There’s nothing parents love more than advice from people without children.
So in a similar fashion, I’m going to give you my two cents on relationships and what they require. No refunds or guarantees.
I’ve always said there are 4 things I need in a relationship that I will absolutely not compromise: honesty, communication, physical affection, and for the relationship to be a priority. I came up with these when I was in a marriage without them and realized they were vital. Now that it’s far enough in the past, I can share some funny stories giving examples.
Honesty is more than the lack of lies. It’s openness and transparency. The truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth. There are obvious lies, like when you say you don’t know someone, never met her before, and then she tells a story about the time the two of you were in the Dominican Republic together and says it was “such a Mike Joyce (or whatever your name is) thing to do.” There are also less obvious untruths, like when you put your girlfriend of a year in your phone under your buddy’s name so your wife doesn’t notice. Avoid those. Be honest.
Communication is such an important part of any relationship. It’s vital. There are minor, yet still important, things like telling your spouse what time you’ll be home from work. Then there are bigger issues, like telling your spouse when you join the military. It might sound like something you could wait on, I mean, they’ll notice eventually when you leave for 7 months of training anyway, but my advice is to mention it to your spouse before Jim comes by and says, “30 days, are you ready?” to which you have no idea what he means so you ask, “30 days until what?” and then Jim says, “Mike, you told her, right?!” and Mike didn’t. So again, take my advice or leave it, I just personally desire that kind of needy detail in MY relationships.
Physical affection is not the kind of thing that should end when the rings go on. I’m a very physical person to begin with, so when physical affection is completely cut off, 100% totally, from the wedding day on for 12 years, that could be a sign of relationship issues and manipulative abuse.
Being a priority sounds like common sense, but it wasn’t common in my house. On a serious note, a marriage needs to be more important than even work or school.
I hope you had an eye opening Ah-ha! moment and feel like a relationship expert now. Thanks for reading, hit the follow button to get e-mail notification of new posts. Leave a comment, ask questions, and come by often!