Hey there! Hope all is well. Today, as we hang out I want to talk to you about setting a standard for the results you would like to see in your marriage. Be reasonable and make sure both you and your spouse are on one accord.
After many years of being married to Ejuan, this is definitely something I can say I have had to backtrack on. I was a young, inexperienced girl when I said, ‘I do.’ I didn’t know what to ask for or what to expect. I was just madly in love with my boyfriend and baby daddy (LOL) at the time. I knew that I was ready to be his wife and have our family together every day and night, and that was all that mattered. I didn’t have a blueprint for marriage because my parents separated when I was young, and then my father passed away at an early age. Although I had grandparents and some extended family that had been together for many years, I didn’t know the importance of paying attention to their relationships back then. And I most certainly didn’t take advantage of finding out how their failures and success could help the trajectory of my marriage.
Like most of us, we have to plan our own way and learn from personal experience. I look back on how my relationship started with Ejuan, and I understand the path that was created. I have often told him that I take full responsibility for the pattern that we set. Again, I was young and clueless, and I ultimately allowed him to create the standard for us. I’m very simple, and I don’t require a lot, but I didn’t realize what I was setting myself up for later.
As we have individually matured and our marriage has evolved over the years, I began to shift my way of thinking. Unfortunately, that changed caused conflict because Ejuan was comfortable with how things had been for many years. Sometimes, what may seem disrespectful or sneaky to him was nothing more than a revolution and awakening for me. For example, since day one of our marriage, we have shared a joint account. From this account, we pay all of our bills, withdraw funds for ourselves (basically an allowance), purchase gifts for one another, etc. Ejuan has always taken care of the money since we were first married, and I was okay with that. I trust my husband, and we have NEVER been behind on payments, never had any of our utilities interrupted due to non-payment, and have always had everything we needed.
By him managing the finances, that was one less responsibility I had to endure. At the beginning of time and for most of our marriage, I was the primary caretaker of the kids’ needs, maintaining the cleanliness and atmosphere of the home, and I was the head chef (surprise, I know)! I was a working mom with small children, so any help from my husband was appreciated. However, over the years, I noticed that Ejuan took on a stance like he was the be-all and end-all of our financial decisions. I’m a true believer in allowing your husband to be the home leader, but I also believe there should be fairness for both partners. One spouse should not win financially more than the other or think that their decisions are most important. Unfortunately, that is the exact model that we were building our marriage on. And like most things, going cold turkey and making a complete transformation does not happen overnight. For years, this is how we had lived, so as I became more aware, I started working on our new normal.
One of the more dramatic things I did was start depositing my income into a separate account instead of being transferred to the joint checking. Ejuan was offended, to say the least. To him, this was almost like an ultimate betrayal. For years we did things a certain way, and now here I am blowing up our norm. In my defense, I had brought this concern to him on several different occasions. I explained how he made my feelings and financial desires secondary to his, but he didn’t acknowledge them. Those conversations went in one ear and out of the other. I’m convinced that Ejuan believed that he had a right to decide what would and would not happen because he assumed the responsibility of keeping our finances in order. If you talk to him today, sometimes he’ll actually admit that he did. (Depends on what day of the week it is, lol).
When I rearranged what he had gotten used to, making that move did precisely what I wanted it to do. It got his attention! Now, he was ready to talk and truly listen to what I had to say.
I don’t recommend doing anything crazy to bring about a change in your marriage, but finding a way to communicate your feelings is important.Tweet
For my stubborn husband (although he won’t agree), this was necessary! We have grown so much in the way we handle our finances. Although he is still our financial leader and I appreciate him for that, we are more of a team than we have ever been before. We could not be where we are today if we continued down the path we initially started.
I realized much later in our relationship that I allowed so many things from the beginning that became our norm. When I saw how one-sided things had become, I knew a shift was mandatory to ensure the success of our marriage going forward. I didn’t want to resent my husband in the future or have a relationship filled with many regrets. We still have work to do in this area, but we have come a long way. As our financial status continues to develop, we have to work on maintaining fairness and teamwork regularly.
Until we meet again, I’ll leave you with this. Whatever it is you want to have or see happen in your marriage, discuss that with your spouse. As early as possible, sit down and devise a plan for the standard you want to set for your relationship and be reasonable about it. Please don’t come up with some outlandish expectations like my wife should be cooking in lingerie every day, or my husband should do all outdoor work shirtless. Honestly, take the time to make this critical step to help prepare you for the long run. While circumstances and situations will change, you will have an overall example of how you both want things to go. If you’ve been married for a while, I suggest you two take a step back and do this activity. Maybe things are going well right now, and you don’t feel there is a need to change. As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” However, change can sometimes sneak up on you before you realize that it happened. For that reason, you should discuss where you are now. Don’t assume that you’re both okay with your current situation. Sometimes, it could be that your spouse is not communicating their true feelings because they don’t know how, they don’t want to hurt you, or they don’t feel like you will receive their vulnerability. Once you come together and have a conversation, you might realize a change is needed in your relationship.
If you liked this post, please don’t just enjoy it and walk away. Click the like button and also leave me a comment letting me know. Then, please share it on your social media accounts and bring someone else to “hang out” with us!