It’s easier to express opinions when we are not the ones directly affected by the outcome, and that goes for general things including marriage and all other relationships. If you’re single about to be a wife though, here are a few things you might have heard from family or friends. While we all can respect the intention, sometimes your relationship can get better by doing the exact opposite of what you were told or taught.
Don’t tell each other everything. They say honesty is the foundation of a good relationship, but some married conversations are just TMI. “My husband loved to talk about the ‘joy of a good poop,’ but did he really need to triumphantly describe the color and size?!” says Paula G. “But we both overshared: Every night, I bored him with details about my diet!” Their marriage improved because of one tip they found in a book: “Your wife is not your buddy, and your husband is not your BFF.” Now they open up about the right things, leaving a little room for mystery.
Live your own life. Devoted, submissive wife? Heck, no. “I focused too much on the house and the kids. I didn’t develop my own personality, and it showed in my conversations with him and other people: I had no strong opinions or interesting stories,” says Gretchen D. They nearly split when she found out he was flirting with a co-worker. “He grew bored with me. I was bored with me. Our marriage actually got better when I went back to work.”
Have an affair—with each other. Rouey F. assumed his wife, who was so sweet and maternal, would never try anything that belonged in his secret porn collection—and he felt guilty wishing she did. “I would flirt with other women—not follow through, just try to get a little sexual tension into my day, haha! My mistake was that I didn’t try to do that for my wife. Then she started becoming really adventurous in the bedroom—was it because of that 50 Shades book?—and I was like, ‘Game! Why didn’t we do this earlier?”
A little jealousy never hurt. “Confession? After marriage I stopped trying to ‘keep’ my guy. I had a ring on my finger and a promise before God—okey na ‘yan!” says Amy R. Then, when a diabetes scare drove her husband to start working out, she realized other women were checking him out. And that he enjoyed the attention. “I was like, ‘Teka, I feel threatened! So I started working out, dressing up, putting on makeup at home even if lipgloss and powder lang.”
Go to bed angry. “Before, I would insist on resolving every conflict. No walking out, no shutting up, no going to sleep until we kiss and make up,” says Emma R. Except problems tended to be artificially resolved by someone mumbling out an insincere apology, or they would get bigger because they’d both get so worked up that they’d say things they didn’t mean. “Finally I learned to just let go until we’re not in the mood to kill each other.”
Keep fighting. You know what they say about holding your own emotions when the other one is clearly not in the mood already just so you won’t be pissed off at the same time? Well the thing is, it’s okay to fight, so long as they’re healthy in a way that it doesn’t end up in violence or abuse—either verbal or physical. Because when you stop fighting, you can observe each other suddenly become lazy and less and less interested in making it work with your partner.
ALSO READ: Keeping a Relationship When You Work With Your Significant Other
Original article from Working Mom’s August 2014 issue, written by Joy Perez. Check out more exciting stories in the latest issue of Working Mom available in bookstores and on newsstands for P120. Download the Working Mom Magazine app for access to all digital editions on your tablet or smartphone, available in Zinio, and Buqo Digital Newsstands. Like Working Mom on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ WorkingMom.Magazine) and follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@WokingMomMag).