I have been married only for five months (five long months in a good and bad way, if I am honest). Here are some tips I have learned when it comes to dealing with those outside of the marriage.
1. Do not fling the good fortune of your friends in your mate’s face, especially if you are talking about a man’s good fortune to your husband, or if you are not working and your mate is. You are saying that you are proud of your friend’s accomplishments, but your mate is hearing that you are discontent with what the two of you have. It is okay to mention it, but don’t keep bringing it up.
2. Do not spend your mate’s time with other people, especially if the other mate is the working mate. Here is the problem - Constantly texting, talking on the phone, playing video games, or doing anything that excludes your mate sometimes make them wonder what they came home for. We have such little time with our mates anyway after working 40 or more hours a week. Why waste the precious time we do have together ignoring one another.
3. Do not allow members of the opposite sex to frequently make arrangements with you, especially when they have your mate’s phone number. It just does not look good. Once is fine, but if it is a habit, direct them to your mate.
4. Do not frequently accept free money from others, especially the opposite sex. Again, it just does not look good. Try your best to keep your finances between your mate and yourself. Things are much easier that way.
5. Do not hang out with your friends too much, individually or as a couple. If you want to hang out every night, then you are not ready to be married. Marriage means making your mate a priority and frequent alone time is needed to make it work. One common complaint of married parents is that they do not have enough alone time with their mate. The same complaint is common of married persons without kids when one of both hang out too much. Remember, “what God has put together, let no man put apart.” That Bible verse is not only talking about cheating, but it is talking about any person, including friends. If you are trying to put some distance between yourself and your friends, let them know that you love them, but you and your mate need time alone to be with one another. If the only time the two of you spend together is in bed, some priorities need to be shifted.
6. Consider how your mate feels. Reality is perception, so if your mate feels a certain way and musters up the courage to let you know, then you need to take it seriously and make changes, period. Do not make excuses for your behavior or say ‘That’s just how I am,’ just change it. Your mate should be the most important human in your life, so cherish their opinions. Two considerate mates make for a happier marriage.
7. NEVER, EVER FLIRT WITH OTHERS!!! It’s as simple as that. Don’t make excuses for it, just have some self-control. Let the world know by your words and conduct that your mate is the only one for you. Flirting undermines that and let’s others know that there is room for them to slip in and steal you away. On the other hand, you can flirt all you want with your mate. Hold hands in public and be loving to one another. Some do not like this and are ultra-conservative, but the problem with that is other’s around you will think that the other person you are always with is a sibling or cousin. Even if they know the two of you are married, a lack of public affection may make them feel that it is not a happy union and again, that there is room for them to slip in and steal you away. I’m not saying to be all over each other. Make small gestures.