How to tell if a man is a good catch

How to tell if a man is a good catch? Or that things will work out 10, 20, 30 years down the road? Today, I will share with you 6 things that will help you tell if a man is a good catch.

I am not an expert in human behaviour and every relationship is different. The opinions stated below are my own based on personal experience and a theory I have about people.  (based on my limited knowledge of human behaviour).

I have been married for more than 17 years and am still happy and in love.
Yes, it can happen.

One of the reasons we still have a happy marriage is that I took the time to make sure that the man I was marrying was a good catch.

Also, please note that even if all the signs are there, that he is a good guy, this still does not guarantee that everything will work out. After all, we are still human and people make mistakes.

My Theory

I believe that each person has key moments where they show their true nature.

Those are the moments you want to catch and see how a person acts in those moments.

Because, in marriage, true nature usually reigns over romance and happily ever after.

If you want a good marriage and be able to tell if a man is a good catch, then look for a man with the following characteristics.

6 Things to Look for: How to tell if a man is a good catch

1. How does he treat his mom/sister?

He might treat you amazingly right now but how do you know how he will treat you in the future?

Over time, even in the most loving of marriages, you hit rough spots or moments of tiredness and irritability.

Wives and husbands get comfortable with each other over time and treat each other the way they would treat someone they have known for a long time.

One way to see how he might treat you when he is comfortable is by watching the way he treats his mom.

Men who don’t respect their mothers or who treat their sisters badly will probably treat you that way one day.

Their mother raised them, supported them, loved them and so much more.

If a man can’t respect a person who has done that for them, then, in the long run, they might struggle to respect you.

Men who are good catches will show respect to their mothers and are protective of their sisters. Because the way men treat their mothers and sisters is a good indication of how they will treat you.

How to tell if a man is a good catch

2. Watch the way he treats the elderly

The Bible tells us to respect our elders. In today’s culture, it’s easy to want to push older people away to let a new brighter and younger generation take the lead.

The reason the Bible tells us to respect our elders is that they have earned it.

They have lived longer and have seen more. They understand how the world works and have had more opportunities to see God work. Older people also understand ministry and have so much value they can offer.

If a man respects his elders and treats them well, then he shows that he honours and values people.

He respects different world views and understands that his knowledge is not the limit.

Respecting elders shows compassion, understanding and a willingness to learn and even bend to someone else.

These are all amazing qualities to have in a man who is a good catch.

I don’t want a husband who thinks he knows everything or thinks he knows better. I want someone who knows he makes mistakes and can learn from others.

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3. How does he act towards your family

The guy does not have to love your family, but he should never speak badly of them or treat them with disrespect.

If he is not willing to get to know your family, visit them, or spend time with them then these might be signs of things to come in the future.

It’s not a deal-breaker, but bad feelings toward in-laws just make things harder in the long run. Family visits, holidays etc become more stressful and not enjoyable.

Men also sometimes feel threatened by their future fathers-in-law. Fathers are notorious for wanting to take care of their daughters. Since men also have that desire, they might feel that they are doing an inadequate job in the father-in-law steps in.

Finding a man who likes your family will make any future interaction so much more enjoyable.

4. How does he react to stress

As they say: a tiger can’t change his spots.

No matter how much your husband may change over time, the way he reacts to stress will likely stay the same. It might get better over time, but we are wired to go back to instinct when we are stressed.

There are a few key scenarios which you may want to observe to see how he Reacts.

You might think that your guy never gets stressed out, but I have this theory.

I believe that a person’s true nature comes out while they drive. Think about it. What other situation could you have the possibility of being late, cut off, and totally stressed out? Watching how your man reacts to other drivers will give you a great insight into how he reacts to stress.

I highly encourage couples to take drives together before marriage and also build a piece of furniture together. If you can go on a road trip together and put together a piece of IKEA furniture without killing each other then the chances are you can face multiple stressful situations together with ease.

5. Is he willing to put work in?

When I was a teenager I had a few rules for myself about dating. I thought: if a guy is interested in me, he will call or ask me out. I don’t have to chase him down.

**Most** men will put in some effort to get to know you and your family. Some men might need nudging and encouragement but if a guy doesn’t call or do anything to pursue you then the chances are that he is not interested in you.

