susanby Susan Birmingham

The one constant you can count on is that everything is always changing. That is why the first “E” of my ESTEEM Principle is Embrace Change. We as human beings do not like change, which is ironic since it is inevitable that nothing stays the same. In reality the change itself does not cause pain, it is the resistance to change that causes us pain.

Change may mean the need for a makeover. Styles in fashion are always changing, sometimes slightly and sometimes dramatically. When was the last time that you updated your look, tried a more trendy hairstyle or went to the make counter and had a makeover? Just as we do with our fashion and look, our marriage sometimes needs a makeover. Here are three keys to help you have a marriage makeover and update your love.

Key Number One – Remember You Are a Woman And To Bring Out Your Feminine Side

Life is not as simple as it used to be especially if you are a woman. Today a woman wears a myriad of hats; wife, mother, homemaker, entrepreneur, busy executive, and many more. Depending on your age you may also be in the stage of life where you are starting to assume more responsibility for your parents just as you are getting that last kid off to college and out of the house.

Then there are outside activities within your community or church and let us not forget about working out, eating healthy, and any hobbies we may have. Bottom line – where is the time for YOU to take care of YOU? There always seems to be more day than time. As women, our nurturing nature is one of our greatest assets and defects simultaneously. We are so busy taking care of everything and everyone that we forget to take time for ourselves.

Key Number Two – Treat Your Husband Like a Man And Reap The Rewards

There is something magical that happens when I treat my husband like the man of the house. In my mother s generation when women got married they typically didn t work and the husband was the main bread winner as well as the dominate deciding factor in the home. I did not particularly care for that archetype as I grew up, yet it was all I knew.

I have been married twice, this is my second (and final marriage). In my first marriage I followed the same pattern as my mother, allowing my husband to be the dominating partner in our marriage. That marriage ended in divorce, due to many factors, and I remained single for fifteen years before I married my current and final husband. During those fifteen years I earned my own money and made my own decisions.

As the years have gone by, times have changed and many couples find themselves re-defining the role of husband and wife in a marriage. Today I am in a marriage where we both work, share the household chores and general responsibilities. As I reflect back to the differences between my parent s marriage and my first marriage I am able to see one shared commonality, the way that a man reacts to me is based off how I treat him.

Don t forget to appreciate your man, you don t have to go overboard, just recognize he is there and when he does do something, thank him. You may say what if he isn t doing his part? If you want help and cooperation let him know you need him.

Rather than nag him, let him know that you need him. An example may be Honey I need your help, I can t do this even if I can, I don t let him know that. I want my husband to feel big, strong, wanted and important to me. Have you ever heard the expression Work smarter not harder , I don t know who said it but they were so right.

The more that I allow myself to be taken care of (by choice) then the more my husband wants to take care of me and protect me. Be smart enough and woman enough to let your husband be the man of the house – both of you will be happier for it!

Key Number Three – Review Your Priorities And Put Things Into Perspective

How well do you prioritize what is important to you? How often do you assume that your marriage is fine and put it on the back burner to everything else in life that is pulling you in a hundred directions? You are not alone, I have done it and will not be surprised if I do it again. The greatest thing about a new day is that it gives you an opportunity to start again and re-commit. Just because that is how it was yesterday does not mean that is how it has to be today.

Here are three of my favorite quotes from the American artist named Bil Keane, creator of the comic strip Family Circus that I just love;

Yesterday s the past, tomorrow s the future, but today is a gift. That s why it s called the present.
A hug is like a boomerang – you get it back right away.
They invented hugs to let people know you love them without saying anything.

You have a choice, choose to make your marriage a priority today! Remember why you got married in the first place, how you felt about each other in the beginning, doing that is a quick way to wake up and put back what may have taken a nap for a while, your love!

In Summary, being a woman is absolutely wonderful and exciting. We are smart, intelligent, intuitive, creative and imaginative besides being blessed with working parts that are different from men (tee hee).

When we utilize our God given gifts coupled with wisdom there is nothing that can stops us but ourselves. So if you want a fulfilling, joyful relationship with your spouse today work smarter, not harder : Remember You Are a Woman And Bring Out The Feminine Side, Treat Your Husband Like a Man And Reap The Rewards, AND Review Your Priorities And Put Things Into Perspective.

Susan Birmingham is the founder and C.E.O. of Birmingham Consulting and Coaching as well as creator of the ESTEEM Principle. She works with women from all walks of life helping them maneuver around the obstacles that are keeping them from creating their dream life from the inside out.

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