41 Things Married People Ought to Know (Part 3)

Which one of the statements can you best relate to?growing_plant.jpg

The following is part 3 of a series that I have entitled, “41 Things Married People Ought to Know.” (You can find part one here and part 2 here.) Most of these are lessons learned from being married and from observing others. I suspect you could add several to this list. Please consider leaving a comment with the statement you would add to these.

21. Marriage can be very satisfying and joyful. Believe it or not, many couples experience great pleasure in their marriages. There is great pleasure to be found in marriage through friendship, emotional connection, emotional intimacy and sexual joy.

22. Marriage is hard work. Marriage takes effort and requires one to be intentional. As married people, we depend upon the Lord for strength and perseverance through years of marriage. A very frustrated married person once asked me, “If this is right, why is it so hard?” Yet, simply because something is right does not mean that it will be easy. Jesus did the right thing and was led to the cross.

23. Marriage may sometimes be boring. Yes, the boredom needs to be addressed but its existence doesn’t always mean that you are in a crisis. Nor, does this mean that marriage is going to feel this way forever. The good news is that boredom is not fatal.

24. Beware of violating the privacy of your marriage by quoting your spouse (when you are away from him or her) in settings which would deeply hurt him or her if what you said became known. It is one thing to talk about your marriage with someone (a marriage and family therapist, minister, counselor, etc) who is trying to help you. It is quite another matter to reveal her words to the guys at work or your friends at Starbucks.

25. Dishonesty hurts a marriage. Husbands and wives must not rationalize the seemingly small dishonest moments. Far too many spouses practice dishonesty regarding money and spending. (For example, hiding the fact that you just spent hundreds of dollars on golf clubs or clothing.) Rationalizing these moments can pave the way for much bigger deceit.

26. Most affairs begin as friendships. Don’t think that saying “we are just friends” is going to cure the anxiety of an concerned spouse. This is expecially true when her intuitive warning alarm is already sounding.

27. Its not about you. Far too often our self centeredness takes over and begins to possess the marriage. When this happens, the “we” in the relationship may be ignored while one person focuses on the “me.”

28. Physical nakedness is one of the great joys of marriage. What can be frightening, however, is emotional nakedness. We make ourselves vulnerable before one another. Married people need to be very careful that they do not hurt their mates where they are vulnerable.

29. Have a vision of creating a marriage/family that is an island of health in a very dysfunctional, self-centered world. Such a vision will need great great help from the Lord if this is to become a reality.

30. Married people should cherish one another. You can tell when someone cherishes a television, a rod and reel, jewelry, etc. It is all in the way the person handles these things. Many us of may be underestimating the importance of cherishing our spouses.

Question:

Which one of these statements (above) can you best relate to? What would you add to this list?



Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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10 thoughts on “41 Things Married People Ought to Know (Part 3)

  1. Thank you for providing the critically important information on marriage. I really don’t feel like our churches spend enough time and teaching on the subject.
    I can relate my marriage to number 29. I am experiencing two issues relating to this item. One is that my husband is consumed with his work. I think it is more than a passion to him. He neglects his own health and even opportunities to attend church during the week.
    Concern number two is that we don’t both feel quite the same spiritually. We worship together, which is important. However, during the last few years of turmoil, I have suggested prayer together on several occasions. He just doesn’t seem to need the same.
    I think without the proper balance in a marriage, we are apt to fail.

    thank you.

    • Sherry, I appreciate your comment. I think one of the most challenging places to be in a marriage (for a Christian) is when you and your spouse just aren’t in the same place spiritually. This can be really difficult as often happens very slowly for a variety of reasons. This obviously has you concerned. I suspect that others who read your comment will identify as well. Thanks for the affirmation as to the importance of #29.

  2. Jim, I’ve enjoyed your blog for a long time, and this is a very good series. I notice that #27 has reappeared under various guises at several points in the list, and I totally agree: the number one marriage killer is selfishness–focusing on what I want, not on what’s best for us.

    I think that #22 (“Marriage is hard work”) is true, but comes off as scary to singles. When I was single, I heard so much about marriage being hard work that it freaked me out a little–who wants a second job with no pay and intangible benefits? But marriage shouldn’t be hard work in that sense. I find it to be hard work like the effort you put into a much-loved hobby. It might be difficult, but you don’t begrudge it. Your focus isn’t on the work, but on the result of your efforts. I think that’s how it’s intended to be.

    • Keith, yes #27 has appeared in several forms in this list. It is hard to get away from it as an issue. 🙂 Thanks for your perspective regarding how this might be perceived by some singles. You make a good point in your explanation. In making this point, I am mostly thinking about a few people I have known who seem to think that marriage takes no effort. Consequently, they really frustrate their wives who may be willing to do most anything to help the relationship while their spouses don’t see a reason to put forth some effort in the relationship.

  3. Always enjoy your blogs, Jim. Yesterday a rabbi came by the mortuary and introduced himself to us. My wife stuck out here hand to shake his. He put both hands in the air and said, “I don’t touch any woman but my wife. Keeps me out of a lot of trouble.” I thought that was quite an over-reaction, but to each his / her own, I suppose. My point being, he will probably never violate #26!

    • Greg, I guess the Rabbi’s approach is one way to handle that problem! You are right. He will probably never violate #26. 🙂

    • L.L., I saw your name on a comment and then saw that you changed your mind regarding the comment. I suspect this was a very good comment that I and others missed. Maybe next time. 🙂