But this attitude does not end during the courtship. If a guy is willing to put in some work at the start of the relationship, it shows his level of intent and commitment. He is the type of guy who will continue to work to see that your relationship keeps working.

Our story

When I first met my husband, we started off as acquaintances. We would talk at the bus stop and we slowly got to know each other. At the time, he was a smoker. In passing, I said that I would never date a smoker.

Within a couple of weeks of me saying that he had stopped smoking cold turkey. He was willing to quit something he loved to have the chance to get to know me better.

Once we started dating, it was really important for me to have him sit down with my dad and have a conversation. Greg was new to town and had just started attending the church I was going to.

Because my dad is an elder at the church,  I respected his authority and opinion about guys and wanted him to chat with Greg about his faith and so on. I knew Greg’s story but I wanted an elder to affirm that he was not an axe murderer. I did not want love to blind me to his faults.

When I brought up the idea of him talking to my dad,  Greg did not blink. He called my dad and set up a meeting.

If the guy really respects you and is truly interested in you then he will be willing to jump over the moon for you.

If he is not willing to make sacrifices at the start of a relationship then he never will.

Marriage takes work.

Some of that work is to compromise but other work is working to keep a family together or working to make time for what matters.

I found, (in my case) that his willingness to put in so much effort was an indicator of his willingness to provide for his family.

This is not to say that women can’t be breadwinners, but Greg has always been determined to work as hard as he can to provide for us and has shouldered that responsibility from the start.

There was no real way for me to know all of this at the start. But, looking back I think I knew this would be the case for him because of how willing he was to jump through all the hoops I had set up at the start of our relationship.

Marriage can be amazing. But it’s only amazing if you marry a good catch.

There are many ways you can discern how he will eventually treat you and his general character.

6. Watch him in every type of scenario

Over time, a person’s true nature will come out. If you can love him threw his stressed-out moments and in those bad moments then the marriage will be that much easier.

How to tell if a man is a good catch is the best question you can ask yourself before you jump into a relationship.

In the comments below, share some signs that would tell you whether or not a guy is a good catch. Please share this post with others. Thank you.

How to tell if a man is a good catch

Lessons learned in the first year of marriage

My husband and I are celebrating our 14-year anniversary. That is insane!! Today, I want to share with you the lessons learned in the first year of marriage.

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This year was the first year that I looked at our wedding day photo and saw 2 babies!! Seriously, we look so young (24 & 26)

Anne and Greg markey on wedding day 2007. Lessons learned the first year of marriage. 

Even though my wedding day was so long ago, I still remember it like it was yesterday. There are large portions of the day that are a blur, but I clearly remember the look on his face when he saw me walk down the aisle. I thought I loved him. I guess I did, but my love has grown so much since that day.

To celebrate our 10 years together, I wanted to take time and remember everything that I have learned about myself and marriage. I have learned so much so, I want to break it all up into smaller blog posts.

Read the next post: 4 things I wish I knew before I got married 

** This post has Affiliate Links see my Disclosure Policy***

6 things I Learned in the first year of Marriage

I was warned over and over that the first year was the hardest. So, I was expecting a bad year. Thankfully. We had a really easy first year. Even though it was an easy year, I still learned so much from our first year of marriage. I hope what I learned can help you too.

1. Don’t be attached to the symbolism

When we got back from our honeymoon, we bought a starter garden.  I was so excited! I had this vision of growing our own fresh herbs and using them in the kitchen.  So, I put the plants on our balcony and took care of them.

Within a few days, they were dead!

I had this moment and thought: oh no!! Our first project as a couple has failed!! We have killed our plants!!!

I was worried that this might be a sign of our lives as a couple. That somehow we would fail because we could not keep plants alive. I had heard that if you want kids you should try to keep a plant alive. So all these voices were saying: you can’t even keep plants alive, but you want kids!!

I had to take a moment and calm down.

I needed to realize that these plants were not a picture of our marriage. My ability to take care of plants had nothing to do with my ability to be a good wife or a good mother.

I had to let go of those expectations I had of myself and let a plant be a plant.

