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Fifteen Cost Effective Honeymoon Ideas

From intimate meals to luxurious accommodation and days at the spa; these are some of the aspects that top the list of things to do for honeymooners. As much as everyone would like to spend without restrictions, not everyone can enjoy unlimited spending.

So, how does one enjoy am amazing honeymoon at a low cost?
Planning 
After the engagement, start planning immediately if you want to enjoy a luxurious but affordable honeymoon.
Using a travel agent
In today’s technological age, it is quite easy to find and book flights and hotel reservations. This makes most people overlook the benefits of using a travel agent. It is possible for a couple can save money through a travel agent. This is especially ideal for individuals who are clueless when it comes to the best and affordable honeymoon destinations. However, if a couple has a specific destination in mind, they can forgo the travel agent service and just make arrangements by themselves.
Starting a honeymoon registry
Gifts are a wedding attending tradition. Most of the guests shop from the couple’s wedding registry. If you find traditional gift items overrated, you can create a honeymoon registry where you can have the guests pay for your honeymoon holiday in the place of the conventional wedding gifts. There are sites that offer honeymoon registries for a percentage of the honeymoon gift package. There are also honeymoon resorts that offer honeymoon registries where you can easily register.
Picking the destination
Couples need to keep an open mind when they are choosing honeymoon destinations. This ensures they do not make hasty decisions but instead take their time to weight the pros and cons before deciding.

 

Taking advantage of the shoulder season
All holiday destinations have low and high seasons. The balance between high and low season is referred to as the shoulder season. This is when you can get affordable holiday rates as the demand for destinations is moderate and the weather is still enjoyable.

 

Considering dollar deflation 
It is easy for currency exchange to affect your budget. It is important to consider destination where you can enjoy value for your money.

 

Considering all-inclusive packages
When you go for an all-inclusive honeymoon, you will be able to estimate how much you expect to spend. Consider other factors that may not be included in the package for a clearer estimate.

 

Choosing hotel rooms
Go for no-view rooms
For affordable hotel room rates, consider going for rooms with little or no view as this can decrease your hotel rates tremendously.
Before settling on a hotel package, look closer to ensure it saves you money. Look for discounted rates on days on accommodation.
Let them know you just got married
Most hotels will offer great deals for honeymooners, ensure you use this as much as possible when making bookings.
Eating
Food plays a vital role in any honeymoon. A I found this article that can be used as a guide book can help in this aspect.
Eat out more
While eating at your hotel may seem convenient, it may come at a higher cost.
Ask the locals 
Chat with the locals butchers, bakers or fishmongers to learn of the best yet affordable places to dine.
Making your own meals 
A couple can make their own meals every one in a while. Create a meal and enjoy time together on a picnic. This saves on money and you get to enjoy quality time together.

 

Transportation considerations
This can be the expensive part of your honeymoon. But you can also save on transportation.

Using frequent flier miles 
If a couple has charged expenses on their wedding, their honeymoon presents a perfect time to cash-in on their credit card bonus points. The best way to cash in is to get free air-fair. Incase the points balance is not enough to cater for the whole cost, it is easy to change from coach to first class. This ensures the couple flies to and from their honeymoon in style.
Flying off peak
Choose to fly on the days when the flight fares are lower. Domestic flights are most affordable on Sundays while flying abroad would be most affordable on the first two days of the week. It is good to subscribe to major airlines’ websites like Virgin‘s for example, to receive info on discounted flights. It may sometimes be cheaper
Enjoying airport pick-ups
There are some hotels in numerous destinations that offer transportation from the airport as part of the hotel package. If you have to take a taxi, try and find the legitimate ones with running meters.
Using public means
It is ideal to use mass transit as much as you can. The only other alternative is car rental which is not always cheap. Take time to familiarize yourself with the transport modes most ideal for honeymooners.

