Our loving, badgering mothers teach us an awful of a lot of things throughout our lives, but there are a few life lessons that are best taught by our fathers.
A lot of men, who after reaching a certain age tend to become quiet and inexpressive. They are not preachy parents, they don’t haggle with their children trying to reinforce good behavior and they don’t scold them for small mistakes. But does that mean they withdraw themselves completely from teaching their children? Absolutely not! There are subtle silent ways through which they inculcate important life lessons in us.
Fathers teach us the importance of relationships and the art of maintaining them. Developing a relationship is simple, but keeping it going is what’s difficult. Watching our fathers handle their relationship with our mothers makes us learn how marriages are supposed to be and how to sustain it through different times- good, bad and worse.
Here are 5 lessons our fathers teach us about marriage:
1. Respect and value your spouse
There are a lot of marriages in which one partner works outside the home and the other undertakes all the household responsibilities. But sometimes what happens in such an arrangement is that the earning partner starts to forget about the sacrifices and efforts that the other partner puts in, just because their work doesn’t reflect in their bank accounts. This makes the stay-at-home spouse feel unappreciated and demoralized, which starts to create resentment in the relationship. To have a healthy relationship it is extremely important to respect and value your spouse.
2. Criticize only in private
Never raise your voice or make negative comments about your partner in front of friends, family or acquaintances. That doesn’t mean that you should never fight. Conflict is a natural part of any relationship, every couple has differences at some point or the other. But it is important to solve them in private, in solitude. Having arguments is not only uncomfortable for the bystanders but can further aggravate the problems.
3. Don’t let your kids play you against each other
Often partners have different ideas of parenting and they don’t always agree with each other on everything. But, it is important to stay together in front of the kids. Children are smart and know how they can get their way into doing things. They approach the lenient parent and get permission to do what the strict parent might disapprove of.
What this does is that it creates problems between the parent couple. It is important to make sure that you and your partner stick together and sort out your parenting plan. Your kid shouldn’t be able to take advantage of your differences and create problems between the two of you.
4. Listen and validate what your spouse says
There are going to be days when you are exhausted and can’t wait to hit the sack. At that time if your spouse wants to start a conversation with you, it can get really frustrating for you. But even then you must not shut them off or shush them. Acknowledge their concerns, listen to whatever they wish to say and gently ask them if you can have this conversation later. Shutting off your partner just builds tension in a relationship which later snowballs into fights and arguments. And remember, a day can come when the tables turn and you might be the one who wants to talk but your partner doesn’t. You wouldn’t want them to shush you- would you?
5. Your relationship is more valuable than winning petty arguments
Is there any marriage that doesn’t have arguments? Well, fights and conflicts are pretty much inevitable in every relationship. While having an argument some people can really get stuck up with the idea of proving themselves correct, but this habit can really be lethal for their relationship. To have a happy and fulfilling marriage it is important that sometimes you take a step back during arguments and apologize even when you feel you are right. Your relationship is far more important than trivial fights. Don’t hurt your partner and create unnecessary distances between yourselves, just for the sake of proving yourself right.
6. There are so many different ways to express love
While saying I love you is wonderful but there are so many different ways to express love. Little gestures like ordering your partner’s favorite takeout, doing their share of chores or getting them small presents really shows how much you love them. These little things are going strengthen your relationship, they will give you memories to cherish, they will rekindle the thrill and excitement in your marriage. Expressing love by being thoughtful and undertaking small gestures to make your spouse happy, really goes a long way in developing a healthy and lasting relationship.
These lessons have really helped me maintain my relationship and get through the problems in a better way. There are a lot of men who are not very fond of interacting, who like to keep to themselves. But even then, they can teach us such important lessons on relationships that no-one else can.