10 years later, I have yet to keep a single plant alive but I have 3 healthy kids and healthy marriage.

2. Let it go

My husband does not do the dishes the same way I do. He fills the sink first and washes the dishes in a specific order. I like to leave the sinks empty and run the water and wash one dish at a time.

Watching him do dishes drove me nuts. I thought that his way took longer and made no sense to me.
It was tempting to “Correct” him. Instead, I let it go. I decided that I preferred him helping me in his way than fighting over the way things should be done.

That first year, I had to let go of a lot of things: mostly control over how things were done around the house. I decided that I did not want to create conflict over these simple and small things. I instead focused my energy on making our home a good place for both of us to live in.

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3. Think before you speak

In the first few months of marriage, we bought a dining room table. Some of our wedding guests had given us the money to purchase a table. We went to the store and brought it home.

We had planned to put the table together the next night.

The next day, my husband calls me and tells me that he has been invited to participate in a baseball game. I said it was ok and I figured that after the game he would come home and set the table up. I also assumed that if he was going to go out after, he would call again and ask if I wanted to come as well.

That call never came. He played the game and went out without communication.

What came next

Needless to say, I was livid. I was ready to yell and scream and accuse him of not thinking about me and my needs. I was also mad because I had started building the table and he was not around to help. He had made me feel abandoned.

Over the next few hours, I was able to calm down and gain perspective on the whole night. By the time my husband got home, I did not yell or scream. I was able to discuss with him how his actions had made me feel.

Had he been home when I was mad, I probably would have caused some serious damage to our marriage. My words and anger would have hurt his feelings and might have changed the way we worked together in the future or affected many other aspects of our relationship.

This event was a big lesson for me.

From then on, when I got angry, I thought about how my words and actions may affect our marriage in the long run. Since I am in it for the long hull, I decided that I should be careful to not ruin my marriage over these small issues.

4. Set a routine

When we got married we had lots of invitations out for dinner and visits and nights out of the house. My husband is an outgoing guy and he loved being out of the house every night. For me, that was too much.

After a few months of being out of the house every night, I told my husband that I could not keep up. I told him that being out of the house every night was too much for me. I needed nights at home with nothing to do and we could just be the two of us.

Since he liked being out, we needed to find a routine that worked for both of us. After some discussion, we decided to stay home 3 nights a week.

In the first year of marriage, it’s important to find a routine that suits both of you. We both had to compromise. He wanted to be out and I wanted to be in. We settled into a routine that we could both live with.

Since that first year, we have continued to set routines for our family that work for both of us. Having a routine that meets all our needs is sometimes hard to get, but it’s so worth it.

5. Learn to communicate

The first year of marriage is the foundation year. It’s the perfect time to build healthy communication patterns. If you can learn to communicate in a healthy way, then the rest of your marriage will be so much better off.

I found that the first year we “defined terms”.

I would say something that hurt his feeling and I would say sorry and he would say: that’s ok. To me: that’s ok means that what I said and did was ok. I wanted to hear, you’re forgiven. For him, when he said: that’s ok, he meant– I forgive you.

So we were using different languages to mean the same things. It’s important to figure out what the language differences are and make it clear what you’re trying to say. Doing so will save a lot of heartache and misunderstandings.

6. Enjoy The Year

There is no other time in a marriage like that first year.

When we got married, we were young with no commitments. We didn’t own a home yet or have children.  I wish we would have enjoyed these freedoms more. Once you start having kids or financial responsibilities you have less freedom and have to be more mindful.

So, that first year, just have fun. Do things that you might not be able to do again ( or at least for a long time). Travel, go to the movies, go out to dinner. These things become a bit more complicated when you add a few kids or mortgage payments to your life.

I was very fortunate and had a very good first year. It was easy to live together and get along. I know some people are not so fortunate and they have a hard first year. But, the first year becomes the second and before you know it 10 years have passed by.

On the comments below, share the lessons you learned in the first year of marriage. Please share this blog post with others. Thank you.

Read part 2 in my series: 4 Things I wish I knew before I Got Married

9 ways to save money on date night

My husband and I have 3 kids and live on one income. We don’t always have money to spend on date night. But we have found ways to save money and some tricks to having a cheap date night. Click to read: 9 ways to save money on date night – One Determined Life #datenight #dateideas #cheapdateideas #chapdate #marriage

We all know that the best way to keep a marriage healthy is by having a regular date night.

