Damned if I know…
Ok, perhaps I do… not all of them, but probably most of them… here goes.
I believe that in a marriage, it is vitally important to be totally open to discussion about money. Perhaps the finances that get thrown about on bills, gorceries, car fuel, and of course medication is not even up for grabs. Those are a necessity.
What about that extra spending money we get to enjoy and inevitably add that little spice and enjoyment to life? I think that up to twenty-five or thirty euros per week (if available) should not even be talked about. Maybe lunch at work, or a drink with friends, the odd computer game or subscription… having her hair done, or nails, or clothes.We always both know what money we have in the bank and what bills have yet to be paid. If one of us needs a new pair of shoes, for example, we discuss how much can be spent on the item. It is not about being miserly. It is about being responsible and avoiding one of the most common pitfalls of married life. We have rarely argued about money. Ever since taking this decision to talk about what we have, we have improved financially
Spending Time Together (or date night):
Many families, especially locally, put children before their spouses. That is plain wrong. Although it is natural to love your kids, their love must never transcend that of your husband, or wife. And that is one of the biggest problems I see here. Thus, alone time is vitally important. No distractions. It’s okay to watch a movie together, or listen to music… or even better, go for walks where serious discussions can take place. In addition, when we are going somewhere together, we don’t listen to the radio, we talk.
Taking care of each other.
If one of us needs the other to go to the doctor with us, that time is taken without complaint. It was part of the discussion prior to marriage that medical issues were part of the package. No one is guaranteed permanent good health, no matter how healthy we were at that moment.
No trying to change each other.
If you are not happy with the person they are now, you won’t be happy after they change either – if that wished for change happens at all. A corollary to this is to adapt to each other as you change naturally. Change is the only constant in life. Your partner will change. You will change. Figure out now how to adjust.
But, ironically, the basic person will remain very much the same. Tastes in music, art, reading, these are all different traits which must be accepted unequivocally. I would add religion too. Women in Malta are more susceptible to (I was going to say snake charmers) religion than men, who, it seems, mostly agree to religion due to peer pressure.
Spending time apart.
“What the hell are you talking about? Didn’t you just say, Spend Time Together?”
Well, yeah… but we each have our own interests. Yes, there are times when we have participated in each others interests. However, we all need time alone. You were two separate people when you married. You are still two separate people after marriage.
Liking different things and having different friends is part of being your own person. There is no reason to give that up just because you exchanged rings.
I am sure there are a lot more things which can contribute… I just listed some which I thought were the building blocks…