Marriage is a give and take contract. Although it is not a 50/50 relationship, as there are days that one gives more than receives and vice versa, in the end, each spouse should feel that there is balance. Marriage requires sacrifices, compromises, and agreements.
Following are a couple of items to avoid in a marriage to help achieve harmony.
1. Avoid big purchases without talking about it first.
One of the big issues in a marriage revolves around finances. Many couples fight over large purchases the other has made without consulting first.
If there is only one income earner, he/she may feel the right to make big purchases without consulting the other. If each spouse contributes financially, each may feel the right to spend their hard earned money as they please.
In the single income household, it is important that big purchases be discussed because that is the only income also covering all other expenses. Even though the other spouse does not work outside the home, he/she is as important to the support of the family as the employed one.
Where both spouses work, and finances may not be an issue, discussing large items will help the couple create a bond and grow together.
Perhaps, if each spouse feels the need of having some independent spending money, independently of who earns it, there might be a compromise reached where both set an amount each can spend without consulting the other. The amount will depend on the household income and on what both spouses think they can afford.
Discussing large purchases shows respect for one another’s opinion and allows the couple to set goals they can reach together. Where children are involved, this practice will show them that both parents are responsible for the management of the house.
2. Do not invite in-laws, especially for an extended period of time, without talking it over with one another.
Parents always mean the best for their children. Unfortunately, at times, their habits and advices don’t quite mix well with the new set of traditions the children have established with their respective spouses.
Even when interference is not the issue, because in-laws refrain from giving advice, there is always the issue of privacy. It does not matter how much love in-laws have for their children and spouses, and vice versa, there are things that neither couple would feel comfortable in sharing with the other.
If an emergency arises and the need to allow the in-laws to move in is present, although temporarily, it is necessary that accommodations and the length of stay be discussed prior to the move. Each spouse’s feelings and needs have to be taken into consideration. This is probably one of the times in a marriage where one spouse will have to give more than receive. If the situation is discussed in advance, it is possible to avoid conflict.
3. Never reprimand the spouse in front of others.
Let’s face it, there is not one person on earth that can claim to be perfect and never make mistakes.
Because of our human nature, we are bound to say or do something that does not quite work well, at one time or another.
As much as we might want to correct our spouse, we should never reprimand him/her in front of others.
Sometimes we might be tempted to do so if we are in front of family, because, after all, they are family and they love us. However, there is nothing more embarrassing than being corrected in public.
This situation can foster feelings of resentment and low self esteem. Neither of these are good feelings in a marriage. It also shows lack of respect for the spouse.
Unless the error causes a life or death emergency, it is better dealt with behind closed doors, away from children, other family members, and strangers.
These are just a few of the things to avoid in a marriage. The list is not, by all means, comprehensive and it is not intended to be exclusive of other issues that need to be avoided. They are merely suggestions to help achieve a harmony and balance within a marriage.