After I’d been married a while, I noticed that some of the things my husband did annoyed me.  No surprise there, since that’s what happens when we live with someone 24/7.  The “funny” part of my experience, though, was that I truly thought he found nothing annoying about me!  He and I can laugh about that now, but in marriage it’s easy to see our spouse as the guilty one, and the reason we don’t have a dream marriage.

So be forewarned that iSpecialist Mark Merrill’s 7 Ways to Have the Marriage of Your Dreams are things we need to do to make our marriage dreamier, before we even consider what our husband needs to change.

To get the marriage you’ve always dreamed of you’ll also need to be realistic with these Expectations for a Great Marriage.


7 Ways to Have the Marriage of Your Dreams:

1. You must always make your spouse the top priority in your life.

Throughout your marriage, you should strive to build up your spouse to be a better person. Sometimes this means sacrificing your own selfish desires in order to help them have their needs met.

2. You must serve your spouse, and sacrifice for your spouse, without expectation of anything in return.  Your desire to serve your spouse should be done out of pure love, and because, back to number one above, your spouse is your top priority.  If you practice this and become embittered, talk to your spouse.  He may be feeling the same way!

Explaining Your Needs and Desires to Your Husband

3. You must empathize with your spouse.  Your spouses’ conflicts are your conflicts. If they’re struggling with an issue, then you are struggling right alongside them. Try to imagine what your spouse is feeling, even if it’s completely different from how you would respond in the same situation. Then help them to get through it as smoothly as possible.

4. You must control your tongue. Use it to build up, not tear down. It is far easier to build up your spouse than to ask for forgiveness. Think before opening your mouth; this will allow you to spend your time strengthening your marriage as opposed to mending it due to a hostile comment made during an argument.

5. You must ask for forgiveness and forgive your spouse for any wrongs committed.  The longer you wait to forgive a past transgression by your spouse, the bigger burden it will create within your marriage. You and your spouse will never be able to successfully move forward in your relationship until you forgive all past wrongs.

Forgiveness with “Sorry Flowers”

6. You must always, always be honest in everything.  Every relationship should be founded on open and honest communication and marriage is no different. Any seed of dishonesty that is planted within the marriage is only going to grow and tear down the relationship that has been built up so far.

7. You must love your spouse to make your spouse lovely. In other words, how you treat your spouse is how your spouse will see himself.  So, treat him like you think he’s the most wonderful thing going.  Chances are, he’ll try to live up to your vision of him.


Expectations for a Great Marriage:

In marriage, knowing what to expect is half the battle!  So, here are some things you should expect in marriage.  Now some of them may sound negative, but they aren’t meant to be.  We just need to be prepared that challenges will likely arise.  When they do, it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world, or your marriage.

1. Expect Conflict. Conflict will happen, and that’s okay, if you handle conflict in a loving, mature way.

2. Expect Delays. Planning for your future is a great thing to do as a couple, just understand that things don’t arrive on schedule – not babies, not raises, not the sitter!

3. Expect Disappointments. File this in the, “you’re both only human” category.  Your husband will not be the answer to all of your problems.  He won’t be a mind reader or anticipate all of your needs.   Be prepared to forgive.

4. Expect to be annoyed. Be ready for that habit of his you found so adorable while you were dating, to become annoying.  But remember this, there are things you’re doing that are likely annoying him too.  Cut him some slack and continually focus on his good qualities.  If you just can’t overlook what’s bothering you, talk to him about it in a loving, kind way.

5. Expect to think you’re doing more. You might feel like you’re doing more dishes, more laundry, more bedtime reading with the kids, more taking the garbage out, you get the idea.   When you start feeling put out and put upon, take some time to assess the situation.   Then, instead of attacking your husband and demanding more help, sit down and calmly express your desire to do your jobs well, and ask for his help.  (This “taking care of the house” worksheet can also help figure out who’s best at doing what.)

6. Expect to disagree with some of his decisions.  Just because you are “one” in marriage, doesn’t mean you will agree on everything.  And, guess what?  That’s okay.  Respect his right to have a different opinion than you.  Don’t shoot down his ideas automatically.  There is more than one way to get the job done.

7. Expect not to be attracted to him. This may never happen to you.  You might go through your entire marriage  with the hots for your husband.  But if at some point you’re just not that into him, pray that you will have a loving heart.  Also, look beyond the physical or lack of chemistry and fall in love with what’s good about your husband.

8. Expect to be with him until the end. This is a mental safety net.  Even when you’re furious at him or extremely disappointed, you will not think of leaving.  You can’t, remember?  You’re with him until the end. This expectation also helps you realize that you might as well make your marriage as good as it can be, because you are in it for the long haul.