Is your marriage your number one priority? Most would answer with an immediate, “Of course!” Everything wants to believe that their marriage is the most important thing to them, but are your actions and decisions aligned with this sentiment?
Be Honest with Yourself
Take a moment and reflect on all the big life altering decisions you guys have made as a couple recently. Based on those decisions, did they reflect the priority of your marriage? Was the decision made prioritizing something else? Was the decisions based on finances? You as an individual? Another person outside your marriage? I encourage you to make a list of these decisions and list the biggest factor that influenced your decision. We will analyze your findings soon, hang tight.
Many of us like to think that we serve our marriage first, but anyone that has been married for more than a few years and is honest with themselves knows that marriage sometimes tumbles down the priority list. As we go about our daily lives, we become busy with a ton of tasks, routines, and responsibilities. We are always frantic to get through as much of our to-do list so that we can make efforts to cross items off of it. We rarely complete every task on that list and as soon as we think that we might be close, more items tack onto the bottom. It’s a vicious cycle of having too much to do and not enough time.
Most of the time we forget to put “Spend time with my Love” at the top our ever growing list of things to do, but that’s where it should be if we were truly prioritizing our marriage, right? I’m guilty of this too! I get caught up in the busy body mindset and constantly tell myself that things will calm down after this one busy moment in life and then we can make time to spend quality time together. This is a very slipper slope and I’m going to explain why we need to change this mentality.
Dangers of the Slippery Slope
Waiting for the Perfect Moment
Waiting for the next opportune moment to prioritize the love of your life is putting your marriage in the direction of a very slippery slope of excuses. We all know that there are very few perfect moments in life. Life is notorious for throwing unexpected bumps in the road just when things start to smooth out. My point is that something always comes up! Therefore why do we try to push off quality time with our loved ones waiting for those super rare perfect moments. At this rate, we will never prioritize time with each other. It’s better to take comfort in one another as you weather the storms of life TOGETHER!
Life is guaranteed to get crazy, but pushing the pause button to take a moment to reconnect will make it all seem more manageable. Quality time between husband and wife can fortify your relationship even during the toughest of times. Taking advantage of these opportunities to create intimacy will only strengthen your relationship. Think of your marriage as a boat. The more you invest in making your boat tough, sturdy, and reliable will only enable it to withstand the conditions of the toughest storms.
You Forget How to Relax & Be Present
When you fill every waking moment of your life with tasks that keep you busy, you forget how to unwind. If you let it happen, all the tasks on your to-do list will consume you. It will take over your entire life and find ways to fill your schedule with maximum efficiency. This will make you a well-oiled task completer, but not the most attentive and desirable partner. When you finally tear yourself away, your mind will become cluttered with all of your unfinished business. You will forget how to be fully present in the moment, which will ruin even the most opportune times to spend time together.
I see it all the time. If you go to most public places, especially restaurants, and look around you, you will see people physically grouped together and that none of them are are mentally present nor are they interacting. They stare at their smart phones and distract themselves from the person that is sitting directly in front of them. We have all been guilty of this at one point, but that only supports my point.
When your brain is used to going a million miles a minute focusing on a dozen different things, it wants to constantly fill itself because that’s its baseline. It starts to feel uncomfortable when you finally decide to slow things down and focus on one person or task. Your brain wants to pump through information at maximum velocity and it requires making a concerted effort to slow it down to focus on one thing for more than a few minutes.
This is why it’s important to practice pushing the pause button. Push pause and allow yourself to slow down and enjoy every little detail of why you love your spouse and why you enjoy their company. Allow yourself to be fully present in that very moment. Commit your attention to them and show them that even though there are a million things that you could be doing, you are choosing to be there and putting them above everything else.
The Life-Altering BIG Decisions In Life
Look at your list that you made earlier. What were the crucial decisions that needed to be made and what were the leading factors that influenced your decision? What were the alternative decisions that could have been made and what priorities would they emphasize? Did you make your decision due to finances, personal goals, what’s best for your marriage? It’s great if a certain choice aligns with multiple priorities because it makes your decision so much easier. But what if your choices aligned with different priorities? That’s when things become complicated and difficult.
If your marriage if your first and most important priority, your decisions will align with putting your marriage first. This isn’t always easy to do and may require some sacrifice as an individual to benefit the team. Sometimes you need to put the needs of your marriage above your personal needs and that really isn’t easy to do.
Personal Example of a Difficult BIG Decision
Recently, I made the difficult decision to leave my PhD program for the sake of my marriage. Don’t get me wrong, there were other factors that influenced this decision, but my marriage was definitely at the top of the list of reasons. I had a prestigious fellowship, I was at an excellent school, and I was working on cutting edge research. It was very difficult to walk away from all of that.
My husband is active duty military and it was time for him to have to move to his next duty station. For those of you that unfamiliar, military personnel move on cycles of every 3 years and there is very little flexibility. When the military demands that it is time to go, you have to go and you don’t get much a say in where or when. It was inevitable that he would have to go, but the question was whether I go with him. If I had stayed behind, I would be prioritizing my personal goals over our marriage. The problem was that PhD programs do not have definitive timelines and we wouldn’t know how long I would have to stay behind for. We did know that it could be for a period of 2-3 years and that was a long time to live apart.
My health was already in decline and the thought of having to face the stresses of graduate school, my ailments, and being away from my love was more than I could bare. I decided it would be best if I took a leave of absence and follow my husband to Washington D.C.. It was one of the hardest decision that I have made, but my husband is worth it and has been my biggest supporter.
I will never judge anyone for their choices in life, but I encourage you to be honest with yourself and understand the motivations behind your decisions. I encourage you set aside time from your busy lives and pay attention to the ones you love. Don’t get caught up on the busy details of life and remember to devote some of your time, energy, and brain space to the love of your life. Remember what is important to you and important for your marriage to flourish. Make decisions that are better aligned with your priorities and be prepared to make difficult decisions when it’s necessary.
I encourage and push my readers to grow by challenging their perspective. I push them to reflect and analyze their current realities. This is the first step on the path to personal growth. Always be honest with yourself. If you do not like how things are currently, then change them. Be accountable to yourself for your actions. You have the power to change your circumstances.
I hope this post was helpful! Thank you for taking the time to be here and reading my blog! Check out the other topics of my blog and please subscribe. I appreciate your support!
What do you do to prioritize your marriage? What have you learned on your journey? Tell me your tips, tricks, and advice by commenting below.