Recovering from divorce: 10 marriage tips every wife needs to hear

By Karen Lodato

For Eighth Rising

Published: Monday, Nov. 11 2013 2:15 p.m. MST

Editor's note: This post by Karen Lodato originally appeared on her blog, Eighth Rising. It has been reprinted here with permission.

There’s a blog post that’s recently gone viral, written by a divorced man featuring some really sound advice about marriage. I really have to applaud this guy. It takes guts to stand up and be transparent about your failures. It’s equally as commendable to stand up and say how you’d do things differently.

One thing that his post is lacking, however, is the female perspective. After reading his post, I wanted to take some time and write down some things that I’ve learned in the last 10 years. You see — I’m now in my third marriage. When people learn this fact about me, their reaction is usually pretty awkward. It’s almost as if they’re waiting for me to be embarrassed by my admission. While going through two divorces was some of the most painful times of my life, I’d only feel ashamed if I’d gone through it without being able to say I’ve learned a thing or two. My husband and I had both been through divorce before we married each other, and with that brings a unique perspective into many do’s and don’ts of how to treat your spouse. Don’t get me wrong — our marriage isn’t perfect, but our failures in past relationships have shaped decisions we make about the way we treat each other, and to be honest, I’m glad I went through it. We’ve learned better, so now we do better.

And with that, I’d like to offer up my version of his wise marriage tips — from a woman who has triumphed the murky waters of divorce.

1. Respect your husband. Notice how it doesn’t say, “Respect your husband if he has earned it.” A man’s greatest need in this world is to be respected, and the person he desires that respect from the most is his wife. The trap that we’ve all been ensnared by is that they only deserve our respect when they earn it. Yes, we want our husbands to make decisions that will ultimately garner our respect, but the truth is that your husband is a human being. A human being who makes mistakes. This is the man whom you have chosen to walk alongside you for the rest of your life and to lead your family, and he needs to be respected for that quality alone. Take it from me – when respect is given even when he doesn’t deserve it, it will motivate him to earn it. That doesn’t mean you pretend that his choices are good ones when they aren’t. Things like that still need to be communicated, but you can flesh out your differences WITH RESPECT. It makes all the difference in the world to him.

2. Guard your heart. The grass is not greener on the other side. Do not believe the lie that with a slimmer figure, a higher salary, a faster car or a bigger house, you will be a happier woman. The world is full of things and people who will serve as reminders that you don’t have the best of the best, but it’s simply not true. Live the life you’ve been blessed with, and BE THANKFUL. I get that we all have struggles, and there are even times when I would love 1,000 more square feet of house to live in, but square feet are not fulfilling — relationships are. Guard your heart from things and people who will try to convince you that your life or your husband is not good enough. There will always be bigger, faster, stronger or shinier — but you’ll never be satisfied with more until you’re fulfilled with what you have now.

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