How to Really Have the Marriage You Want

[Alternately titled: I Married a Stud]

I crawled into bed, weary from the day, pulling covers to my nose. My hubby kissed me and locked us safely in our home-the last I remember until the sun and small warm bodies wake me the next morning.

But the night was just beginning for my man. At the last minute he decided to go for an early morning ride and while prepping his bike, he cut his index finger–deeply. He needed 5-6 stitches.

Instead he muffled his pain. Β Tried to stop the bleeding and quickly washed his finger, careful not to leave a blood-trail or make a mess. Next, he super-glued the wound closed. (!!) He took ibuprofen, wrapped it tightly, and crawled in bed, over an hour later than planned, never waking me.

This is what it feels like to be married to a stud.

I was shocked the next morning, considering my own pain tolerance.

I would have called him from the ambulance.

But my hubby didn’t want me to worry about him. He wanted to protect me, even in his own pain, he put me first.

I think one of the great answers to building a great marriage is simply, but profoundly, found in treating your spouse like you want to be treated, putting their needs in front of your own.

The greatest commandments are to love God and love others. Sometimes loving people outside the house is easier than loving the one that forgets an item on your list, leaves his clothes piled up high, and sometimes acts like your fourth child.

Tonight my hubby took over cooking my pot of soup while I finished up a couple of things. He veered from the recipe and added a can of green peas to the soup. I don’t like peas and I let him know it.

I acted like a complete baby, stomping out of the kitchen.

When I realized I was acting ridiculous, I found him with a spoon meticulously picking out peas! I felt terrible.

I acted like a brat. He responded with love.

He still doodles our names

I’ve been married nearly 17 years and I’m still learning how to have the marriage I really want. Here are some tangible steps:

  1. You never arrive-marriage takes consistent, conscientious work! We never attain perfection or reach some plateau. Daily communication and a commitment to work hard are a must. Throw yourself into your marriage!
  2. Work on changing yourself- We spend a lot of time blaming our spouse for the rough patches. If we focus on changing our impatience, our expectations, our control issues, our marriages will improve and spouses will too.
  3. Serve-If you make a habit of putting his/her needs in front of your own, it will revolutionize your marriage.
  4. Invite God in- If your spouse will pray with you, then pray together daily. Be quick to forgive, slow to anger.

By the way, the soup was delicious. Peas and all.

How do you really have the marriage you want? What would you add?

P.S. As I publish this, my hubby is at the ER, getting stitches. After two hours of profuse bleeding (from another finger injury), I begged him to go. Honey: you’re still a stud.

P.S.S. An accident-prone stud.


  1. 2


    Oh, this is so good! You are so right, marriage is work, and though I know I have not and will not “arrive”, I am growing and learning and in a much better place than I once was… and I love finding wonderful words of encouragement like this along the way- thank you for sharing your insight!

  2. 3

    Skipper McCormick says

    I saw my husband in this post…and myself. LOVE my man. He deserves better than my bratty self. :-(

  3. 6


    Exactly. My husband is the same way. He protects me in his own way (sometimes it’s not the way I would PREFER to be protected but he’s doing the best he knows how). I however, am the wimp. If it even LOOKS like there might be blood I started yammering away to SOMEONE ANYONE to call the 911 !!!!!

    Marriage is a LOT of work. Some days I wonder if I have what it takes, then my husband comes home and I realize I don’t have to have what it takes in that particular minute, cuz he’s got it – he’s got me covered. Beans and all. (I am not a bean lover and he is….). I have stomped off a few times over a bean. Sometimes I shock by myself at my own immaturity. How many single moms in the world never have anyone to make them (horrible!!! rotten!!) bean soup. It’s all in the perspective.

  4. 8


    My parents raised me with one saying: The hardest year of marriage is the one you’re in. Because you’re not worried about the trials you’ve already made it through, and you don’t know what’s to come.

    My marriage has been jokingly been referred to as “an education” since we’ve reached 4 years (next week!). It takes consistently remembering to love the person even when you don’t feel they deserve it because they do the same for you. It takes remembering that they are supposed to be the most important person on this earth to you, and that you should treat them like they are such.

    It also takes trying to see it from their perspective. A lot of my hurts come from my point of view, feeling like he doesn’t care when it fact we simply show it in different ways.

  5. 9


    I learned a long time ago that it’s important to be a servant to your spouse and to do things out of LOVE instead of having the attitude of “I am doing this because I HAVE TO, because he won’t do it and I really don’t want to do it”, foot stomp. Once I adjusted my attitude this way, our marriage improved so much and I found that I actually like being a servant to my husband.

  6. 10


    I quoted part of this post on my blog and linked back to you tonight. Thanks for sharing! It was exactly what’s been on my heart lately.