In this post, I will share with you 9 ways you can save money on date night!

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When we were first married and had our first child, we had very little money. Having a regular date night can do some serious damage to your wallet if you’re not careful.

So, what is the solution?? How can you make sure to have a date night but afford it at the same time?

Continue reading to see the 9 ways we save money on a date night

9 ways to save money on Date night

1. Make a budget

Every couple has a different household income. Before you start to plan a date night, sit down together and decide how much money you can spend per month.

Once you know how much money you can spend, plan your nights accordingly. Date night does not need to be expensive to be romantic or fun. 

For my husband and I, we have kept to a few simple guidelines that save us money.

2. Reduce the nights out  

Since having kids, we have found that we enjoy our special nights at home just as much as the nights we have out.

In the span of a month, we try to have 3 date nights at home per month,  and one night out.

This still gives us the nights we get to have outside the house without the need for us to spend $$ on babysitting or activity on a regular basis. We have found this to be the best way to save money.

3. At-home Movie

One of the best investments we made this year was getting a big-screen tv. Before purchasing the TV  we would watch everything on a computer screen. That worked for a while, but now it’s so much better. The size of the screen and the quality of it makes it so we can watch movies we love in the comfort of our living room.

Since movies are released so quickly for rental or purchase, we just wait for movies to be available to us and rent them off our tv. We like to use the google play or cineplex app. We also have a monthly subscription to Netflix and use that as well to watch many movies. <A rel=”nofollow” HREF=”//”> Widgets</A>

This way, we pay $5 per movie instead of $20 or more and can pick a time that works for us.

4. Game night

My husband and I love playing games. So sometimes we love to stay in, eat some snacks and play games. We buy a few new games a year and play them together.

Our favourite 2 people games are:

If you want to buy any of these games or get any information, just click on the images (all are affiliate links, please see disclosure policy)

Having a game night is a great way to save money and spend quality time together. The games you purchase are not only good for date night but for a friend get-together and family game night. These are one-time purchases that can be enjoyed over and over again.

5. At-home chef

My husband and I love food. Sometimes going out for dinner is too much for our budget. Instead of purchasing a dinner out, we will spend less money and make a special meal at home.

We stick to things we know how to make, but you can expand your abilities by trying to make something new.

Not only will this save you money, but cooking together is a great way to spend quality time together.

6. Free activities

My husband and I are pretty fortunate with his job. The type of industry he is in provides us with the occasional free tickets to hockey games, festivals and other events. There are also galas and fundraisers that we can go to.

All of these events are free for us and are a great opportunity for us to get out and save some money.

To save some money, try to take advantage of the free things you have access to. For you, it might not be events, but maybe your city has really cool free things. These make great date nights and you save tons of money.

Over the years we try to only pay for the activity or for babysitting.  If the activity is free then we pay for babysitting, if the babysitting is free we pay for the activity.  This idea helps us save money and also helps us not take advantage of friends who would look after our kids for free. 

7. Get family and friends to babysit

Sometimes the most expensive part of the night is the cost of babysitting. If your fortunate enough to have family in town, ask them if they would be willing to babysit for free.

Some grandparents can’t due to health, but you can also ask aunts, uncles or your siblings. Any family you have is a chance to get free babysitting. Close friends may also be willing to babysit.

When asking a family to babysit make sure that your ur not taking advantage of their generosity and pick times that work for them.

8. Swap Babysitting

We don’t have much family in town. The family we have has a schedule that is the complete opposite of us so finding times that work for both of us for them to babysit is hard. We have a few friends who are willing to babysit for us, but we don’t want to ask too often.

So, if you don’t have much money for a night out and you want to save some money, consider swapping babysitting with a friend.

If you have friends in town with kids, then chances are they need babysitters as well. Set up an arrangement with them so that when you go out they babysit and when they go out you return the favour.

If you can’t babysit maybe offer other services for free such as a haircut, music lessons, cleaning, whatever you can think of that they will agree to.

