By Samantha Stroube Daviss
Corsicana Daily Sun
My most favorite job in the entire world is being “Mommy” to my three little men. I am who I am today because of these three.
On Mother’s Day, I sat there feeling an over-abundant amount of gratitude for what I have been given through those three. They have made me a stronger, more independent, more caring, and a lot less selfish person. And I couldn’t help but think that when I was in my early 20’s, I swore off ever having children; and now the root of my existence is within those three.
They have each added so much to my life. Each one of their little personalities reminds me what is really important in life. And that is to laugh, love, hug, and just be around those that mean the most to you in this lifetime. My oldest adds a little bit of wit and dry humor to my life; my middle one challenges me daily with his (intelligent) questions; and the little one is my love bug that is always plopping his cute little hiney in my lap unannounced.
So even though I am constantly being tugged, dragged, and chauffeuring in three different directions, I wouldn’t change the dark circles (under my eyes), the sleepless nights, or the constant reminders to get homework finished for all the money in the world.
But with the appreciation for my three little men, came the reminder that I wouldn’t have any of it, or enjoy any of it without my best friend by my side. In addition to my favorite job as Mommy, I love being “wife, friend, and partner” to my husband. He drives me crazy sometimes, as I do him (I am certain); but he has also made me a better person because of it all.
I always tell my boys and show my affection to their Daddy, because they need to know, if he and I (my husband and I) don’t work; then none of this works.
So once again I recruited some advice and comments from friends and family on what they do to keep their marriages functioning, healthy and alive, so that spark never flickers out. Because being a good wife is important, but so is being a good husband.
So here are the top 10 collected bits of advice on how to be a great spouse:
10) Stick to your vows. You took them for a reason.
9) Adultery, abuse, and abstinence are pretty big “No-Nos” in the world of marriage. Meaning, don’t cheat on your spouse (if you do you’re a fool); don’t hit your spouse (if you do, you’re a monster); and share the love with your spouse (if you don’t, you’re lazy and selfish).
8) Always keep the lines of communication WIDE open.
7) Be yourself and keep your sense of humor. Don’t take things so seriously, and don’t become someone you’re not.
6) Always put each other first.
5) Never let alcohol navigate or monitor a conversation or argument, because the alcohol will always win.
4) Marry your best friend. Because one day you will wake up, the house will be empty, the noise will be gone, and then you’re stuck with one another.
3) Keep dating. Never stop dating each other. Make time for yourselves. Not so much so you’re neglecting the kids…but find that balance.
2) As an established wife you should know what you’ve gotten yourself into a long time ago. People do change, they grow and they mature; hopefully a couple will do it together. But remember you can’t change a person.
1) My (maternal) grandmother always said this to me, and it’s the best piece of advice ever. Always stay up and fight. Never ever go to be angry, sad, or with hurt feelings. One sleepless night is worth more than a bruised and damaged marriage ever could be. Get everything you have to say off your chest before your head hits that pillow. You may have to agree to disagree, but make sure it’s all out there.
No one ever said marriage was easy. But you sure can make it fun if you make sure that you guys stay connected and make time for one another. You just have to keep reminding yourself, that we are all different, but you knew that when you married one another. So if you love them, love all of them; don’t nit-pick at their flaws.
And the most important thing in a marriage is you have to fight for what you started. And by that I mean don’t give up on your life together so easily. Yes things change, yes they may get more difficult because of outlying factors…but if you’re in it for the long haul then fight for it.
I feel that people don’t stick out marriage for the long haul any more. They let outlying factors persuade them too much, or they just flat give up. Give the life you built together the good fight…it may be tough at times, but like I say “It’s gut check time.”
Samantha Stroube-Daviss is a Daily Sun columnist. Her column appears on Sundays. She may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read her blog at samantha-daviss.blogspot.com. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? E-mail: email@example.com