When an engagement ring goes on a woman's finger, her mind is full of possibilities for the future. There is so much excitement and love. The wedding plans fill her time, and her fiancé fills her heart. With this new person by her side, it seems as if the world is her oyster.
After marriage, however, sometimes things change for women. They aren't as happy or excited as we once were. Why is that? Of course, part of it is that real life happens. Now that you are married, the bills come, sleepless nights happen, jobs end, financial issues cause arguments, health issues pop up, and so much more. So it feels like there are more ups and downs than there used to be. While it's totally normal, it causes many women to feel discouraged.
This discouragement may lead some women to make many common mistakes in marriage. But why go through that if you don't have to? Learn from what otherwise women have learned about marriage over the years. Here is how to avoid common marriage mistakes:
Let Go of Expectations
Many women tend to have certain expectations about marriage, be it about how each day will go, how sex will play out over time, and how they will be treated by their husbands. It's only natural, as you are trying to plan your future, to try to think what things will be like. But it's essential to a happy relationship to let go of expectations. Just how do you do that?
Instead of only filling your head with all sorts of possibilities-and then just keeping those ideas to yourself-it's time to talk about anything and everything with your spouse. Talk about what you what life to look like in 1, 5, 10+ years. This will help keep expectations in check. Perhaps some of your ideas will align, but other times they may not. So talk things out. This will be an ongoing discussion to make sure you both have realistic views and know what the other is thinking.
It may be especially helpful for you and your husband to keep a list or journal to write down both of your thoughts on all sorts of topics-with the realization that either your or his thoughts and feelings may change over time. Some topics to discuss are finances, children and parenting, vacations, house/apartment, intimacy, daily routine, etc.
Put Your Marriage Before All Else
Women are generally people-pleasers and nurturers. They work really hard to make sure everything at work is done, then they come home and make sure each child is fed and attended to. If a friend comes by needing something, they are all over it. On any given day, a woman is giving and giving all day.
It's no small feat to do what women do. They accomplish so much, and their effort is commendable. But there is a downside to doing too much. When it is all said and done, items on her to do list may be crossed off, but then she may not have any energy left to give to her spouse. When the day winds down-which is prime spouse time-she has nothing left. Many times a woman will just stare at a screen and fall asleep, exhausted.
This needs to change if women want to have a great married life. What we pay attention to grows. It is a big mistake to not make your spouse a priority. So, when making out your daily to do list, alter things a little. Instead of putting everything you need to do for other people at the top of the list, put someone else first-your husband.
What should be on the list? Date night, giving him a foot massage, doing a chore he hates doing, cleaning out his car, putting a little note in his briefcase, sending him a text telling him how much you love him, picking up his favorite snack at the store, etc. These things don't take a lot of extra time, but they are great ways to send a message to your spouse that you are always thinking of him.
Don't Expect Him to Think Like You Do
Kara is continually frustrated with her husband, Lee. They couldn't be more opposite. The thing that gets her the most is how he spends his free time. Kara prefers to be active-she loves going to the gym, going on hikes, riding her bike around town, and playing sports. Lee, however, is perfectly happy sitting at home, reading or playing board games or watching TV.
Then Kara realized how these frustrations were spilling into the rest of their marriage. She was letting it bother her too much. She was focusing on her negative thoughts and feelings. A friend gave her some good marriage advice: let your husband be who he is. Neither Kara nor her husband were right or wrong in how they liked to spend their free time. They were just different. So Kara resolved to let Lee be Lee. They didn't think alike, and that was ok.
Letting go of feeling as if they had to do everything together relieved a lot of her stress and frustration. Now she goes to the gym and rides bikes with friends, but Lee joins her for sports. Lee typically watches TV and reads alone, but Kara loves to play board games with him.
Instead of expecting your husband to think like you do, celebrate your differences. Maybe you both have different views on health and eating, travel destinations, when to go to bed, etc. Sure, it would be nice if you thought alike, but you don't! So just work together, and come together. Take into consideration each person's preferences. Above all, realize that the other's view isn't wrong-just different.
Notice Everything He Does For You
Everyone loves praise and admiration. Likely your guy does little things for you because he loves you; he probably doesn't expect praise in return, but don't you think he'd love it? How special would it make your husband feel if you said, "Thank you!" or "You're the best!" or "I am so lucky to have you!"
Every time your husband does something for you-even if he is "supposed to" do it anyway-offer your gratitude. Just the fact that you noticed will mean a lot, and it will send good vibes his way. And we all know that having a happy spouse makes for an awesome marriage.
Author Bio: Malini Bhatia is the founder of Marriage.com , a website dedicated to providing value in every marriage. Marriage.com provides resources, information and a community that supports healthy, happy marriages. Malini has global experience in international management and communications, and lives in Los Angeles with her husband of 11 years and two daughters .