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15 Wedding Flower Mistakes to Avoid

Flowers provide the life, color and aroma to a wedding, Mesmerizing bouquets and creative centerpieces can easily convert a wedding location into a floral paradise. The success of a wedding arrangement depends on how earnestly you consider your wedding flower arrangements. You should however, ensure to avoid common flower mistakes that can turn your dream wedding into a disaster.

Top 15 Wedding Flower Mistakes to Avoid

Not envisioning the overall look

Most couples tend to approach the flower selection in isolation, and do not match it with the wedding theme or the backdrop of the venue. Venues that are set in a natural backdrop should be decorated with flowers to complement the nature and time of the wedding. Hence, it is imperative to envision the overall picture and blend the floral arrangements with the venue setting.

Not coordinating flowers with wedding essentials

Flowers are meant to complement the overall aesthetics of the wedding location. Similarly, the color scheme of the flowers should be done with the colors of the linen, walls and the furniture at the wedding location. For instance, your centerpieces should match the color of the linen on your tables.

Ineffective communication with the florist

A florist can bring your vision to life only if you convey your likes and dislikes to him in a clear and concise manner. It is important to do some homework by selecting pictures of floral arrangements that you prefer for your venue. Your preference of the nature, variety and color of wedding flowers should be conveyed to the florist effectively and elaborately.

Not allowing a free-hand to the florist

Florists are artists who can convert your dull ballroom into a lush paradise. They can easily grasp your idea, and churn something more beautiful than you would have ever imagined. It is therefore, important to allow him a free-hand in making substitutions on the size, nature and variety of floral decorations.

Rigidity in flower selection

Certain couples set their hearts on a specific variety and color of flower, and refuse to compromise to the suggestions of the florist. Incorrect selection of flowers can ruin the overall look of your D-day. You should therefore, shun rigidity, and agree with some substitutions of the florist.

Not booking your florist on time

The choice of a florist is a vital aspect of the planning stage of your wedding. Booking a florist at an early stage can help you negotiate with various vendors, have a mix of ideas provided by different experts, and choose the right expert who can match your ideas and thoughts with your budget.

Not utilizing the flowers economically

A floral designer can arrange the same set of flowers differently to match various occasions. You can talk to your florist to use the flowers decorated at the wedding venue for the reception as well. This optimal utilization can accommodate your budget, and prevent wastage of beautiful blooms.

Not using expensive blooms

Ruling out expensive flowers at the outset can be a grave blunder. You can talk to your florist to work within your budget, and allow them to make appropriate selections. Some costly blooms can be large in size, and your florist can fit a set of expensive blooms with numerous small inexpensive flowers.

Not mixing colors

A single color can actually mess up the overall look and feel of your wedding venue. The choice of flowers should be done with an accent shade to match and contrast the color theme of your wedding. Contrasting colors enhance the outcome of the wedding photographs.

Choice of inappropriate flowers

The list of your favorite flowers might include hyacinths, lilac or gardenias, but adding such strongly scented flowers to your centerpieces can cause headaches, aggravate allergies for most of your guests. Restrict the use of highly fragrant flowers to your bridal bouquet or at the altar.

Similarly, certain flowers can stain the dresses of your guests or spoil your expensive wedding gown. It is better to avoid such blooms can create havoc at the venue.

Ignoring proper flower care

Every flower had different care needs and carry a certain lifespan after being arranged. It is important to talk to your florist about the specific flower care that is required after arrangement at the venue. Not keeping the flowers hydrated, or exposing them to extreme heat, can spell disaster for your wedding decorations.

Ordering the wedding flowers very late

Certain wedding flowers need to be procured from distant places. The procurement of some flowers needs as much as two months. Prior ordering can also help your florist order flowers at budgeted rates and avoid the last minute hiked rates.

Not caring about the size of the bouquet

Many brides prefer oversized bouquets and consider them to be impressive and elegant. However, you should keep in mind that it is difficult to carry oversized long period. Moreover, they can also off-set the aesthetic appeal of your dress. The choice of a bouquet should be done after considering the comfort, size and visual appeal of the overall look.

