaway I’m running during the CAL, click on the Self Care CAL tab above and read all about it!