Three Things I Gave Up to Make My Marriage Better

I could tell by the tone of his voice over the phone he was upset.

He came straight home from the doctor’s appointment and shared the news: His diabetes had progressed and he needed to make (more) immediate life changes or get on more medication.

I could hear fear in his voice–not for his own health, but for his family.

And I love that about this man I’m married to. I’ve watched him lay down his dreams, desire, his life for us. He has made of life of loving us.

They say marriage is give and take.

They are right.

It’s been the secret of our 20 year union. Through the ups and downs–and there have been many– we are committed to fight together, not apart. Although some days we do this loudly.


I love my husband.

And if nearly two decades has taught me anything, I’ve learned that sometimes we have to give up and give in, to get the best out of our marriage.

Three things we can give up to gain more in our marriages:

1. Pride: Let’s admit when we are wrong.

Which is hardly ever, amiright? It’s all-too-easy to divide marriage down the middle into rights and wrongs. Because we are human and humans excel at this. We are the best at holding grudges, stewing, making excuses. It’s time we humble ourselves and admit when we are wrong.  Apologizing, making amends, confessing is how we make marriage work. Pride will destroy a marriage and a soul.

2. Superiority: Let’s hush when we are right.

Gloating over your mate being wrong? That might be worse than never admitting wrongdoing. Sometimes we nail it. And just because we can wave the “I told you so” banner boldly, doesn’t mean we should. Some of the most powerful moments in my marriage has been when one of us was right and we didn’t say a word. It’s called grace and you just can’t have too much with your spouse.

3. Selfishness: Let’s support our spouse even if it costs us something. 

No one has to teach us how to be selfish. We just are naturally good at it. Sometimes our spouses need our support–in a job they hate, in a health crisis, emotional support or a battle for their soul.  When we join them in their fight, we are reminding them they are not alone in their struggle.

So, we have a new family game plan for my husband’s health. More of this, less of that. And the great thing is it’s really for our family’s health. Because we are a team and we want him around.

The bottom line is this: I love my husband. I love my marriage.

And I’m willing to give up some things to make it better.



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  1. 1


    Love that shirt. I’m sure my husband will want me to get one.

    You mentioned in point #3, “No one has to teach us how to be selfish. We just are naturally good at it.” Painfully true. I have noticed, and I’m sure you would agree, that when I spend time with God before I start my day then I’m able to see my selfishness more clearly and am able to stop it …. well, at least sometimes. Good read. Great points. Thanks.

  2. 3

    Tyrone Nelson says

    How about the idea that Sex has to be Sensual and long lasting every session. In my opinion, too many women miss out on opportunities to really connect with their men when they place too much emphasis on seeking the ideal situations for sex. Sometimes stealing away while the kids are out playing or away at the neighbors for a few hours can be some of the best sex you and your partner will ever have. These spontaneous sessions tell your man you steal desire him and your desire to connect in this way is still alive and well!!! Remember ladies, it was you and him before the kids.

    • 3.2


      My husband and I feel that there is no time for Sex. We alway have the kids around and that we don’t get any privacy. There are times that I feel that we have drifted apart and are distant with one another.

      • 3.2.1

        NewStang says


        You guys have to be committed to each other first. He is who you married, not the kids! At the end of it all when the kids are all grown up and moved on with their lives, there will only be you and him. Time must be made for affection at any given time of the day. Trust me, he needs it! Get a friend or family member to watch the kids for a bit, babysitter, or even get a YMCA membership (they will watch the kids for at least 2 hours). Hope this helps!

    • 3.4

      Brandi says

      I agree, sometime a quick sex in the shower can make the rest of the day a connection experience.

  3. 4

    Teresa Thomas says

    I think another one would be Do not keep Score! I use to do that and sometimes want to twist my mouth to still do that, however I have learned not keeping score brings us a happy home and also cleaning the slate and starting over each day.

  4. 6


    I agree with the one who said, “don’t keep score.” While there are certainly times for hashing things out in a respectful and loving way, one of my mantras is “let it go.” It’s not just a Disney song. There’s no place in marriage for holding grudges or keeping score.

    Thank you for these great reminders.

  5. 7


    This is a great list. I definitely agree that humility when we are right is important. Especially when we remember that it’s God’s grace that has given us the right knowledge/attitude/position.
    I also agree with the commenter above that making sexual intimacy is a really important priority in a healthy marriage.

  6. 8


    Thanks Kristen. It is always nice to see other couples with healthy relationships. We all see too much of the opposite, especially in the media.
    Everything that has been mentioned in your article and in the comments can be summed up in two words: MUTUAL RESPECT. That is key to a healthy relationship. In fact, it’s what holds everything else together. Without respect for each other, you will find that everything else is extremely difficult, if not impossible to maintain. Best Regards.

  7. 10


    What a neat picture of marriage in a day when it is so easily tossed aside if it isn’t fulfilling “my needs.” Love the humility and love pulsing through your words.

    • 12.1

      tonya says

      Disregard my comment!! I just realized it was off $25 & the shirt was only $18.99. I didn’t have enough in my cart to use the code – that’s why it was invalid. Duh!!!! ;o)

  8. 13

    Wuanita says

    #3 we are naturally selfish. I was literally just thinking about that fact this morning and how if we begin to lose sight of ourselves, what we stand for, and our goals for life and marriage, how easily it is to become consumed by selfishness. Thank you for the great message today. Prayers for your husband and family and may God continue to bless you with wisdom and patience

  9. 15

    Angie says

    I loved this! We have been ‘ignoring that same elephant’ for about 5 years and got the news 2 weeks ago that change is NECESSARY at this point in our lives. I began a food plan just one week prior to this news that was for ME so I could be healthier, which would in turn make everyone healthier in theory…I hate it, but realize this has now become OUR fight. I can sacrifice my treats and goodies if it ensures many more years as a family. Thank you for the reminder!

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