Another Manic Monday: Making Marriage Work in the Day-to-Day
- Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Have you ever had one of those weeks where every day felt like a Monday? Where each day just dragged on and on and you felt like you were living for no other reason than the upcoming weekend? And, if you’re like most newlyweds, when the coveted weekend finally comes you don’t always have the cash to go out on a date! As time goes by, and your responsibilities add up, life can become depressing if you let yourself dwell on the negative.
The weight of routine often gets to young married couples. If you work full-time, like my husband and I both do, it sometimes feels like the weekend is the only time you actually have together to catch up and spend quality time. The week is hard, and it is often difficult to leave work behind. The bad or tiring day stays with you, putting you in a foul mood that affects your spouse’s attitude as much as your own.
Add household responsibilities to your already stressed-out mood, and arguments are inevitable – each of you feels that you put in a hard day’s work, and each would like to be waited on for the remainder of the evening.
Now is the Time for Compromise
Your desire to take a break when you get home is justifiable. However, it all goes back to that necessary principle called "compromise." You knew marriage was full of compromises going into it – now is your time to live it!
The load can be very overwhelming for just one person to carry. I find myself keeping constant lists in my head – laundry in dryer (check!), lunch made for tomorrow (check!), dishes put away (check!). Dividing up our responsibilities offers relief because it cuts that never-ending list in half. I usually don’t have to deal with taking out the trash or mowing the yard. I’m actually forbidden to mow (past experiences have given that declaration merit!) just as my husband has been asked not to do the laundry!
However you choose to break it up, it is very important to share the workload, because not only does it get the job done faster, but it furthers your sense of teamwork and unity as a couple. Also, remember that establishing a household is no small feat – the drain of everyday responsibilities may lessen as you get more experience and learn what works best for you and your spouse.
The Anecdote for a Bad Attitude -- Praise God
Compromise may offer the practical solution, but it’s not always easy. I sometimes get carried away with the burden of my own list and forget to stop and praise God that I have someone to even do these things for. I’ve learned that the trick to finding satisfaction in the every-day things of life is to pray as you go.
Now, when I’m spreading peanut butter on bread for yet another sandwich, I thank God for putting food in our refrigerator. When I switch a load of laundry from washer to dryer, I praise God for our wardrobes and the variety of options we have each day. When I’m scrubbing the bathroom sink, I stop to remember that God blessed us with the house we live in, and I shouldn’t take it for granted. I sometimes still forget to do these things, and I can tell the difference in my attitude during those times. A little praise goes a long way!
The Need for Escape
Something else I have learned from this past year of marriage is that escape is vital! Plan dates regularly. If you don’t feel that you can afford to, then get creative! A good date does not have to be expensive.
Stop by the corner store to purchase decently priced candy and then go see a movie. Grab an ice cream cone and take a stroll around the neighborhood park. Or dress up nicely and share an entrée at your favorite restaurant.
A friend of the family once said that to save money, she and her husband would go to the local card shop on holidays and pick out the card they would like to buy each other. They would switch cards, read what the other picked out, share a kiss, and put the cards back. Now that’s creative!
The options are endless if you put your mind to it. One secret to planning ahead is to start asking your family for gift cards for the next upcoming special occasion. My husband and I made it all the way through spring with the gift certificates we received at Christmas for the movie theater! What you do isn’t important; it’s the fact that you’re doing it together. If you don’t occasionally escape the ordinary, every-day chores of life, your marriage will suffer.
Yes, it’s hard to thank God for Mondays. You feel blue - the weekend is gone, the upcoming week at work stretches before you, along with the endless lists in your head. But one thing remains the same, just as it was the Saturday and Sunday before – you woke up in bed next to your spouse, surrounded by all the gifts God has blessed you with.
Instead of moaning about the mundane and ranting about the routine, choose to give thanks! Remember 1 Thessalonians 5:18 - "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." Each day, each chore, each moment spent in your home with your spouse is a blessing. God is good -- through the boring, the eventful, the every-day, and the exciting.
Betsy St. Amant resides in northern Louisiana with her newly wed husband, Brandon. She is currently attending Louisiana Baptist University with a major in Christian Communications and is actively pursuing a career in inspirational writing. You can contact her at Angelkiss216@bellsouth.net.
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