I want my sons to have good marriages one day. I want them to find someone they can share the rest of their lives with… Loving their wives and being loved in return, caring for each other and building such a strong bond that nothing can shake it.
Up until a few months ago, I couldn’t say that there was anything we could teach our sons. Our marriage was hanging by a thread. It seemed like it had reached a point of no return: divorce has arrived at our door.
However, before we proceeded in making that decision, we took a week separation. We didn’t see each other at all and only spoke when completely necessary. It was one of the most difficult weeks that we had ever had and the trial separation paid off. During this time, we had time to reflect on our lives together… And also reflect on ourselves as individuals. Where had we gone wrong in our marriage together? Where did we fall short as individuals? How was this hurting our marriage?
After that week, we were drawn back together and worked through our issues with open honesty. It wasn’t easy. There were some points that I felt it was easier to walk away than face the truths we were dealing with. Yet we made it. And we’ve learned more about marriage in the last couple of months than in the last four years.
I’m so thankful for the fact that we could step up as mature adults and realise that we were meant to be together… And by not listening to each other and not working through problems in appropriate ways, we stood too close to the edge.
Today, I can say that we can teach our sons about marriage. We have learned the lessons. Lessons that sometimes take couples years and years to adjust to and embrace to have a thriving marriage.
With our new found marriage maturity, we have a few things that our sons can learn from us.
These are things I want our sons to see in our marriage….
We make decisions together on everything, no matter how big or small the subject at hand is. It’s not because we can’t make decisions on our own, it’s because we respect each other and we respect each other’s perspectives and input.
Yes, we fight in front of our sons, but not the screaming and swearing fighting way we used to follow. I’m talking about a well-controlled argument. Where we still show each other respect, even though inside we might both want to explode. We do this in front of our sons for a reason, we don’t want them growing up and believing that there aren’t any problems when it comes to marriage and that everything is always perfect.
With the above said, just as we fight in front of our sons, we also make peace in front of them. It shows them that even though we fight, we still love each other and we have sorted our issues out. Even when we haven’t fully made peace or we haven’t finished our discussion, we will still hug so we don’t plant any thoughts of hate or dislike for each other in eyes of our sons.
Appreciating each other
Saying thank you; for working hard, for having clean clothing, for dinner, for just being the person you are. Teaching our sons to show appreciation for their toys or belongings is one thing, but showing appreciation to the other person seems like a big part of the deal as well.
Doing what makes you happy
Yes, when it comes to having kids, there’s rarely time for doing any of the things you enjoyed before having kids. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t make time for it. Even though we spend our time with our kids when everyone is home… We also show them that we are still individuals and we still do things that we enjoy doing on our own.
Having fun together
Even though we are tired from a day of working (or in my case, teaching and cleaning)… We still make time for each other, even if it’s a few minutes’ worth. We make fun of each other, we have tickle fights, we make jokes or we just cuddle, enjoying each other’s company. There are no excuses when it comes to spending a little time together, even when things are hectic around you or you’re both exhausted.
Over the years, there will be many more lessons we’ll be able to teach our sons. As we grow older and wiser, as we ourselves learn more about each other and ourselves, and grow stronger. At this time, these are the most important things I want our sons to see and experience and learn from. As time goes on, we will add more wisdom and understanding that one day, they can apply to their own marriages.
What do you want your children to see in your marriage?