Not budgeting for wedding flowers

Wedding flowers are the main determinant of the beauty of your venue. Hence, it is important to factor the costs of flowers and floral arrangements into your wedding planning process at the outset. Flowers can in fact, occupy a significant part of your budget.

Exhausting yourself by too much of the DIY

Doing everything yourself can be a good idea to keep expenses within budget. However, the amount of time and effort involved in arranging everything can tire you, making it impossible to enjoy your own wedding. Moreover, professional florists can help you procure at cheaper rates than you can through your DIY efforts.

Overview

Flowers can boost the overall mood at the wedding venue, and assist in blending other decorations with the occasion. You can provide an impetus to this special day by providing extra care to the delicate aspect of floral arrangements.

 

Written by Michelle, a wedding planner from Australia in behalf of Flowerbasket

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Uplifting Thoughts

By Rebecca J. Rose, Website Editor

 

 

One of my favorite publications is the Daily Word – affirmations and reflections to remind us of being God’s chosen child. They have an affirmation, an explanation, and a passage from scripture. It helps me during my low times, AND my good moments, to find my “rosey” outlook. I believe in the power of positive thinking, and the Trinity gracing it to me. If you are struggling in any area of your life, especially your marriage – these thoughts can help you.

1. “I am free in mind, body and spirit…spiritual freedom..has no limitations. I can choose how I fill my heart and mind. I canchoose how I experience God, how I pray, and how I practice the presence of God in my daily life. Embracing freedom of Spirit, I breakthrough any self imposed limitations and open myself to divine possibility…by choosing encouraging words, uplifting thoughts, and positive habits, I give full expression to my spiritual freedom.” For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters – Galatians 5:13

2. “I am the one and only me…I may not think of myself as a creative person but I know that I have unique talents and gifts to share. For instance, art may appear on a canvas, or it may appear in a meal prepared with love. Some hands sculpt clay or play a musical instrument, and some gently hold the hand of a child. Wisdom can be found in books, but it can also be found in quiet conversation across the kitchen table…as I more fully express who I am, I bless others, and blessings flow back to me. I am creative, productive, and open to divine inspiration. I give my gifts to the world.” Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. – 1 Corinthians 2:12

3. “I am attuned to the goodness of God…the gentle pattern of raindrops…enjoying a conversation with a friend, joining in laughter with loved ones – what blessings they are! Such simple pleasures are but a few of the abundant gifts from God that enrich my life’s experience…I acknowledge my blessings one by one. As I do, I open my awareness to the goodness of God all around me. Truly I am blessed beyond measure.” Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4

4. “I am grateful…even if I am going through a challenging experience, I am grateful, for I know that good will come out of it. Will I learn of inner strength that I didn’t know I had? Will I gain a renewed appreciation for my life and the people in it? I am grateful for my present circumstances, for I know they offer opportunities for growth. I thank God for the life I have been given and the life I am creating by seeing all the good in all that comes before me.” Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving. – Psalm 95:2

5. “Wherever I am, God is, and all is well…if at any time today the order and harmony of some aspects of my life seem uncertain, I clear my mind of all concern. There is no need to worry. Just as season follows season, wave after wave, and sunrise follows sunset, all is well. I honor myself for the perfection that I am as one of God’s creations. I know that I am in the right place at the right time. All that I do today and every day is blessed with God’s goodness. With gratitude, I affirm: Wherever I am, God is, and all is well.” My heart is steadfast O God, my heart is steadfast! – Psalm 108:1

I pray wherever this finds you, you know grace is pouring down on you…and even if the world fails you, or you limit yourself with worries and insecurities (So ME!!!) God will not. You are never alone!

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Dealing with Jealousy

Curated by Rebecca J. Rose, Website Editor

 

 

Jealousy in marriage can be a real relationship killer and is one of those common marriage problems that needs resolution. Feelings of jealousy can develop and escalate making you question everything your partner thinks, says and does. Unresolved and unchecked jealousy can develop into a long-term vendetta. It can be most destructive to a relationship.

