Parents offer a lot of good advice to their kids. If more people followed their own advice, it could really help their marriage. A lot of times couples behave quite similarly to squabbling siblings. Take a look at these common tidbits parents frequently offer their kids and see how the same advice makes sense in marriage.
Parents are often telling their kids, “Don’t tattle” whenever one of them can’t wait to get the other in trouble. However, there are also adult forms of tattling that can be damaging to a marriage. Picture a wife who can’t wait to call her mother every time her husband says or does something she doesn’t like. Or perhaps she tattles to her friends about something he did that was embarrassing or “stupid.”
If you go to others to “tattle” on your spouse, it can break down the marriage in several ways. It’s a breach of your loyalty to your partner and can be seen as an act of betrayal. Also, the more you focus on the negative things about your spouse, the easier they can get blown out of proportion and cause you to overlook the good things. If you must report on things about your spouse, make sure you are reporting about all the good things and stop focusing on the bad.
Take a Time Out
Parents often send their kids to time out to cool down and get a grip on their emotions. If only more adults could send themselves to time out. If you find that you and your spouse are getting into a heated and passionate discussion and you can’t bite your tongue, head for a time out.
Time out is a skill for people of all ages. It can prevent you from saying or doing things you don’t really mean. It can also help you to be able to think more rationally. When you are engaged in a heated dispute, you aren’t going to be able to listen or see things from your spouse’s point of view. A time out can give you some new perspective so you can re-visit the issue with a clearer head and solve some problems with your spouse.
Parents often tell kids “stop whining,” when they complain, “That’s not fair” or when they say “Why do I always have to be the one to pick up the toys.” Adults often whine in a similar way and it can lead to marital issues.
Perhaps a wife whines to her husband that he doesn’t help out enough around the house. Or a husband may whine that his wife doesn’t cook and clean the way he wants her to. Whining and complaining won’t get you any positive results. Instead, it is likely to just annoy your spouse. So remember that marriage isn’t about keeping score or being fair, it’s about teamwork.
Don’t Talk to Him That Way
When siblings argue and say mean things, parents say, “Don’t talk to your brother that way.” Well, that’s some sound marital advice as well. Everyone has probably said something to their spouse at some point that they later regretted. However, some couples make a habit out of saying hurtful things.
So take a look at the way you talk to your spouse. Maybe you bring up the past to throw something in your partner’s face. Or perhaps you get in some underhanded “digs” about his mother. Or maybe you try to pass off your hurtful comments as a joke by saying you were “just teasing.” Whatever it may be, remember that if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
Parents are always telling kids to share. “Share your toys.” “Let your brother have a turn.” “Give your sister some of that.” However, when it comes to marriage, a lot of adults get a little selfish.
It can be difficult for adults to truly share their money, possessions, and their time. Marriage requires you to share everything you have. You no longer have the freedom to make decisions on your own; instead you even need to share in the decision making. So be willing to share and share alike when it comes to your spouse.
Parents often put pressure on their kids to “go play” or “go outside.” Having fun and playing together is an expectation of childhood. However, this can be great advice for a couple as well.
Sometimes the demands of life get in the way of having fun and playing. However, this is one of the most important ways to help your marriage grow. Spend quality time together doing something fun. Go for a walk, have a picnic in the park, or do something silly together. It can help you manage stress while bonding.