9. Make it simple

Date nights don’t have to be complicated. They are just night’s set aside to spend quality time together.

Sometimes, my husband and I are not creative with a date night and it’s just us getting chips and candy and watching a movie together.

When my husband and I had no money, we would often just make a pot of tea. We would sit in the kitchen and drink tea together. Those date nights were just as special than any other date night we have had. They were sometimes better because we would just sit and talk for as long as we wanted.

More ideas

To get more cheap date night ideas, click here to get a free download called: 25 cheap date night ideas.

If you don’t have lots of money to spend on date night, don’t!!  Just focus on spending time together.

In the comments below, let me know how you save money on date night. Please share this post with family and friends. Thank you.

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How to make time for your marriage

How much time do you spend with your husband? Today I want to share with you how to make time for your marriage.

I know that for me, it never seems to be enough and I am always looking for ways to spend more time with my husband. 

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My younger years

When I was a teenager, I was attending a bible study with older married women. Some of the things they said, at the time, made no sense to me.

They said things about their marriage like:

  • We never spend any time together.
  • We never see each Other

It confused me because, at this point, I was dating and thought: How can two people who live in the same house never see each other?

I have now been married for ten years and completely understand.

Life is busy! Just being in the same living space does not make you close to one another.

It’s easy to let kids work, or even The Lord’s service gets you so busy you don’t have time or energy for your spouse.

If you neglect time with each other, soon enough you will become like roommates or just people who help each other raise the children.

According to W. Bradford Wilcox and Jeffrey Dew “People who spent quality time with their partner at least once a week were 3.5 times more likely to report being ‘very happy’ in their relationship compared to those who didn’t. Quality time can strengthen your relationship in several ways.”

The Right Type of Time

In over ten years of marriage I have discovered that it’s not the amount of time you spend together that matters, it’s the quality of the time you spend together that counts.

Quality time does not need to be some elaborate date or a rare experience. It can be at your kitchen table, or in the living room doing something you love.

During our busiest times in life, my husband and I will just sit at the kitchen table and drink tea together. This would maybe take 10-15 min, We just sit together at the table and talk about our days.

We discuss things that are coming up in our lives. Lately, we have taken more time to pray for each other, our children and the people we know.

Those times together have been the most special because we are having real and deep conversations. They sometimes don’t last long, but just spending those minutes together connects us in a meaningful way.

Other Marriage Blog Posts

4 ways to make time for your marriage  

1. Schedule a regular date

Once a year, my husband and I will sit down and think about the next year. We will talk about our commitments and everything we need to do.

We both understand that we each need family time, alone time, service time and guy/girl time and together time.

All these commitments are hard to juggle, but we make it work. We know that we won’t have time each week for all of those things. So, we schedule our days so that we can balance all these things.

One thing that we find important is having a regular date night. For us, that means that once a week we have no other commitments and it’s a  time for just the 2 of us. We often just stay in but it’s a night we can both count on having together.

2. Set a time

Maybe your schedule is insane or you have a hard time dedicating one night to date night. If that is the case, then consider having a set time each day when you can connect with each other.

For my husband and I, no matter what is going on in our days, we always try to call each other at lunch. Sometimes it doesn’t work out and we can’t talk so we will leave a message. I always look forward to a lunchtime call. It’s a great way to break up the day,  but to catch up on our day.

I am not a morning person, so my husband often leaves the house with only a kiss goodbye. Most days, our lunchtime phone call is the first time we have talked all day.

3. First things First

When my daughter was one my husband went back to school full-time. He was a dedicated student and was top of his class that year. That accomplishment took time.

But, no matter how much time he spent doing homework, he always spent time with us first.

He would spend all day at school, then come home and have dinner with us. After dinner, he would play with our daughter and put her to bed. After her bedtime, we would spend 10-15 min just chatting and then he would get to work.

I knew his schoolwork was important, but by spending time with me first, he showed me that I was more important and that he always had time for me.

Even now, my husband often will do work at home at night, but only after he has spent time with me first.

4. Say no

Your marriage should be at the top of your priority list. If your life is too busy with other things to have some regular quality time together, it may be time to reconsider everything you’re involved in.