As much as we would like to deny it, most people struggle with jealousy at some point in their lives and in marriage.  It is a one of the most common marriage problems that can develop from feelings of insecurity or neglect in one’s relationship.

We now live in a society where marriages are often as a result of a new relationship that is from a previous break up.  Situations like these can leave spouses insecure, especially when a previous partner is still around. More particularly, in the case when children are involved.

People can enter into marriages with so much previous baggage that it often hard to settle into a secure, trusting environment full of self worth and trust. It becomes more of an uphill battle for the couple to communicate well, and not give into jealous feelings over activities their spouse or loved one does.

No one could ever be accused of being unnecessarily jealous in the case of infidelity. Recovering from infidelity takes a lot of work, and often times professional help.  Strong measures and boundaries need to be put in place to enable the cheated party to trust their partner again and control the feeling of jealousy.

Other situations can lead to jealousy. Too much time at work can leave your partner feeling very insecure, especially when your hours at work increase and you spend less and less time at home. People get fixated on their goals and have no concept on how this is perceived or how it impacts on their relationship and their family life. Any activity that detracts from couple time can lead to jealousy – even parenting a new baby, a busy teenager, or a new past time.

The list is endless and jealousy in and of itself is not always a bad thing. It’s a strong indication that you really care. The main thing we need to remember is not to let the jealousy consume, arouse fury and become destructive.

If you are suffering from feelings of jealousy look at the cause, question your feelings and determine whether they have any foundation. Is your partner actually doing anything wrong, have they really done anything to drive your jealous emotions or have you just let your emotions spiral out of control.

Communication is the foundation to marital success. If you can learn to communicate then you can express your emotions in a non-confrontational, non-accusatory, understanding and supportive environment. We are here to help!

 

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Stop Your Divorce

Curated by Rebecca J. Rose, Website Curator

Simple Steps To Stop A Divorce And Save Your Marriage

If you’re at the point in your marriage where you’re looking for help to stop your divorce, there is good news. The good news is that as long as you have the desire to save your marriage, then it can be done.

However, what you must be aware of is that for many in your situation, it is not necessarily going to be a straightforward thing to achieve. When you set out to stop your divorce you have to convince your spouse that whatever the problems within your marriage, they can be solved.

Now, if you haven’t already done so, you need to sit down with your spouse and tell them exactly how you feel. Are you sure your spouse knows you want to save your marriage? Take nothing for granted, if you haven’t told your spouse, they might not know.

If you’ve made mistakes that you deeply regret, the first thing you have to do is put your cards on the table regarding those mistakes. Perhaps you cheated on your spouse? Or you just never had any time for your spouse? Whatever the mistakes, you now have to convince your spouse that you understand why it was such a terrible mistake. You now want to make clear and viable plans about how you, and then the two of you as a couple, can get past this.

To stop your divorce you might have to seek outside help. If you and your spouse can sit down together and talk things through to a point where you can reconcile, how wonderful. But if you feel the only positive way forward is to seek professional outside help, then you, as the person who wants to save the marriage, must seek out that help. Once you have the details, present them to your spouse and this will act as concrete proof that you are serious, focused and committed to saving your marriage. See our resources page for professional marriage counseling resources.

There is a chance that your spouse will not be interested in anything you have to say regarding saving the marriage. If this happens, try not to react in a negative way. Does your spouse feel as though things will never improve? Perhaps you can get them to agree for counseling to discern what the next move should be for you both to take.

Don’t give up, and we are here to help. Keep communicating with your spouse each step of the way. It takes time to mend what has been broken, but it can be healed. There is hope.

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Emotional Infidelity and Affairs

Curated by Rebecca. J. Rose, Website Curator.

