I’ve learned that when we come into marriage we all have our own expectations and ideas about how the ideal marriage should work. We all want the same thing—a good marriage, a happy marriage, a lasting and fulfilling marriage—but we have different ideas on what gets us there.
My wife Stephana and I didn’t really talk about this before we got married, and it was years into our marriage before we began to do so. We got married and just went on expecting things to end up “happily ever after” because that’s what we both wanted, even though we didn’t discuss it. Nope, didn’t happen.
My marriage wouldn’t be where it is today, without counsel and support of other married couples. We’ve been through counseling. We’ve had friends “camp out” at our house in the midst of a trial until we worked it out. Too many couples to name have covered us in prayer and helped us in many other areas. Each has been very valuable.
When it comes to my fatherhood report card I think I’m getting a passing grade. I may be better than some, but I still have a ton of room for improvement. There is that constant battle of my good intentions against what I’m actually doing. My concern: Is what I’m doing actually helping my kids, or really just messing them up?
You may have the same concerns as well. You have great intentions, but your intentions don’t always play out the way you hope or expect. It leaves you with a little uncertainty, a little seed of doubt about whether your kids will be better off because of you or completely jacked up.
One of the biggest challenges in marriage is being on the same page with your spouse. Many couples have asked how to get on the same page with your spouse.
When two different people, from two different backgrounds, usually with two different ways of doing things come together, be on the same page is no easy task. After 12 years of marriage, my wife and I have had some success and big failures in this area, but we’ve finally found a way to consistently do it.
A couple years ago, my wife Stephana and I were at a marriage retreat. We were asked to participate in an exercise where we rated the state of our marriage. If memory serves me correctly it was based on a scale of one to ten.
A ranking of one meant our marriage was absolutely terrible, and ten meant our marriage was the best it could be. After revealing our answers to one another the difference was shocking. One of us ranked our marriage north of five, while the other — uh, not the same, not even close.
Have you ever gone in your bedroom with your spouse, locked the door behind you, and ignored your kids? My wife and I have, and we plan to do it more often. In fact, we believe doing so consistently is going to improve our marriage.
It’s finally Spring weather here in Indiana! If you are familiar with the weather in the midwest, especially Indiana, you can understand my excitement. We are not too surprised when winter weather is the norm even after March 21st when it’s supposed to be spring. So, when we get several days of spring-like weather we are excited.
For our family, it’s time to pull out the bikes and take some family bike rides. It’s our thing during the spring and summer. We ride around our neighborhood, pack up bikes and go to the park or even downtown Indy. I remember riding bikes during the spring and summer as kids, but it wasn’t the family bike ride like we do today. It was different then.
My wife and I recently decided to go through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. We realized some changes would be very helpful in the way we view and handle our money. We want to do like Dave says, “Live like no one else, so later we can live like no one else.” So, we signed up and joined our small group on a journey to live like no one else.
In Dave’s session about relationships and money, he shared a story about Belgian horses, which illustrated one major key to winning in marriage. It was the second time in a matter of weeks that I’d heard this illustration used in the context of relationships, so I thought it was worthy of researching and writing about.
I recently made the decision to turn off all the notifications on my cell phone. I just reached the point where I was overwhelmed. No matter what time of day, no matter what I was doing, and no matter where I was I just kept getting interrupted.
Notifications distracted me from everything—from work, from my family, and even from myself. I learned that removing them is a great way to bless your wife and kids.
For the past few mornings, my wife has allowed me to wake up next to her and my friend Joy. Although my wife doesn’t really know Joy, she has no problems with our relationship. In fact, I would say she wants me to get to know Joy even more. My hope is they develop a strong friendship themselves. This would make my life, my wife’s life, and our family life better.