If I were talking with a single person about someday getting married, I would strongly advise them to make a list of non-negotiables. That would be the things their spouse must be (or do), and the things they can’t be (or do). Then I would advise them to not continue dating anyone who was missing any of the must haves or had any of the must not haves.
Given you’re already married, it’s a bit late for that. Or is it?
I realise the idea of making such a list now is scary given you are already “stuck” with what you have. What good could come from it? Still, whether you make a list or not, there are make or break issues for your marriage. Ignoring those things won’t make them go away, and pushing them off is just kicking the can down the road.
My suggestion is to make the list and then spend a good deal of time thinking and praying about where your wife lacks something you want or has something you don’t want. What is really non-negotiable for you, and what can you live with? If something is non-negotiable it’s just a matter of time till it becomes a problem. I realise bringing it up now feels like picking a fight, but dealing with it sooner rather than later makes it more likely you can resolve it. What’s more, choosing your time is way better than having it come out in the midst of an argument or during a difficult time in your marriage.
The other side of this is your wife’s list of non-negotiables. Why not ask her to make a list, pray about it, and then share it with you. Again it seems like asking for trouble, but it’s a whole lot better than dealing with it five years from now when she’s talking divorce!
Tomorrow I’ll talk about what to do if she is never going to be something you feel you really need.
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