My husband and I say no to many things to be able to have time with each other and with our kids. For us, our time together is more important so we regularly say no to many good things.  

Since our children are still small and we have to drive them we have decided to only do one extracurricular activity a week.

There are many good things that we could be doing or could be a part of. But for now, we have said no to many things so that we can focus on hanging a balanced life. One where we don’t hectic or overrun with responsibilities.

Each marriage is different so what may work for my husband and I may not work for you.

Some couples thrive on busy social lives. The most important thing to do is to make sure that what you are doing is strengthening your marriage.

In the comments below, share your tips on what you do to make time for your marriage. Please share this blog post with others. Thank you.

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25 of the Best Cheap date night ideas

I love a cheap date night and so I am always looking for some cheap date night ideas. To help you save time on finding great date ideas, keep reading and see 25 of the best cheap date night ideas.

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BONUS: read to the end of the post and get 25 date night ideas for free in your inbox

When my husband and I started our marriage we had very little money. But no matter how little money we had, we always found ways to have a fun date night.

We all know that spending time with our spouses is very important. But, sometimes the reality of spending time together can be hard when you have a tight budget.

Paying for a babysitter and a night out can add up costs very quickly.

So, instead of breaking the bank on date night, try these 25 ideas and have an amazing date night.

25 Cheap date night ideas

  • Have tea together
  • Play a board game
  • Go for a walk
  • Watch a movie
  • Make dinner together
  • Make dessert together
  • Have ice cream together
  • Decorate the house together
  • Make a movie with your phone
  • Plan your dream vacation
  • Work out together
  • Go to a free outdoor concert
  • Discover new art on an art walk
  • Have a picnic
  • Volunteer together
  • Read together
  • Make a puzzle
  • Feed the ducks at the park
  • Go window shopping
  • Dance to your favourite music
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Watch planes take off
  • Have an outdoor movie night
  • Fly a kite

Click here to get all 25 date ideas in your inbox for free

Marriage Blog Posts

What is your favourite cheap date idea?

For more date night ideas, check out Focus on the Family

Don’t forget to click here to get the date night ideas in your inbox.

Share your favourite cheap date night ideas in the comments below. Thank you for reading, Please share this post with family and friends.

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8 Strategies to not let housework ruin your marriage

Have you ever let a dirty house or any other type of housework get the better of you and led you to fight with your spouse?

Me too!

Today, I am going to share 8 strategies I use that keep me from ruining my marriage over housework.


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My Weakness

I have a confession to make: I  hate housework.

I don’t enjoy cleaning and I wish I could leave it to someone else.

Since I have 3 kids, there is always a mess to clean up. They love to just up empty toy boxes for the sake of it and skater crumbs around the house.

I often feel like I am the only one in the house who cleans or who puts any effort into cleaning.

Since having kids, it has been harder to not let these issues become big barriers in my relationship with my husband.

When I am upset about the house and the mess, it is tempting to blame him for the mess and get upset.

What I am going to do to change

Getting mad at my husband has never solved the problem. If anything, it has made things worse. Because now, not only is my house still a mess but I have to mend fences with people in the house.

So, instead of letting housework get in the way of my marriage, I have tried to implement a few strategies.

8 Strategies to stop housework from ruining my marriage 

1. Work on your strengths

During the first month of our marriage, my husband and I bought a new dining room table and 8 chairs. We brought the furniture home and started putting things together.

Stereotypically, men are better at putting things together. We soon realized that in our case that was not true. We found that I was better at reading directions and knowing what parts fit together and my husband was better at doing the heavy lifting.

Since that discovery, we have never had an argument while trying to put together furniture.

We understand each other’s weaknesses and strengths and we work accordingly.

Workload should not be decided by the stereotypical gender lines. They should be decided on who is the best person on the team to do the job.

My husband has a hard time keeping track of our finances and paying bills, so I do that. But, my husband is the superior bathroom cleaner so he does that.

2. Let it be

When my husband did the dishes for the first time, I almost had a nervous breakdown.

In my eyes, he was doing it all wrong.

The way he was doing the dishes was so different than the way I would do them.

But, instead of making him change his ways or be frustrated over how he was doing the work, I let it go.

I chose to be thankful he was doing the dishes and let him do it his way.

