Monday, 20 June 2011

Marriage - Have I learnt anything?


In July we have been married for 23 years.  I consider that to be awesome!  There have definitely been plenty ups and downs but I would like to jot down 2 things that I have learnt over the years.  I may have learnt them but I don't always practice them, so this is a reminder to 'self' and if this in any way shape or form, encourages you, well that is just awesome too!


What have I learnt:
One of my best investments in my marriage has been the book, Fascinating Womanhood, by Helen Andelin.  I have bought so many of them over the years for friends and family because the principles in it are sound.  Its not a 'Christian' book but its written by a 'Christian' woman and her foundation is biblical.  I'm just going to mention two of the guidelines in it that have helped me.



  1. Helen Andelin says to see our husbands as a coin.  It has 2 sides.  One side has listed all the good things about your husband, ie: he's handsome, great smile, broad shoulders, generous, loves the Lord, great dad, etc.  and on the other side of the coin, his bad points. (best not to list those, right?!).  We should focus only on the good side of the coin.  Esteem him for those characteristics, bring those good things to the fore.  Whenever the 'dark' side of the coin becomes obvious, turn it over in your mind and think on the good side of the coin, a sort of positive re-inforcement if you will.  It will definitely help you look at your husband differently.  I know when I am hassled or upset I will naturally go to the negative, dark side of the coin and then that is what comes to the fore.
  2. The other point I'd like to make is that we women give our men what 'we' want and not what they 'need'.  We give them 'love' because that is what we want/need.  We should be esteeming them and they in return give us the 'love' we need.  For example, if you esteem your husband in his ability to be a good bread-winner (remember, he is the bread-winner, God is the provider).  And you tell him how much you appreciate it and all his sacrifices, you esteem him and in his being validated, he will turn round and shower you with love. (in the perfect world, the way you want to be showered - but you get my point?).  I used to think if I constantly tell him how wonderful he is he'll get a big head and there will be no stopping him from bragging etc.  But just the opposite is true.  The more you 'genuinely' esteem him and show your appreciation, the less will be his need to find validation elsewhere or blow his own trumpet so to speak.
These are just 2 things I have learnt over the years that have helped me to be a better wife.  There are plenty more and maybe I'll do future posts on different points that have helped.

Eph 5 v 33:  Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love is own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects (esteems) her husband.

    What is that one big thing, that has really helped you improve your marriage? 
    I look forward to hearing from you.

    God bless
    Tracy

    10 comments:

    1. I have the book too, and have also been married 23 years. I have also wished for the book in hard copy for when I wanted to smack someone upside the head with it. Would be so much easier to respect if he was perfect - like me.
      All the above was said tongue in cheek...just in case you don't know me.

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    2. Hi Stefanie - I know you - and you crack me up.
      Tracy

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    3. I totally agree,,,If mine was even ALMOST as good as me ;)
      Marriage is about looking at them the way you want them to see you...ignoring the faults and remembering the reasons you fell in love....and reinventing reasons to stay in love

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    4. Stefanie's comment made me laugh! Books can serve many purposes. ;)
      Yes, I've been hearing over and over lately that men desire respect while woman desire love. So very true. Thanks for the reminder.

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    5. Its good to see you all have a hearty sense of humour when it comes to marriage.
      God bless
      Tracy

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    6. Tracy - So good to stop by! Just read that you are located in South Africa! That is so, incredibly awesome! One of my hearts greatest desires to go there...&/or become missionaries in Africa. Also, love the coin idea! What a great mental picture when things get negative...and am thinking how often God does that w/ me. Also totally agree w/ the respect thing. Read similar finding in the book, "Love & Respect". Makes me see things so different! Thanks for your wisdom & congratulations on 23 years!! Many Blessings, Jen

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    7. Thanks Jen. Much appreciated. If you ever come this way, let me know. We can show you around.
      God bless
      Tracy

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    8. I have never heard of that book...and I will be married 25 years in 6 months. Maybe I will check it out. Thanks for the reminder. I know I don't 'esteem' my husband as much as I should.

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    9. Hi Shanda. Its an excellent practical book. I like to call it positive manipulation - getting what you want - by giving whats needed!

      God bless
      Tracy

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    10. So glad to be catching up with your posts Tracy. Now if I can just make it through all of them before the busy time sets in again :) This post deserves an "amen". Thanks for this wonderful reminder. I'll be flipping that coin over when I notice my focus isn't positive.

      What has helped my marriage?
      Me learning to control my tongue and not always reacting with anger, just being a better listener. Oh my, I could go on :)

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