5 Essential Issues to Address in Building Strong Husband-Wife Relationship Before You Even Say “I DO”
Posted on | October 9, 2012 | 5 Comments
One of the key issues my wife and I often and openly talked about when we were on still dating was the issue of becoming husband and wife to each other. Or if ever, we decided otherwise that we want to move into that direction with somebody else.
Believe me, it was fun talking these things out.
So, what is husband and wife relationship to us?
1. The first thing that must be brought up to building strong husband-wife relationship is the issue of headship. I believe that, you can’t talk about being husband and wife to each other if the issue of headship is not addressed.
Headship is about submission as it is about being in authority. I figured that there will be no headship in a husband and wife relationship if nobody wants to be submitted to it, right?
This is why headship is seldom explored by would-be married couple, because if you are going to talk about it, you are going to also talk about who to submit to. Who will decide on matters that are most important in that relationship. Who will be responsible when things go bad as a result of one decision.
I’ll tell you this: In every relationship- personal or corporeal – you got to have somebody take the highest burden. That is what we call being accountable.
Now, it doesn’t mean only one is accountable. It means that someone should have the highest burden between people. And in the case of a husband-wife relationship, preferably the husband.
This is the concept that we work on in our husband-wife relationship. And it has made our relationship ever stronger with the passing of the years.
2. Another issue with made the effort of discussing as we aim to build a strong husband-wife team was what if one of us are in a situation alone with somebody of the opposite sex?
Yes, what about it? Some couples ignore talking about this as if they are immune to it. No, no. You must make the effort to sort this out. Develop your own strategy of fighting this temptation. Believe me, meaningful and sincere people had their marriage torn apart by believing they are strong and cannot possibly make a mistake of having an affair with a third party.
Avoiding places and circumstances that might put you in a situation to be alone with the opposite sex is not a weakness, it is your strongest signal to your beloved other that you value your relationship highly.
As for our own way of dealing this kind of situation. The best strategy is just to be upfront with it and tell the other party you value your wife/husband more than the situation itself.
What do I do?
This is very tricky, especially with a pastor like myself. There were instances where I could spend considerable time alone with a woman during counseling sessions.
- I will have my wife with me when I am counseling a woman.
- If that is not possible, I will have the counseling session done in a public area, like fastfood restaurant or a coffee shop perhaps, with people around it.
- And if that is still not possible, I will have to tell the person to set the session for later date.
I will not go “Lone Ranger” on anybody. There is too much at stake in building a strong husband and wife relationship than a single counseling session.
Do NOT put yourself in a situation where you can be alone with somebody.
3. Strong Husband-wife relationship is about togetherness. Each of us have our own little concept of being together honed by various variables such as the family environment we grew up with, the community we live in, and the influence of the larger world around us.
These concepts are unique for each individual. And most likely, the both of you have different concept of it and naturally divers expectations.
Discuss your expectations of being together. Is allowing you to roam around with other people of similar sex ok with when in a party or a gathering? Or do you prefer that you go around like two haves glued together? How about travel?
Funny that I often see this done by young people more than married couples.
4. Building strong husband-wife relationship requires understanding sexuality. Who should initiates sex and how often? The discussion might get a little uncomfortable, but it’s worth it. Believe me it is worth it.
The first time we brought the issue(well, i brought the issue), I felt my whole face went numb. I thought I heard myself mumbling words I didn’t understand myself. I did the best I could not to appear embarrassed by it. But my wife took it rather well with a smile. She was more open to discussing sex with me more than I was. It was funny afterwards. We joked about it together.
Sex is a gift to husbands and wives. It is yours to keep and enjoy as well as explore. Sexuality should be talked about on the onset. Not to be experimented for you compatibility.
5. Building strong husband-wife relationship is about Money?
Let me tell you a story which happened about 8 years ago. I was in a pre-marriage counseling session. Before me was two young wonderful persons, very excited and at the same time anxious.
We went to all the points I discussed above: understanding husband-wife relationship – headship and submission issues, situations with the opposite sex, togetherness, and sexuality.
Finally, I ask about money. And their first reaction was somewhat funny and puzzling. Their eyes widened as if the question was a non-issue.
Let me share with you a study made by Jeffrey Dew at Utah State University, attempts to quantify that risk.
His finding: Couples who reported disagreeing about finance once a week were over 30 percent more likely to get divorced than couples who reported disagreeing about finances a few times a month.
Professor Dew looked at responses from about 2,800 couples surveyed in 1987 by the National Survey of Families and Households. In this survey, both husbands and wives were asked, separately, about how often they disagreed with their spouse over chores, in-laws, spending time together, sex and money. These same respondents were then contacted again several years later, in 1992, and asked if they were still married.
Of all these common things couples fight about, money disputes were the best harbingers of divorce.
So, It is ok for you to talk just about anything but money? That’s just plain ridiculous! Discuss money matters as often as you could before saying your “I dos”. Who holds the checkbook/s? How much should be spent on this or that? You will be glad you did.
There are other matters that are worth talking about in building a stronger husband and wife relationship. Things like cleaning the house, cooking and washing dishes, washing cloths, car upkeep, shopping for food, etc.
The trick is to find the middle ground where both of you can find the balance between your love for each other and the responsibilities each of you must take on once you exchange “I DOs.”
Build a Strongly founded Husband-Wife relationship from the onset. That’s the key.
Comment judiciously. AGREE or DISAGREE. If you have other things that worked for you in your marriage please feel free to share.