Take This Marriage Advice with a Grain of Salt
Not all marriage tips can or should be followed to the letter. In fact, always make sure that you understand the spirit and intent behind a marriage tip before applying it to your marriage. Following marriage advice blindly can make a troubled marriage worse or put unnecessary strain on a happy marriage.
To give you an idea of what this means, here are some popular tips that can be harmful if taken and applied literally.
Don’t go bed to angry
This is pretty popular advice for newlyweds so you’ve probably heard it more than once. The idea behind it is that married couples should resolve their differences before going to bed because holding on to anger overnight only makes you angrier.
It is quite common for Christian couples to take this marriage tip literally because they believe it to be biblical marriage advice. This is because Ephesians 4:26 says “Be angry, yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.” However, Psalms 4:4 also says “Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.”
This shows that the most important thing is to ensure that you do not let your anger take control over you and cause you to sin. You don’t have to stay up late into the night trying to resolve an issue when you are both exhausted and in defense mode. It’s perfectly okay to give yourself time to calm down and think things over.
Don’t disagree in front of the kids
When people say “don’t disagree in front of the kids,” what they really mean to say is that you should not have angry fights in front of the kids. Being mean and disrespectful to each other in front of the kids is wrong but simply disagreeing with each other is not.
Disagreements are a part of life and your kids need to learn how to communicate, solve problems and resolve conflicts. One of the best ways to teach them these skills is by being a good example. It is healthy and beneficial for them to watch you disagree in a kind and respectful manner. However, just to be safe, have a pre-arranged signal to let each other know when the conversation is starting to get too heated and needs to be shelved for later.
Divide chores equally
Being equal partners in marriage is a good thing. However, dividing chores is one of the few areas in marriage where being 50-50 partners doesn’t always work. When you divide chores equally, keeping score is inevitable, and keeping score builds resentment. Instead, both of you should put 100 percent effort into maintaining the home.
Household chores are much easier to do when you enjoy what you are doing. Therefore, always take each other’s preferences into consideration when dividing chores.
Another neat trick that can help you achieve a near 50-50 split without the resentment is doing chores together. Nothing is more annoying that doing chores while your spouse is relaxing. Lastly, if you can afford it, hire some help for the really hard chores that none of you wants to do.
These marriage tips are a good example of why marriage tips shouldn’t be taken or applied literally. Always find out the spirit and intent behind a marriage tip before applying it to your marriage.