How Dating a Married Man Has Made Me a Better Wife
Now that I have your attention, I should tell you the reason I’m dating a married man is because I am married to him. Sorry to those of you who thought they were going to get some juicy gossip. Instead, I want to share why it is important to date your husband. Have you ever found yourself in a relational rut, where you are both busy doing important things but neglecting time with each other? It can happen to anyone. Often, a relational rut happens when we have allowed our margins to become too thin. We don’t allow enough time for our most important human relationship, our marriage. Sometimes it is due to everyday life circumstances such as work overload, being tired, kids’ activities and needs, which take us in different directions never leaving time for each other. Other times it is because we get too complacent. Boredom is a relationship killer. Once you get over the initial “honeymoon” phase, real life sets in and the work of maintaining a committed, healthy marriage needs to be a priority. However, both parties have to be intentional for a successful marriage that will last throughout the years. Here are some reasons why I think it is important to keep dating your husband after you are married.
Love is A Priority: Always remember why you fell in love in the first place. What attracted you to each other? Take time to remember and look at your spouse the same way you did when you began dating. How often did you say, “I love You?” I’ll bet it was quite a bit. Just because you have solidified your relationship doesn’t mean you don’t have to express your love, or have given your spouse permission not to say “I love you”. If anything you should be saying it all the more to one another. Your spouse may know you love them, but it feels good to hear it. Love is a precious gift we have to treat with honor and respect. No one wants to feel like a doormat in a marriage. When you are married, there is something special about knowing your spouse loves you despite the laugh lines you’ve developed in your forehead, the extra fifteen pounds you’ve gained over time, your gray hair, or the stretch marks from carrying your children. In love there is give and take, but you have to be careful not always to be the one taking and never giving. Make sure you fill each other’s love tanks.
Romance Isn’t Dead: Trust me, the only way romance is dead is if you allow the flame to go out. Sometimes it may seem like there are only a few glowing embers, but all you need to do is stoke the flame, and once again it will become a roaring fire. How do you keep the romance alive and well? Be intentional! When you began dating each other, everything was intentional. You made time for each other. You even put important dates on the calendar. Remember when people would ask you to do something with them and you would say “no” because you had a date and you would get that little sly smile? Yes!!! You can still say “No” to other things to keep the most important things, important! Oh, and don’t say “We don’t have the money to be romantic!” You may not have money, but you’ve got the skills to be romantic! You know what your spouse likes and being romantic doesn’t have to cost money, it just takes time and commitment. When is the last time you wrote your spouse a love letter or card? When is the last time you held their hand or gave them an extra long kiss? How about when you put the kids to bed, you also turn off the TV, light some candles and turn on some music. Sometimes, being romantic can be as simple as emptying the dishwasher or taking out the trash. With age, romance can change, but it is the spark that keeps the fire going no matter how long we live.
You are Not Married to Your Kids: You are the boss of your children, not the other way around. We all love our children, but we have to remember it is normal to keep them second in relationship to your spouse. Yes, their needs are important, and we want them to become productive members of society, but one of the best examples we can set for them is by teaching and showing them what a healthy love relationship looks like. Does that mean they will be grossed out sometimes because you kiss your spouse in front of them? Yes, but they will mature to a level where they will appreciate the example you set. Your relationship is where your children will learn what they should expect and what they shouldn’t accept in their own future relationships. How they allow themselves to be treated and how they treat others is often based on what they have seen in their parents’ relationship. As spouses, we have to be careful to keep our marital relationship a priority. Let your kids know the importance of spending time alone without them. Don’t feel guilty for wanting to spend time alone with your spouse. A few hours on a weeknight or a weekend away from the kids is healthy for everyone. One day your children will be grown and gone, and it will be a whole lot easier to transition into being empty nesters by dating each other all through your married life rather than becoming strangers while your children grow up. Otherwise, you could end up just existing together in a house with nothing in common beyond the kids, and that would be miserable.
Time is Not on Your Side: There is a phrase that says, “Time is on Your Side.” However, time is not. By the time you get where you want to be professionally, or consider yourself financially stable, or have raised your children and sent them off on their own, the years will have flown by. It will seem like the blink of an eye and your small children will be grown and out the door, ready to make their own mark in the world. Don’t put your relationship or the things you want to do on the back burner. Don’t waste more time waiting until you retire to do the things you have always dreamed of doing. Make a plan and do them while you have your health, finances and the ability to be with each other. Don’t live with “I would have” or “If only I could have.” Love, laugh and live each day with purpose. Let your love stand strong against time. I’ve seen too many couples whose lives have disintegrated right before their eyes. They fall apart trying to find their identities again after parenthood or once the dreams they have been hanging on to fade away because of a diagnosis of cancer or other physical illness.
Make Time to Talk: Healthy communication is crucial in a marriage. When we stop talking to each other, the walls go up! It is amazing what we assume the other person knows or is thinking. However, if you aren’t talking to one another, you can’t blame the other person for not being a mind reader. Miscommunication leads to frustration on both sides of a relationship. When we purposefully make time to talk, we demonstrate to one another the value we place on the relationship. Make time every day to ask your spouse about their day. Remember when you were dating, how you couldn’t wait to tell each other everything that happened while you were apart? A simple conversation between a couple can be a form of intimacy. How a couple speaks to each other plays an important part in their relationship. Yes, there are times when you are just too tired to talk, but don’t make it a habit because as human beings we tend to take a lack of communication personally. Talking is is a good way to process our thoughts and emotions about what happened during the day. When you allow frustration to build up in your relationship rather than talking it out, you are setting yourself up for a fight, even if your relationship is not the direct cause of the frustration. Disagreeing with one another is a normal thing because we are entitled to our opinions, but when we choose to disrespect one another and challenge the validity of each other’s opinion, the door to hell is opened. Agreeing to disagree is a well-learned lesson. When we choose to fight out of frustration or anger, it never ends well because someone always ends up feeling hurt and pushed aside. Make sure you always treat your spouse better than you do your best friend.
Dating shouldn't end when married life begins. Dating is a fun and exciting way to reconnect… Click To TweetDating shouldn’t end when married life begins. Dating is a fun and exciting way to reconnect with one another and maintain your strength in marriage or help you get back on track. Dating your spouse ignites passion and brings a sense of playfulness into your marriage. Who doesn’t love a foot rub or a great back massage? How about an intimate meal for just the two of you? An overnight date can help a couple forget the pressures of what is going on at home, redirect their focus, get in alignment together and make a stronger marriage. I’m dating a married man because I believe he is worth it and our marriage is better because of it.