A belated Happy New Year to you! Today is January 7th, 2017 and we are now one week into the New Year and many of us are getting back on track after a busy holiday season. This is the time of year when we often take time to reflect on what happened over the last year and try to do things a little bit differently than last year.
My New Year’s Marriage Goal
This year, like usual, my husband and I enjoyed New Year’s Eve at home, watching some movies and relaxing after a busy Christmas. We also took some time to reflect on some simple goals for the following year.
My New Year’s goal for our marriage was to be more patient with my husband. I have noticed that for the last few months, I was taking my stress out on him by getting irritated with him over small things. And the more I did it, the more ashamed I felt, which added to my stress. What I needed was a do-over. You know — the ability to say, “okay, let’s start this impatience thing over. God, please forgive me. Vern, please forgive me. And let me forgive myself.”
And on New Year’s Eve, I felt that I got my do-over. There is something about the significance of a new year that makes it seem more like it really is starting over. I asked my husband to forgive me for my recent blow-ups. I asked God to forgive me (again!) and I forgave myself.
And I am so grateful to report that he did forgive me. He even says that he didn’t really notice it but that is how gracious my husband is. I know that day-to-day, I had been snapping at him way too much, even if he doesn’t hold a grudge against me.
Set a New Year’s Marriage Goal Yourself
And this time of year is a great time to set a goal for your marriage. I don’t think you should make it too many — preferably just one thing that you can focus on for the relationship. Even if you didn’t do it on the exact New Year’s Eve, you are still right at the beginning of a new year.
A famous quote by Samuel Johnson says that “Remarriage is the triumph of hope over experience.” Reportedly, he wrote that upon hearing that a friend had gotten married shortly after his unhappy marriage had ended with him being left a widow.
Well, this quote was obviously meant to be sarcastic but I think we can really get some good wisdom from this quote, because a second marriage is a series of letting hope overcome experience, in other words, not letting our mistakes define us.
So, when you set a goal for 2017, have faith that you will be able to have a fresh start with your relationship. If you are a believer, trust in God that He will guide you in it. And tell your spouse what your goal is, too. I think it will encourage their heart to hear you are thinking of your marriage and desiring to make things better.
And if you are looking for some ideas, here a few ideas I have come up with.
Feel free to take one, if it applies to you. Change it to fit your situation and your heart, if you would like to. Not all of these will apply to everyone. Some of are specific to certain types of second marriages, so just disregard if it does not apply to you. Here are some suggestions.
- Do something fun together, away from the kids, at least once a week/month. No business talk allowed!
- Say “I love you” at least once a day to your spouse.
- Decide that you will not dwell on things that an ex-partner does to aggravate you. Okay, breathe!
- Try to eat more meals together as a family. No devices!
- Find a productive pursuit to do when your spouse is spending time with his children.
- Forgive more quickly.
- Express your own needs more clearly to your spouse, instead of being passive-aggressive.
- Read a book or website on marriage regularly.
- Pray for your spouse.
- Praise your partner to her face.
- Praise your husband to others.
- Take more time to “know” your husband or wife physically! (wink, wink)
- Be more patient with your spouse. (That was mine!)
- Get a hobby or activity you can do together as a family.
- Speak to your stepchild directly instead of complaining about her/him to your spouse.
Okay, there are some ideas for you! One of the keys to success with your goal is to let go of the mistakes you have been making and give yourself hope that things can be different. Let hope triumph over experience, as the quote says. We all need a do-over sometimes.
I would love to hear if you found any of them useful, or if you had some different ones to add to the list. In fact, if you add one in the comments below, I will add it to the list. (as long as it’s appropriate!)
So, please drop me a line and let me know how your New Year’s went. Take care and God bless you.