Would you like to keep your marriage fresh?
I have been talking about meeting each other’s needs in marriage. This is the third part of the second step in the series.
The first part of step two was helping discover, using the list, why you may have had conflicts in the past. Part two was explaining how thrilled your spouse will be when you value their opinions as related to the list.
When your needs are met, and when your spouse’s needs are met, what a wonderful thing it is in your marriage. Even though you’ll have ups and downs, you’ll have a thrilling and very fulfilling marriage when both of your needs are met.
Now, this doesn’t happen by accident You have to be proactive and cause these things to come about.
As I said, I’m talking about some steps toward meeting each other’s needs. In previous posts, I talked about making a list and then ranking that list in the order of importance.
Two posts back (link above) talked about using that list to the best advantage in your marriage. Use it to enhance your marriage and to make it sparkle.
The post just before this one (link above) talked about recognizing the value of your spouse’s opinion.
You may find that you have a certain need way up on your list and he or she may have it way down towards the bottom on his or her list. That doesn’t mean that one is better than the other. Not at all.
When you recognize and value each other’s opinions, it gives you an opportunity to have some discussions that you may not have had previously.
Once you’ve recognized the value of each other’s opinions, work toward meeting your spouse’s greatest needs. If there have been areas and things that you have neglected, you have a new emphasis on what you want to try to do in your marriage in order to meet your spouse’s needs.
Likewise, your spouse will do the same for you.
Keeping Things Fresh
There is another way to use those lists, and that is to review them from time to time.
One way to remind yourself to review your spouse’s list is to put it in your Bible, a book that you’re reading, or somewhere else where you will see that often. Then and you will review your spouse’s interpretation of what are his or her most important needs in his or her life.
You’ll be reviewing it when you do that, but you should also review this by going through the process again at different stages in your marriage.
So you reviewed these needs again, but you also go through the process of the ranking again.
The reason for doing that is that life just changes.
Life Stages Related to Children
Let’s think about some life stages that are related to children.
If you’re in the before-children stage, that is a good time to make your list and do the rankings and trade the list. The goal is to work toward meeting each other’s needs.
It may be that you and your spouse do not have children. Well, most people your age probably will have children during that life stage. This is a good time for you to, again, redo your list to see if anything has changed. it may not change as much for those without children, as it would for those who have children.
Then there comes what might be called the empty nest stage of life. That’s another change. It is a time when life has changed so much that your ranking of how you feel about those felt needs may have changed.
Your spouse needs to know that. If you have a new number one need, your spouse needs to know that. Your spouse needs to know you’ve changed your mind about what’s important.
Another life stage will be what we might call retirement or I refer to it as the later ministry stage within our life. The circumstances have changed.
Those are four different times that would be a good time to review your lists about felt needs.
If you haven’t done your list yet, go back to the previous blog posts. I talked about making a list, ranking it, sharing it with your spouse, and how to use the information you learn.
Life Stages Related to Finances, Careers, or Jobs
There are other life changes that are not related to children, but related to finances, careers, or jobs.
It may be that one time when you filled out your list, your finances were very low, so financial security may have been very high on one or the other of your lists. However, if you are comfortable now, that may not be quite as high on the list.
You may have gotten to the point where you have financial peace. Maybe one or both of us have lost jobs. Those events would probably make a difference in that area of your ranking. I would urge you to go through those lists again at that time.
You might have a career change, or a different job within yourcareer category. When you start a different job and have different time demands, it will be very important for you to consider how you’re going to work through these time demands and how your spouse feels about it.
If it’s going to demand more of your time, how are you going to work that out where you continue to have good quality time with your husband or wife? Perhaps you will end up having a whole lot more time than you did before. In either case, your needs have likely changed.
These are good times to go through the list again.
Life Changes Related to Maturity or Renewed Focus on Spiritual Growth
Then there are life stages that are related to your own personal maturity; Your own growth or renewed focus on spiritual growth within your life.
When it comes to maturity when you’re very young, your needs or perception of needs may be quite different than it is after the two of you have gone through some storms.
Those storms may not have been caused by either of you, just by life events. But having made it through those storms together, you have grown within your lives and your priorities may end up being different than what they were when you filled out that list in the earlier stage in your life.
You have also may have had a time when you decided the two of you were really going to focus on your marriage. You had a renewed focus your marriage has just become better because of your renewed focus in that area.
After having refocused for a while, it would be a good time to go through the exercise again. Rank those needs in order of importance to you and then you and your husband or wife will trade those lists again. it will give you a means for further discussion, and a basis for how you’re going to focus your life in the next few years because you really want to please your husband or wife.
So you have maturity or you had renewed focus in your marriage.
You may have new spiritual growth. If you did not know the Lord when you first filled out the lists, and then later if you came to Christ, your priorities will probably have changed.
If you’ve had a new stage of spiritual growth and your life and both of you have a new commitment in that area, or if it’s changed for one or the other of you, it would be a good time to go through the process again. Then look at your current status of how you feel about what is important to you in your life.
Try those lists, discuss them if you need to, but then focus on focus on doing what is best for your spouse.
Review the list periodically as needed throughout your life.
Well, I hope this has been helpful to you. For more tips on marriage, and to see the other posts in this particular series, click here.
I also, have two books on marriage some books on Amazon. One is called “21 Ways the Principle of Leaving Will Benefit Your Marriage” and the other is “From Mountains to Molehills” Both of those will prove beneficual to your marriage.
Thanks for stopping by. Until next time, I wish you the best in your marriage.