Are you wondering about emotional infidelity, what it is and is it ok if you’re in a relationship? Well you’re not alone. Many people think about infidelity only on one level: the physical. In fact, it’s true to say that many people don’t even believe there’s such a thing as emotional infidelity. But, it exists and in many ways can be worse than a physical affair. Emotional bonds can be harder to break than physical attractions.

First, let’s define emotional infidelity.  This occurs when someone in a committed relationship/marriage forms an emotional attachment with a third person outside of the relationship. This may seem trivial to begin with but, it can escalate. You start to rely on the outside party for emotional support and a connection instead of your spouse or significant other.

So, if you’ve formed a friendship that you cannot tell your spouse/partner about then you should seriously ask yourself why? What are you needing from this relationship you are not getting from your spouse or allowing them “in” to give you? What are you choosing to turn away from?

You should not have a relationship/friendship with anyone that you cannot openly and honestly discuss with your partner. The minute your partner is shut out of any part of your life there is a potential for distance. With distance comes real potential problems to your relationship.

What you should also consider when it comes to emotional infidelity is how your partner would feel if they ever found out. Perhaps you are sharing intimate details of your life with your partner with your secret friend? How would your partner feel about that? Knowing that any problems the two of you are having are being openly discussed by you with someone outside of your relationship would be destructive to your relationship – making it very hard to heal your bond. Not only that, but having them find out it is someone who could quickly become a destructive element within your relationship could cause a rift that is hard to overcome.

Emotional infidelity might seem like a little bit of harmless fun when you first set out, but it can quickly and dangerously escalate into something that can seriously threaten your relationship. You will find that your partner will have picked up on the fact that you’re even more distant than usual and this is because you are emotionally sharing with someone else.

Once all the aforementioned happens, it can often be a short step towards a ‘full on’ physical relationship. That’s why any emotional attachment that your partner does not know about it so dangerous.

Make no mistake emotional infidelity is as dangerous as physical infidelity. Talk to someone who can help you process the feelings and needs you are experiencing. Click on our resources page for someone who cares and wants to help you.

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After Adultery: Recovery

Curated by Rebecca J. Rose, Website Curator

After adultery has reared its ugly head in a marriage, it can be difficult to even think about trying to save a marriage. If you’re reading this after you have committed adultery and you’re desperately searching online trying to find a way to save your marriage, you have come to right place!  You should be under no illusions of the task ahead of you, but you are not alone, and we are here for you!

Whatever reason you strayed, you already know that you’ve broken your spouse’s heart and you’ve let them down terribly.  Recovering from the situation that your marriage is now in, will take a focused, committed and detailed plan.

After adultery, you must come to terms with what you have done. Often times we find it difficult to accept the part that we have played in our own mess. It’s human nature to want to hide from what we have done and not take responsibility.

However, you’d be very wrong to try and hide from the fallout of your affair. Instead, accept what you’ve done, own up to what you’ve done, and tell your spouse you’re ready to do what ever it takes to save your marriage.

The truth is your spouse might or might not believe you’re serious about saving your marriage. An affair puts great strain on a couple. A good and healthy marriage thrives on mutual trust and commitment. When that trust and commitment is broken, it is pretty hard, but not impossible, to get back. So you’re going to have to be prepared to work to get it back and also be prepared for it to take as long as it takes to it get back.

Often times, after adultery, the spouse who has been cheated on is angry and will find different ways to hurt their cheating spouse. If your spouse is lashing out at you emotionally then for some time, at least, you’re going to have to take it. Seek help for this burden. Invite your spouse to join you and work towards healing.

Mean what you say. After adultery you will find that everything you say will be scrutinized and examined by your spouse. This again is only natural, but you must be careful not to get caught in any further lies. Right now you have to win back your spouse. Imagine the setback if you were discovered in more lies.

Should you stay or should you go? It’s a decision for BOTH of you in your marriage to make, and it is worth the work. But, if there is still love between you and your spouse, then it has to be worth trying to save your marriage. We are here to help you do that!

