With divorce rate at over 50%, the chance of having a lasting marriage becomes a coin toss. I have observed many couples whose marriages fell apart, and I have come to the conclusion that there are things you can do to increase the chances of having a successful marriage. It takes a lot of work, but so does having a divorce and raising your kids alone!
#1: Be attractive to other men!
I know it sounds crazy, and I am not asking you to cheat. But think about it. If you are no longer attractive to other men, what makes you think you are still attractive to your husband! Just because you have “sealed the deal”, so to speak, by getting married doesn’t mean you should just let your looks go. I know, I know, you have kids to take care of; you work; you have to cook; you have to do house chores. Being a modern woman and having it all is hard work! But making your husband jealous once in a while is healthy and will keep the fire in your relationship burning just a bit longer. Here are some simply things you can do:
1. Always wear pretty underwear to bed. With all the choices in the market place, you can always find underwear that is machine washable and pretty. NEVER wear worn underwear.
2. Always wear your hair simple but stylish. Invest in finding an easy-to-maintain and stylish hair cut that suits your hair texture. Then stick to it and maintain it so you always look net, tidy and well groomed.
3. Always wear simply make up to boost your complexion. My make up routine takes 3 minutes. If you can’t spare 3 minutes, always wear lip-gloss, which takes 5 seconds to apply.
4. Always look neat and pretty around the house. I’m not asking you to wear a ball gown, but think about what you used to wear in front of your boy friend when the 2 of you were alone at home. The key is simplicity. Please, no baggy shirts or sweats around the house. If you have young children, make sure to buy clothes that are poly/cotton blend so they are wash-n-wear.
#2: Be happy!
Remember, you can’t make anyone else happy if you are not happy. So it is important to tend to your own needs. If you keep sacrificing yourself, you will become bitter and frustrated in the long run. And it will show in the way you act around your family. No husband wants to come home to an unhappy wife. And your children will definitely feel your mood. So it is unhealthy for everyone. You can do the following:
1. Set aside time for yourself. A good friend of mine uses the time she has in her car, while her 2-year-old daughter is strapped in and napping, as her “me” time. She would listen to music she likes, or a good book-on-tape, or just have a quite moment.
2. Get together with your friends without your husband or kids once in a while. Make a pact with other mothers to take turn to baby-sit the kids so the rest of you can have a “girls night out”.
3. Do something nice for yourself once in a while. Go get a spa treatment once a year. For around $ 100, you can spend the whole day at the spa. Go on a weekday or when the spa offers specials. If you can’t afford it, go get a manicure. If you can’t afford that either, then take a bubble bath! If you don’t have the time, take a long, luxurious shower… You get the point.
#3: Keep up with the rest of the world!
1 thing about married women with kids is that all we ever talked about is kids! Ok, I don’t have kids. So all you gals ever talked about is kids! And that could be really boring. Keep your topics broad with your husband. Watch the news everyday. Know what’s going on in the world outside your home or your work. Ask about his work. Ask about his co-workers. Take interests in his life. Men are like children. You need to give them attention. And the more interesting your conversations are, the longer you can keep your marriage going.
#4: Stop complaining!
No one likes a nagging wife. Sweet talk works a lot better! If there are serious issues that you are unhappy about, then talk about them openly. Have discussions about them with your husband. Listen to his side of the story as well. Let’s face it. It is unlikely that he will change his ways. But remember the reasons that you married him to begin with. Are these reasons enough to keep you in the marriage? If they are, try to ignore the little details. If the issues you have are really irreconcilable, then you should consider marriage counseling. If that doesn’t work, then perhaps it is time to take a hard look at your marriage and see if separation might be a better option. An unhappy marriage does more damage to kids than a divorce.
#5: Date your husband!
After 10 years being together, my husband and I still date. We go to movies together; we eat out together; we cuddle up and watch a ball game together with a good bottle of wine. These simply things make us feel like we are still single. And it keeps the marriage fresh. Again, make a pact with other couples so you can take turn baby-sit the kids while the other couple can go out. It would hard at first, but try to focus on each other from time to time in the absence of your children will do a world of good to your relationship.
Marriage is hard. Sometimes I wish I were
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