Secure and Happy

By Marianne Stuart

Secure and happy are two things we, as parents, all want for our children.  How do we help our children achieve this?  Our children feel more secure when their parents are happy in their marriage.  After 20 years of marriage and parenting, I have a few insights.

Guy & Marianne Celebrating Their 20th Anniversary

Guy & Marianne celebrating their 20th anniversary with their children

The Right Order
Having God first in my life, my spouse second and then my children, has enabled me to be a better parent and spouse.  When I married Guy, it wasn’t just so that I could have children.  I liked him and I liked to spend time with him.  That didn’t change just because I had children. Yes, sometimes a child’s need has to be met right now, but that doesn’t mean our husbands have to go by the wayside. It doesn’t mean we stop being friends. He still takes time to listen to my stories and I do the little things that make him feel loved. My world very much revolves around my children, but we have a couple-centered marriage and not a child-centered marriage.  We take time to spend quality time together.  We go on weekly dates and spend time every night talking to each other and it isn’t just about our kids.

Three Things
There are three things most husbands need. They need food, intimacy, and respect.  Ask your husband and see if I am wrong.  

Feed Them
When I married Guy, he told me that I could cook for an army but it didn’t taste very good.  That was hard to hear, but it was true.  I have since learned how to make food taste pretty good.  

Never Have a Headache
I never, repeat never, have a headache.  Ask Guy, it is the truth.  My mom told me when I got married to not refuse intimacy or I would be pushing my husband away and maybe to somewhere or someone that I didn’t want him going to.  Our husbands need intimacy, maybe more than we do, but that’s just the way God made them.  I tell Guy that I might not be in the mood, but if I allow him, he can get me in the mood. Sometimes when life is happening at breakneck speed, we need to take time and reconnect, and there isn’t a better way than through marital intimacy.

Respect Them
Ah, respect.  I think respect might be even more important than intimacy. If Guy were to hear me talking bad about him to a girlfriend, it would wound him to the core.  I surround myself with other like-minded women and try to make sure there isn’t husband-bashing going on.  Occasionally, I run into it and I ease myself away as quickly as I can.  It’s so easy to find fault with our spouse but for what?  What good does it do?  Focus on the good and you will find good.  We constantly say at our house that, “Nice begets nice.”  If I do something nice for Guy it makes him want to do something nice.  What a vicious cycle!

Act Loving
Love isn’t a feeling, it’s an action.  Am I acting loving? The feelings we have at the beginning fade and we are left with our actions.  I remember early on in our marriage when Guy had done something that wasn’t very nice.  I thought about how I could act and decided to make his favorite dinner.  It made me stop thinking bad about him and return to a place of love.  I also pray Hail Mary’s when I get upset with Guy.  I pray them over and over until I can think nice things about him again.  I don’t have to do this much anymore but it sure helped in the early years.

Do Something Nice
We renewed our vows this month for our 20th anniversary.  It was wonderful to stand at the front of the church and say our vows again. Twenty years ago I never dreamed I could love Guy as much as I do, but the best part is that I adore him.  I completely and utterly adore him. Now go do something nice for your husband.

For more information, check out the following links:

The Retrouvaille Program

The Five Love Languages

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2 responses to this post.

  1. I really enjoyed what you had to say. it was encouraging. We just celebrated our 31st anniversary yesterday, and find i Love him more than ever!

    Reply

  2. Marianne, such good words and such good advice. They’re words I needed to read, given some recent struggles. Refreshing to know that I’m not alone and there are good, wise women out there (such as yourself) who can guide me in the right way!

    Reply

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