 

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Adultery? Before you sign up…

Curated by Rebecca J. Rose, Website Curator

When a marriage hits the rocks, one of the easiest temptations is to look for what you are missing, and find yourself in an affair with a person other than your spouse.

Many times it is physical attraction. Other times it is emotional. Relationships with people outside your marriage or long term relationship are often more appealing than staying faithful to spouses and partners. Affairs are new, exciting and a reminder that we are still vital and desired people. These are compelling reasons why so many people find themselves having an affair.

If you are considering an affair, relationships are about to become difficult for you. Whether that relationship be your long-term one or for that matter, the affair you’re embarking on, you might think that your long-term relationship is bad now?  Just wait until your partner/spouse discovers you’ve been cheating on them. It’s painful for both of you. It’s not a win/lose, or a win/win. Both sides lose out.

Your spouse will feel betrayed, angry and devastated. Yes, the affair will devastate your marriage. It will hurt YOU as well.  Instead of turning to someone outside your relationship, remember the promises you made. No marriage or relationship is without problems. The trick is to work at remaining focused and committed when these problems hit. So turn to your spouse or your partner instead of some seemingly appealing outsider.

Explain clearly to your spouse how you feel. Just because you are feeling this way about your relationship/marriage, it doesn’t mean it’s the same for your spouse/partner. They may very well have no idea you feel the relationship is in trouble!  The only way you will know for sure is if you talk to them.

It is crucial that you both take the time to listen to each other. Avoid judging and criticizing each other, because this will not make either of you feel you can be open and honest about your feelings. If your spouse feels they are going to be mocked or criticized, then they will clam up. Equally, so will you.

If you have already embarked upon an affair, then you need to weigh up what you want. Can you fight for your spouse, for you?  You will only know this if you explore with honesty and sincerity how you feel. That also takes time, determination, and professional help, but it is worth it.

Affair and relationships both take time and effort and opting for an affair is not necessarily the easiest option you could take. Whatever you’re doing, and whoever you’re doing it with, there at least three sets of feelings involved. Your lover might be casual about what they’re doing in the beginning, but attachments are easily and quickly formed and before you know it, your lover could be putting all kinds of demands around what they want from you.

Think long and hard about the problems in your marriage/relationship. Is your relationship worth fighting for? If it is then you must do everything you can to avoid an affair! Relationships can be greatly rewarding and an affair can be deeply devastating. There is help here for your vows. Contact us for some time to talk and explore your options in a casual setting.

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Marriage surviving Parenthood

Surviving The First Year Of Parenthood

by Sarah Hammond

Surviving the First Year of Parenthood

 

When a couple discovers that they are expecting their first child, they know (hopefully) that they are in for some tremendous changes. This is the case no matter their age, no matter the size of their home or their income, and no matter how long they have been married. That the birth of the first child marks a time of incredible changes to a couple’s lifestyle and priorities is a universal truth.

In my vocation of marriage, I am called to love God first, my spouse second, and my children third. Not only is this the best thing for my marriage, it is also the best thing for my son. Pope Benedict XVI once asked parents to “first of all remain firm for ever in your reciprocal love: this is the first great gift your children need if they are to grow up serene, acquire self-confidence and thus learn to be capable in turn of authentic and generous love” (Family, 44). My relationship with my husband is my most important relationship on this earth.

The fact is, though, that when you get home from the hospital, there is a very tiny and very needy little person completely depending on your time and energy to survive and thrive. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the needs of your new baby, in learning how to fulfill them, and in attempting to rise above your own feelings of utter and complete exhaustion. What does putting your spouse first and taking care of your marriage look like then? And what does it look like when those first few stressful weeks pass by and life gets “back to normal”– but “normal” is anything but?

Looking back on that first year of my now sixteen-month-old son Charlie’s life, there are certain things that helped my husband Daniel and me to adjust to loving each other in our new life.

