In the long list of New Years Resolutions, where does your marriage fall?
Do you have a vision, hope, prayer or goal for what your life will be like with your husband in 2017?
Is your thinking focused more on the things he needs to be doing differently, or have you actually taken a good look in the mirror and considered how you could be a better wife? The things about yourself that you KNOW you need to work on, but somehow keep getting put off or further and further down your to-do list?
Well if you are interested at all in bettering yourself as a way to make your marriage better, the following 5 Habits will take you to new and better places in your marriage. I believe the quickest way to your own personal happiness is by working on the things within your control to change. The things only you and make better. The things that lie within yourself.
As a new year is upon us, here are my top 5 Habits Every Wife Needs to Develop in 2017:
Habit #1: Taking Better Care of Yourself
Now, I’m not just talking about losing weight, exercising more or eating more healthy. Those are definitely important. But I’m talking more about taking better care of your mind, your emotions and your mental well-being. In this day and age we are too stressed, with too much to do, too many pressures we place on ourselves, and too much emphasis on how we are not doing enough. In order for you to have the best marriage, YOU have to be your best. And that includes taking time to decompress, do things that you actually enjoy and making a habit of treating YOURSELF the way you’d like to be treated by others.
I suggest that you write down a list of 10 things that bring you joy. It can be small things like listening to music, talking to a friend, reading a book, watching TV, going for a walk, praying, getting your nails done, etc. The goal should be to make sure you add at least 3 of those things to your daily to-do list. Eventually, you should work your way up to getting and keeping 7 of those things as part of your routine each day. This will mean some other things have to go. And you already know what some of those things should be. The problem is that fear of disappointing others and letting people down has got you completely tapped out so much so that you are not even aware of the ways you let yourself down by being the sacrificial lamb. If you really want your marriage and overall life to thrive, you’ve got to get yourself to a happier more balanced place.
Habit #2: Being More Intentional About How You Show Up
As women, we are definitely driven by our emotions. And sometimes we over-react and blow things all out of proportion. I believe that’s due to the fact that we just let our thoughts run rampant, taking us here and there without much direction by us. So the truth of the matter is you have TOTAL control over how you think, react, and respond to ANY situation you are faced with. You can chose to interpret the actions and words of your husband any way you want. But, so often, you’ve been taught and believe you have to think about things a certain way. Don’t continue to fall into that trap! There is ALWAYS another way to see things.
The solution to changing your mindset and being intentional about how you act is to DECIDE how you want to be. Come up with 3 words that describe the type of wife you want to be. Maybe that’s being more patient. More understanding. More kind. Whatever it is for you, write them down and remind yourself of them on a regular basis. With these 3 words in the back of your mind, they can serve as the filter for how you think, respond and interact with your husband.
Habit #3: Praying for Your Husband
What are your prayers for your husband? Do you have them? If you do, are they more along the lines of how you’d like for God to change his heart? For God to move him to behave a different way? That God would open his mind and heart so that he’s more loving and kind? Those are a great start, but I want to encourage you to re-think the way you pray for your husband.
More important than the changes you want to see in him, is your ability to see him the way God sees him. In God’s eyes he is blameless and adored. Do you see your husband that way? If not, ask God to open your own eyes so that you can open your own heart to your husband. Ask God to help you to see the real enemy in your marriage. That instead of fighting each other, you fight the real force causing the discord you are experiencing. And while God is working behind the scenes, you stay focused on covering your husband in prayers that uplift him, that encourage him and that are an example of your unconditional love.
Habit #4: Practing Gratitude and Focusing on the Positive
I want you to think of your biggest complaint about your husband. Got it?
Now, think about 5 examples where the opposite is true. So if you complain that your husband does not listen to you, come up with 5 examples of times where you really felt heard by him. If you cannot do this easily, then it’s a sign that you’ve gotten into a very negative pattern of thinking. Your thoughts create your reality. If you think your husband is not romantic, doesn’t put forth an effort, or doesn’t communicate the way you would like, then guess what? Your mind becomes trained to look for those very things. It becomes an efficient machine in looking for all the ways your husband lets you down or doesn’t measure up to the expectations you have of him.
If you want your marriage to be the best it can be, you MUST practice gratitude and focus on the things that are doing right. Make it a regular habit every day to think of 3 things that you appreciate or are grateful for related to your husband.
Habit #5: Making Your Husband a Priority
When was the last time you put something else aside to spend some quality time with your husband? When was the last time you spent time together as a couple instead of just operating in your roles as mommy and daddy? Quality time is SO critical to the health of your marriage. Children, crazy work schedules and other demands for your time make it so easy to let this area slide.
What I suggest you do is to treat spending quality alone time with your husband as important as taking care of your kids. You would never let them go without a meal or a bath or the clothes they need. You see it as your duty. Your responsibility. Your priority. You’ve got to also put your husband back at the top of your priority list. He’s dying for your love and attention just as much as you are dying for his. But he’s not doing to ask for it directly. His unmet needs are going to present themselves as increased distance, shutting down in conversations and being increasingly distracted by work, social media, or tv. Slowly he’s finding a way to replace the time he WANTS to be spending with you with other activities. And you’ve already seen this happen. Slowly, you are becoming more like roommates than soulmates. The solution is for YOU to make a priority of spending time with him and showing him that he’s still important.
And if you are saying, “Well he needs to make the time for me. He needs to show me that I’M a priority too!” That’s a very common way of thinking and is one of the key reasons your marriage is not in the greatest place right now. (Sorry, I had to say it!)
So now that you have this information you have a choice. You can exit out of this post and keep operating as you usually do. You can think more about these habits and try to incorporate them into your own life. Or you can save this post, write these habits down and make a PLAN for how you will address each and every one.
I really hope you do the latter. That this doesn’t become just words on a page that are never brought to life in your own marriage.
And if you’d like to receive support, encouragement and resources to help you make these habits part of your new year, let’s talk. Feel free to schedule some time to talk with me directly about what you are trying to achieve in your marriage. I’d love to explore the ways I may be able to help! CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT MY PERSONAL COACHING.
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