  7. 11


    Marriage is an ever changing process. You have to learn to go with the flow with gratitude and hope for the future. You have to learn to forgive and let go of the past…keeping your eye on the future. The future that will be ever changing with highs and lows…with grand kids, elderly parents to care for, joy of retirement, aging…but if you hold on to the thought that this life you have created and shared with one person…the person YOU choose, is truly a gift…A gift of learning and growing, being apart of something bigger than yourself, and the GIFT of leaving a legacy behind…Make this life count…leave a healthy legacy…You made mistakes? Fix them, learn from them…and forgive…You will have the marriage of your dreams…And leave a legacy to be proud of…

    Kristin…I hope your hubby is doing better…He is a good man. YOU are a great wife for writing such a lovely post, for stopping yourself in the middle of your tantrum and eating your vegetables…lol Peas are good fiber, anyway…lol

    Hugs, Meme

  8. 12


    BTW, I am having a giveaway…well a GIVEAWAY SERIES…lol First one is a slipcover…I thought you and your readers would like to know…:) Stop by and sign up…

  9. 13

    Sarah says

    I hear ya about the fingers and him not wanting to worry you. My hubby likes to work with his hands and has the scars to prove it. I can count the number of times on my fingers and his (how he still has all 10 I don’t know!) he’s come in ‘inconspicuously’ and gone to the bathroom to take care of a cut worthy of stitches. He always insists stitches are over-rated, so instead of nag, I’ve fully stocked our 1st aid kit with butterfly bandages and lots of anti-biotic ointment! Oh, and I play nurse, too! πŸ˜‰

  10. 14

    Megan G. says

    LAUGH TOGETHER! This is such an important part of our marriage. We try hard to make each other smile and laugh throughout the day. When you’re laughing together a lot, it’s much harder to stay upset.

    Love this post!

  11. 16


    That’s QUITE a stud of a husband, I agree! I read this post to my husband and he totally related. I feel that way all the time–acting like a brat and having him respond in love. So humbling.

    And number 2 on your list REALLY hit close to home for me. impatience. expectations. control issues. OUCH.

    Thanks, Kristen, for sharing this today.

  12. 17


    Sweet post…my hubby is the same way….the protector, the provider and definitely treats me better then I deserve. :)

    And, um, y’all REALLY need that frequent shopper card at the ER. Is there a designated “Welch Room” now? πŸ˜‰

  13. 20

    Michelle says

    I have been married for 19 years and marriage really does take an effort to keep things rolling smoothly. There are times when I too am a brat. I am often ashamed of my tiny fits after I have them, but make it a point to admit my mistakes and apologize. Unfortunately for my husband, I have begun the “change” and my moods often catch me (and him!) of guard. We are lucky to have wonderful men in our lives, and your post proved they are worth it even if they put peas in our proverbial soup!

  14. 21


    So awesome. :)
    What a blessing it is to have a husband who loves God and loves you as God intends.

    I would add to your list-
    Journey together- COMMUNICATE about what you are learning, how you are growing so that you can walk in life together and not grow separately(causing you to grow apart).

  15. 22


    I like your post! So refreshing to see honest feelings. I like that you said to bring God in. He can handle all better than we can and giving it to Him makes the difference. The 5 Love Languages book is excellent for every couple to understand differences in how we show love and feel loved because of our special love language. A servant person shows love by serving their spouse but a words of affirmation spouse would feel loved by kind words. Best wishes to you and your spouse for many happy years together. .

  16. 25

    cara gabrielse says

    lovely post. i threw a similar fit over potatoes recently. glad to know i am not the only brat. :)

    we will have been married 20 years this july. i think the most important thing is to focus on God, not yourself, and not each other. if you are abiding in God’s will, surrendering to Him, staying in the Word, everything else will take care of itself. not to say it won’t be without problems, but they won’t put you under.

    also? at a marriage conference we went to one of the speakers said, “your spouse was created to kill your selfish nature.” ouch. and so true.

  17. 26


    God knew just what I needed to hear today. Thank you for your words of encouragement. I need to appreciate my hubby more than I do…typed as he’s out buying feminine hygiene products and chocolate for a very emotional woman today!!!

  18. 27

    marky says

    I love your marriage posts! We have been married the same amount of time as you..and it is easy to get ‘comfy’ and take things for granted. But of course that makes us vulnerable to temptations.
    hope your hubby is feeling better today!

  19. 28


    I’m not sure when you wrote this, but I needed it today! Because I…I was a brat today. On Mother’s Day, of all days. And I just needed the reminder that my marriage can’t be what I want it to be if I am not willing to forget about myself and focus on my hubby a little more. Thanks!

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