Sometimes it’s best to just let it go instead of fighting or nagging or pestering.

Letting things go is better for your relationship and will build teamwork and respect between the two of you.

If you choose to nag and nitpick, his ego will be hurt and you will be creating distance between each other.

3. Communicate

My husband is not perfect and neither am I.

So when things don’t get done around the house I try not to get angry and I don’t seek to get even.

Over the years I have learned that the best thing to do is to calm down and talk about it.

So, when the time is right, I will look at my husband and ask: Hun, can you please wash the pots tonight?

When I speak gently, he is more likely to respond in a loving way than get angry himself.

4. Split up the work

Even though I am a stay-at-home mom, the household responsibilities don’t all fall to me.

As a couple, we decided early on what chores I would do and what he would do.

The split of work does not have to be 50/50, but it is important that you are both happy with the workload.

5. Be Flexible

Even though we did decide what we were each happy doing, our chores are not set in stone for the duration of our life.

If we are not happy with how things are being done then we talk about it and look to change our responsibilities and try something new.

6. Compromise

I have a long list of things that need to be done around the house.

I would love it if I could get all those things done in one day.

But I am the worst homemaker out there and I hate housework.

The chances of things getting done right away or all the time are slim.

So, I have to compromise with myself to change the list and make it smaller.

It’s easier for me to feel like I have achieved something if my list is broken up into manageable tasks.

Since I give myself a break, I think it’s best to also give my husband a break.

Sometimes he starts a task late at night and wants to finish, but I know he is tired and has had a long day.

Instead of expecting him to finish, I tell him he can finish the next day.

7. Choose love

There are so many ways to love your spouse in housework.

For me, coming home to a clean house is a recurring dream.

I would love to come home from a morning away and find the toys away and the floors clean.

When reality hits and I find the house in the worst state than I left, I choose love.

I thank my husband for taking care of the kids and for doing the best job that he could.

Another way I love my spouse is by doing his chores for him.

As I have said, his job is to clean the kitchen after dinner.

One of his least favourite tasks is cleaning the pots and pans.

Oftentimes, he leaves this task for last or does not do it at all.

Instead of getting mad, I love him by doing the pots and pans and expecting nothing in return.

He comes home and he sees the work I have done and knows that I have just done an act of love.

My actions is also a good way to tell my husband that I respect him for the work he does outside the home and that understand that he is tired from a long day.

8. Choose who your cleaning for

I often forget that I am not really doing this for my children or for my husband.

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.”

Colossians 3:23 NKJV

If I change my heart and work for The Lord, then chores become an opportunity to serve God, to worship Him and to thank Him for all that He has given us. It makes the chores *almost* enjoyable. 

Housework is never-ending but it does not need to be a battle or something that can ruin your relationships. Before you blow up at your kids or your husband for not doing something you want them to, go back and refer to these 8 strategies. I know they will help you. 

In the comments, share how you keep household duties from ruining your marriage. Please share this post with friends and family. Thank you. 

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4 things I wish I knew before Marriage

I have been married for over 12 years and there are a few things I wish I knew before marriage.

In honour of that, I am writing a series of posts about marriage.

Last week, I focused mostly on the Lessons I learned in the first year of marriage.

Today, I want to look at what happens after year one.

In this post, I will share some of the struggles we faced over the years and 4 things I wish I knew before marriage. 

A picture of white shoes next to a bouquet of white roses. Over the picture are the words: 4 things I wish I knew before marriage. At the bottom of th picture are the words:

Before I got married, most people would give general marriage advice and would give you warnings about the first year, but nobody actually told me what specific struggles they faced and how they overcame them.

So, I want to change that. 

5 things I wished I knew before Marriage

1. Hard times do come

I was told over and over that the first year of marriage was the hardest. So after having an easy first year, I was naive to think that things would only get easier.

But that’s not how things work.

Within weeks of our one year anniversary, we started being hit with some hard stuff.

It’s not that our marriage became harder, but that life started throwing things at us that we were not ready for.

It sort of felt like we were being hit over and over again for 4 years straight.

