I have learned in my years of marriage and in my time as a marriage coach, that marriages don’t suffer just because a couple is dealing with issues like infidelity, financial issues, lack of intimacy etc. but because couples fail to form a united front in the home by clearly communicating their thoughts, feelings and desires to each other.
Communication Is King
For a marriage to thrive, communication has to be king. While you will not always agree with your partner’s stance on every issue, you are in the least able to talk through them, ‘agree to disagree’ and get on with your marriage. The simple truth is your background and life’s experiences (birth to adulthood) are the reasons why you have turned out the way you have and the same goes for your spouse. So these [Tweet “Differences in your upbringing show up in the way you relate with each other, handle conflict, spend money, make decisions and discipline the kids.”]
It is quite the norm that a couple’s discipline style differs. One person uses the time out approach quite often and the other person lets the kids get away with “murder”. Since their parenting styles differ and one person is constantly trying to “straighten” out the kids while the other keeps over-indulging them, resentment creeps in and begins to put a strain on their relationship. This definitely affects how you discipline your kids. One person resents the other for being too strict and the other person resents their partner for not being strict enough. The kids – obviously aware – take advantage of this situation and tend more towards their “good cop” parent causing even more resentment by the strict parent.
For a marriage to work it must be ‘resentment-free’ and the couple must be a united front on the choices they make for their relationship, including how they choose to raise their kids. The reason the two of you are different is to bring a good balance to your lives. The kids can’t spend their whole lives in rigidity and they can’t always be ‘allowed’ a free pass whenever they’ve erred. Your different parenting styles afford you the opportunity to raise very balanced kids.
There is no way you can show a united presence to your kids if you do not talk about and agree on how you BOTH choose to raise them. In my home, the kids are clear that if mum has given them an answer to a request and they are not so pleased with it, dad will give the same answer – and vice versa. They quickly learned this and quit going to the other parent to present the same request when they noticed that we were always “united” in our responses to them. If it happened that either of us wants to change the decision the other made, we have a private discussion to state our case and then jointly announce to the kids the change. All they know is ‘mom and dad changed their minds and we get what we wished for’. This strengthened our marriage because we both felt respected by each other. And what is a marriage without respect?
Talking to your spouse about everything, including how to discipline the kids will help keep your relationship healthy. Wishing you bliss in your marriage as you both raise well-balanced kids.
ZeeZee Ihe-Okuneye is a certified Relationship and Marriage Coach who believes her purpose in life is to equip couples with the right tools for a successful relationship. Through her MarriagePrep Coaching services, website and YouTube channel she shares practical tips and principles that help couples understand the inner workings of a healthy marriage.
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