Over the past year, I’ve covered a lot of advice about keeping your marriage strong even when life is busy and stressful. Some of my marriage advice has delved into tough topics. In other articles, I’ve aimed more to provide inspiration for improving your relationship.
If you’ve missed any of my marriage articles from 2019, you can catch up by reading this roundup of the year’s most popular posts.
Both of these articles were about the most serious juncture you can experience in a marriage: whether to continue it. In the first article, I looked at whether you should leave a partner who cheated. Of course, there’s no single right answer about whether you should stay with or leave a cheating spouse. But in this article, you’ll find a list of questions that can help you make the right decision for you if you’re ever in this painful situation.
The second article can help you figure out whether your marriage is irretrievably broken or whether it can be saved. Again, everyone’s situation is different. But whatever your decision is, this article can help you be at peace with it.
It isn’t just women who are seeking some distance in relationships. That’s demonstrated by another one of my most popular marriage articles from last year. “I need some space” can be an alarming thing to hear from your husband. And you might spend a lot of time wondering what he really means by that statement. But, as I explain in the article, there can be any number of reasons behind your husband’s need for space, and it’s usually not a red flag in your relationship.
If anything, political divisions in our country have only gotten deeper since the first article was published. So I have the feeling it will remain relevant for a long time to come! If you haven’t read the article yet, I offer some tips to keep your marriage from feeling like one of those cable news shows where ideological rivals just keep shouting over each other.
And if your husband seemingly loves to pick fights about politics or other subjects, you’ll want to check out the second article as well. In it, you’ll find some tips to help you decode what his argumentative behavior is really about.
But you weren’t just thinking about disagreements in your marriage in 2019. You were also looking for ways to make the most of your time together. To that end, I went below the surface of a familiar piece of marriage advice: Have regular date nights. Unfortunately, that advice can do more harm than good if it becomes just another area where you are putting pressure on yourself to do things perfectly. As I wrote in the original article: “The point of having a date night isn’t to do something you can brag about on Instagram. It’s to connect with each other.”
Speaking of pressure, these next two articles speak to some feelings and issues that emerge because of all the responsibilities and expectations on us as women.
If your husband has said you are controlling, or if this is something you’ve noticed about yourself, I’m willing to bet it’s because you have so much on your plate, and sometimes it feels like your husband is slowing down your efforts to get all those things done. The best way forward is to have an open and honest discussion about household responsibilities — chores, childcare, emotional labor — and how the two of you can divide things more equitably.
Meanwhile, anger is an emotion we are often uncomfortable with as women. We may worry that anger makes us a bad person or believe that we shouldn’t get angry at all. When you can’t process anger in a healthy way, that can lead to destructive behaviors in your marriage, like complaining or withdrawing. But when you listen to your anger, it can guide you toward positive change in your marriage.
I want to conclude with an article that is great to revisit (or read for the first time) as you think about what you want for your marriage in 2020.
The personal development classic The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is a surprisingly effective guide to a good marriage. How can you apply each agreement in your marriage next year?
- Be impeccable with your word.
- Don’t take anything personally.
- Don’t make assumptions.
- Always do your best.
Thank you again for reading in 2019! I’ll be back in January with more insight and advice to make your marriage stronger than ever.