Some of the things we faced in those 4 years:

  • a miscarriage
  • Close mentor dying
  • Full-time school
  • First-time parents
  • Unemployment (2 different times)
  • Mental illness
  • Moving across the country
  • and I am sure there is more than that.

Even as I read this list, I ask myself how we lived through all that. I know there’s not much detail, but that’s for another time.

I just wish knew before marriage that we would face so many struggles. There might have been a way for me to be more prepared or not as naive as I was.

2. Enjoy today

Now that things are going better in our lives we have time to reflect on the past and just enjoy the days we have.

The past struggles have taught me that things can change at any time.

It’s not something that I fear, but something that reminds me to enjoy each day.

“Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭27:1‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”
‭‭James‬ ‭4:14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

I wish I knew before marriage how to enjoy the moment. We spent too much time focussing on what we did not have and what I wanted. I forgot to enjoy the present and to enjoy each small moment.

3. It’s ok to ask for help

My husband was diagnosed with a general anxiety disorder in the fall of 2011.

He has been dealing with anxiety since he was at least 9 but did not know what it was until 2011.

Before his diagnosis, we had no clue what was wrong.

I could tell that something was off and that he was struggling with something.

I could just not put my finger on it.

When I asked him how he was feeling or what he was feeling, he didn’t know how to tell me what was going on.

We did not have the vocabulary or the knowledge to know what was going on.

His anxiety also kept him from sharing with me what was going on.

In his anxiety, he feared that I would leave him and stop loving him if he told me what was on his mind.

During this time, I felt extremely alone.

I knew my husband was struggling but felt like telling anyone about it would be showing him in a negative light and speaking badly about him and it made me feel disloyal.

These were all lies! 

I wish I knew before marriage that I could ask for help without making my husband look bad.

Had I known what we were dealing with, I would have fund help so much earlier.

4. It’s ok to Share Your struggles

I want you to know that it’s ok to share your struggles and your pain.

We don’t have to tell everyone and we certainly don’t even have to share details.

But, we do have to learn ways to communicate with others that make us feel safe without feeling like we are throwing our spouse under the bus.

As Christians, it ok to struggle! It’s even normal.

We need to do a better job to show others that we sometimes lack faith, wisdom, patience, and love.

If this had been the Christian culture we had grown up with, we might have spent less time feeling ashamed and more time getting help.

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5. The hard times bring blessings

As much as I was not ready for the struggles, I was not ready for the blessings that would come out of it.

“And not only that but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:3-5‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

I knew these verses and knew what they meant but had not really seen the truth of these verses for myself.

As ridiculous as those 4 years were, we would not give them back. If it was up to me, we would have skipped them completely.

But The Lord used those years. He redeemed them for good.

Not only did these times grow character in me, but also in my husband.

We both grew in our faith.

The best thing to come out of all of it was God giving us peace about us sharing our story.

We had never had real discussions about mental health before. We had no clue what it looked like. It was not until a friend (who had experienced mental health in the past) saw the signs and intervened that Greg got help.

So now, we are very open about Greg’s health, his struggle, and how God has helped us through it.

With our openness, we (mostly Greg) have been able to help and bless many others in their mental health struggle.

What advice would you give?

If I was able to go back in time, I am sure I would read this blog post and still not really be ready for what was to come.

Sometimes, no matter how many times someone tells you something, it’s not until you walk through it that you can understand.

The best thing we ever did was to pray for our marriage. If you need some guidance on what to pray for your marriage, click here to get 30 scriptures you can pray for your marriage.

In the comments below, share what marriage advice would you give to your younger self?

this image is divided into 3 frames. One on top of the other. the first frame is of a husband and wife on their wedding day, they are both smelling while flowers while facing each other. the next frame is words that say: guaranteed things you will face in marriage, the text is in pink. Below that is another picrture. That picture is of a grooms hand holding the brides hand over thei wedding bouquet.
4 things I wish I knew before Marriage

A picture of a women wearing a white dress.  Over the picture are the words: 4 things I wish I knew before marriage. At the bottom of th picture are the words:
A picture of a couple walking down the steps of a church after they got married. You can see the bottom of the womens dress and the bottom of the man's suit. Above the picture are the words: 4 things I wish I knew before marriage. At the bottom of th picture are the words:
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