What do you do to plan for your future?
I know I’ve done many things. Chose schools, jobs and even houses based on where I want to be in the future.
We finally get a job, a spouse and maybe even kids. Our future is finally here! Then the future you start planning for is your children’s. Possibly you’re trying to save for retirement as well. The stress never lets up!
There is one future we stop planning for, our marriage’s. We often become distracted letting our marriage slide. We tell ourselves it’ll be there later, when the kids are grown….
I have been guilty of this. I have often put my kids before my marriage. It’s really very easy, when they’re little babies, they need so much that you’re tired by the time they sleep. When I was breastfeeding I was touched by the kids sooo much that I found it really frustrating for my husband to touch me. I needed space. He was mostly understanding, though I’m sure it hurt his feelings at times.
He was guilty of putting our marriage on the back burner too. He was busy building his career. The very career that supports our family and allows for me to not work outside of the home. We are grateful for the blessing that his career is to our family but building it often made me feel like I came second.
We were young. Our marriage wasn’t always great. There were times in the beginning that I wanted to give up. Times when we felt disconnected but didn’t know how to tell the other one. There were times when we needed more from each other but were afraid asking would hurt the other one’s feelings. But we loved each other, we knew God meant for us to be together, and so we kept pushing through.
What I’ve learned through the last 20 years is that you need a plan for that part of your future too. Not all marriages are able to go the years that ours went through and make it out stronger. Plan for the future of your marriage and work toward the marriage you want to have. If you nurture as you go along it’ll be there, healthy and strong for the future. A well cared for marriage can survive the really hard times. It’ll be there when the kids grow-up and move away.
Now our lives are incredibly busy with four kids and my husband’s job (he travels frequently) and church and friends and me trying to get back into a writing career. We make time though. We go on “dates” at least once a month but we also do “life” together.
You see, I used to be completely in charge of everything kid or home related. I still am for the most part but I’ve learned to ask for more from my husband. I ask him to buy pet food, groceries or make trips for us to the library. I ask him to do dishes, laundry and cook.
He lets me sleep in on the weekends and does the chores. In return for all of that, he feels helpful and appreciated, a real part of our family. Before, when I did everything, he often felt left out. I made all of the decisions and sometimes we even forgot to fill him in on activities and plans.
When he helps, I feel loved and taken care of, cherished and appreciated (and not so tired). That gives me more energy for my marriage. More desire to be with the man that makes me feel loved, appreciated and most of all, special.
Now we plan for our retirement financially but mostly we focus on planning for the future of our marriage. We dream about it together, like we do about our children. What do we want our lives to look like as our kids grow up and move out? What do we really see for ourselves in our future TOGETHER. That’s the tricky part! If you don’t take care of your marriage now, there might not be one to worry about later. Or if there is, you just might find out you’re married to someone you don’t even know or have a relationship with anymore.
Tomorrow, I’ll post some ideas for keeping your marriage healthy and they won’t take much time or cost a lot of money!