Spending Time Together

First of all, spend time together. No kidding, right? Usually this very common piece of advice focuses on the importance of time spent without the baby, but while it is nice to get away for a couple of hours in between nursing sessions, this may not always be practical.

Fortunately, in order to have “quality time” with your spouse, you don’t necessarily need to leave your little one behind. An infant in your arms doesn’t impede adult conversation in any way, doesn’t yet need to be chased around the house, and will usually only cry if there is something wrong that can very easily be fixed. Early on, enjoying a meal or a movie at home with my husband with Charlie close by was much more relaxing for me than being away from him and wondering how he was. Once we put Charlie to bed we had the living room to ourselves, and we made our time together special right where we were, using the space that we had. This was especially important with our preferred sleeping arrangements which put Charlie in our bedroom for almost his entire first year.

Don’t feel as though you have to mentally “get away” from your baby either. Especially if one parent is staying home, avoiding the baby as a topic of discussion so that you can have “adult conversation” probably won’t work. Couples talk about what they are connected to emotionally and their day’s experiences. It is only natural that you will find yourself talking about your child a lot.

Daniel and I have found this to be a great bonding experience. Sharing with each other every day the joys, big and small, that Charlie brings to our lives helps us to remember the miracle– that Almighty God used our love for one another to create a brand new person. We help each other to hold onto that wonder that filled us during the first few hours of getting acquainted with our newborn boy. “That’s your son,” I might say to Daniel as we sit at home watching Charlie play. “Look at the little person he’s becoming.” Holding on to the awe at the miracle of his existence and remembering that this little boy is, in a sense, our love for each other made visible, binds us ever closer together.

A Little “Thank You” Goes a Long Way

Alas, everyday life with an infant isn’t all joyful meditation. In fact, at times it seems that it’s all sleepless nights, dirty diapers, and a baby-shaped weight glued to your hip while dishes pile up on the counters. It is in this everyday existence that it often becomes difficult for me to see beyond the tip of my own nose to realize that my husband is also tired and stressed, and it is in this everyday existence that the little things can go a very long way.

For example, don’t let anything go without thanks, whether it is for your spouse cleaning up from dinner or going to work every day to provide for your little family. Other affirmations are appreciated, too. When I watch Daniel reading a story to Charlie and think about what a good daddy he is, I try to tell him so. It is so uplifting to be on the receiving end of these kinds of affirmations. One day I had just sat down on the couch to nurse eleven-month-old Charlie. “I know I see it all the time,” Daniel said as he gazed lovingly at the two of us, “but it’s still so precious.” This was so special to me that I still feel myself glowing just thinking about it.

The gift of facilitating personal time is another thing that is extremely appreciated. I’m talking about when Daniel takes care of Charlie to give me time for a leisurely shower, or wakes up with Charlie in the morning and takes him into the living room to play so that I can have an extra half hour of sleep. To a sleep-deprived mom (or dad), there really is no better way to say “I love you.”

These are all ways that spouses can take care of each other and help one another to adjust during the first year of parenthood. I saved the most important for last, though, and that concerns the rock of faith that marriage should be built on. Attend Mass together. Pray and read Scripture together. Share your feelings and struggles, without fear of how they may be taken. Lift up your spouse in your personal prayer. Also, do things according to the way God designed them, through the practices of natural family planning and, if you can, breastfeeding. With God as the rock you cling to, your love will weather this and every storm that comes your way. Really, though, I can hardly call the first year of my firstborn’s life a storm; it has brought way more joy than it has destruction.

~ Sarah, a former For Your Marriage blogger, and Daniel welcomed their first child 16 months ago. This article was first printed here.

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What is Marriage?

By Rebecca J. Rose, Website Curator

Do you ever forget amidst all the fighting, stress, nagging, silent treatment, and roommate type love we sometimes go through as we work our way through life the question: What is Marriage?

Well, sometimes a sweet child and a furry monster can make the complicated quite simple actually.

We CAN make our marriages work. Let’s remember the simple basics and work together to bring this definition to fruition!

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