I always sing praises about my husband and I love to share my ideas on a healthy marriage, but I feel like it’s important to share why I believe in prioritizing my spouse. These are the benefits you may realize when your marriage comes first.
It had been a rough week. I migrated my site to a new hosting company and relieved my previous host of it’s duties early. I then found out I wouldn’t be receiving a refund for the 3 years I’d pre-paid for. That hurt.
I’d been keeping a secret vacation plan from the kids, which made it awfully difficult to get them to try on their summer swim gear without tons of questions from the 6 year old. Because I need you to be prepared for summer, damnit! Okay, that’s what I wanted to say, but I toned it down by removing damnit!
I was making plans for the rest of summer vacation, ordering summer reading books for the oldest, printing things to keep them busy, trying to make plans for a second trip. I’m trying to run this blog and a newish Etsy shop. And, I’m doing all the mom stuff.
My kid’s last two weeks of school I realized I’d been dropping the ball on a lot of stuff.
The dog’s recent excessive bum-licking turned into a bloody nightmare, requiring an unplanned visit to the veterinarian to find out she needed a minor procedure. All the while, my darling son is crying, screaming, climbing chairs, turning off lights, throwing things, and trying to escape the room. I can’t give the vet 100% of my attention. All I can do is constantly apologize. But, I feel like she already hates me and my kid.
I don’t really blame her. Being a toddler mom makes me crazy!
I had to make another run out of the house to pick up the dog. This time, I get to tote the screaming banshee and a pouting 6 year old into the office to retrieve our dog who now requires 3 medications and constant supervision to make sure she doesn’t ooze anything on the floor or couch.
This day couldn’t be any more stressful.
I came home to an understanding husband who is cooking dinner for us, trying to lighten the load for me.
I’m grateful …
But then, he wants to change up plans on me for the weekend.
The details don’t matter. I tell him “at this moment, I just want to tell you f*** no! But, I’m in a terrible frame of mind right now.” Of course, I have to explain everything I’m feeling.
I burst into tears.
He consoles me. Talks me down from my proverbial ledge. I’m told to sit down, take it easy, and he’ll plate everyone’s meals.
I begin to relax.
This is the Result of Putting My Marriage First
And I realize, in moments like these, I’m reaping the reward of having put my husband before myself and my kids.
Moments like these when I’m not thinking straight, incapable of taking on more, or having plans changed on me. I can maturely speak my mind while also relaying the message that I’m not in the best frame of mind to make a well-thought choice in a matter. I don’t offend him, I can speak freely, and he’s completely willing to listen to what I have to say … once I’m calm, anyway.
It’s these kind of moments when we can sit down and rationalize a conversation and he’s able to hear me because I’m not constantly nagging. He knows I’m always trying my best to put his needs first. And when I just feel like I can’t, he knows I’m not just being a bitch.
This is the benefit I receive.
When I just can’t deal, my husband listens. He helps. He consoles. He talks me down. He’s understanding. This, because deep down he appreciates me, even if he doesn’t say it often.
And, it’s moments like these I realize how little I need him to say it, because these big moments when I blow a fuse, he shows me in the most sincere way. By offering his love, guidance, and shoulder to cry on …
… not to forget, a night I don’t have to cook and serve everyone else.
I really admire my husband for recognizing those sacrifices and showing his appreciation in this way!
What it Means to Put Your Marriage First
Although we’re not church-goers, bible-thumpers, or whatever other term might be associated with the belief that marriage comes first, we can still find this practice useful!
Prioritizing your marriage, or spouse, over everything means you’re living up to your commitment/vows. You’re prioritizing your partner’s needs, feelings and wellbeing over other people or things. This helps to build the sense of “we” … the togetherness, connection and a team spirit.
Does that mean I have to always put me or my kids behind my spouse?
In fact, you’ll find there’s always the ebb and flow of life, and the more you practice putting your spouse first, the more balance that naturally occurs (at least, that’s what I’ve found).
But if you’re always prioritizing yourself or your children, your spouse will find it necessary to balance it out without you. And that’s not a good place for your relationship.
In fact, Yvonne Thomas, a psychologist, tells The Knot that “If you have an emotionally solid marriage with a good foundation, your children will feel happier, more stable and more secure.”
Tell me: Do you practice putting your marriage first? What benefits do you see from if it you do?
This post originally appeared on July 9, 2018.