Wednesday, August 10, 2016

6 Ways to Improve Your Marriage


I don't know about you guys, but marriage advice is something I tend to soak up like a sponge. For as long as I can remember, relationships + people in general have intrigued me. I like trying to figure out what makes people tick, as well as deciphering the reasoning behind certain traits they may exhibit or actions they carry out. I guess that's why I'm somewhat surprised at myself for not sharing more posts like this with you all in the past. I'll never claim to be an expert when it comes to this stuff, but I'd be more than happy to share from my own experiences from time to time. While I'm fully aware that there are countless ways to help improve a marriage, these six in particular have stuck out to me over the course of our marriage so I'll start here.

BE QUICK TO APOLOGIZE
Whenever arguments arise (you know they will), it's best to suck up your pride right then and there. You need to quickly determine if you were the one in the wrong before things escalate, as they so often do. Were you being unreasonable? Apologize. Did your attitude need some serious readjusting? Apologize. Even if you're technically right, the way you handle yourself before or during a disagreement (your tone, your body language, the words you use to defend your position) can require an apology too. Being quick to say "I'm sorry" can diffuse an argument before it gets totally out of hand. Humble yourself, swallow your pride, and apologize.

BE EVEN QUICKER TO FORGIVE
This kinda goes hand-in-hand with the point above, as it will also require laying down your pride. And, as hard as it may be, you'll have to set aside your emotions most of the time too. Let's be real, the majority of arguments you'll face will more than likely be over something petty or something that won't amount to much in the long run. In my experience, I've found it best to look beyond how I may be feeling in that moment (angry, sad, frustrated, etc.), and choose forgiveness instead. No good will ever come from holding onto every word that was spoken or feeling that was felt during the heat of the moment. The only thing you are doing by harboring unforgiveness is planting a seed of bitterness. Once that sucker takes root in your heart, it's a tough beast to battle.

SEEK TO UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER BETTER
The sooner you figure out that you don't have your spouse all figured out, the better off you'll be. There will always be something new you can learn about the person you married, no matter how many years of matrimony you have under your belt. Be open to learning more about your spouse as he / she changes throughout different seasons of your life together. In doing this, it will help you to understand where they are coming from and how their logic / mindset concurs with or differs from your own. Knowing these things up front can essentially help a great deal whenever disagreements emerge. As long as your spouse has a mind (which I'm assuming all do), they possess the ability to change it. With that being said, it's always a good idea to communicate with each other as these changes occur so you both remain on the same page.

HIGHLIGHT THE POSITIVE, DOWNPLAY THE NEGATIVE
I bet there have been times when you find yourself focusing on all the things that your spouse has done wrong, but when was the last time you redirected your focus to everything he / she has done right? It's easy to get caught up in the negative aspects of your spouse's character, but please don't dwell on them. You have to remember that we are all a work in progress. Your husband or wife isn't a perfect person, but here's a news flash ― neither are you. Always strive to appreciate what they do right and show extensive amounts of mercy + grace towards their weaknesses, the same way that Christ handles our shortcomings.

CLEARLY EXPRESS YOUR NEEDS + WANTS
This one is relatively self-explanatory. Your spouse is not a mind reader. They won't always know exactly what you expect or want from them, so just save yourself the trouble and be up front with them from the get-go. If you need or want your spouse to do something, ask them when you have their undivided attention. If you aren't feeling loved or appreciated, just be straight up with them. There's no need for mind games or manipulation to get what you need + want. It's really quite simple (not rocket science).

MAKE INTIMACY / SEX A PRIORITY
Flirt, touch, kiss, cuddle, hold hands, make love ― as often as you possibly can. I really cannot stress how important it is to connect physically with your spouse. Intimacy (especially sex) isn’t just a physical enjoyment, but also one that is both mental and spiritual. Research suggests that sex can have a multitude of emotional and physical benefits as well. By putting your sex life on the back-burner or refusing to make it a priority in your marriage, you're basically showing your spouse that he / she isn't worth your time + energy. Believe me, I know it can be extremely hard sometimes to carve out that special time in the midst of crazy work schedules and busy seasons (I can't even imagine adding kids into that mix), but it's not impossible. If you start gettin' it on more often, I'm sure you'll notice a huge difference in the way you guys connect outside of the bedroom.

Well, that's all I've got for now. We've got a little over six years under our belts and we're still learning more each day. I hope these points will help some of you as much as they've helped us over the years. Marriage can be hard work, but it's worth the effort!

4 comments:

  1. I agree with each one of these points. I have a thing about talking through stuff, it's not really an easy thing for Hun, but he certainly has improved and we get through everything together. We've learned so much about one another and we can respectfully call each other on it, while also supporting and encouraging new or different behaviors. I'm grateful that we value communication and intimacy (even just kissing and kind words) within our relationship to keep it strong! :)

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  2. I think it's so important to apologize even if you don't think you were wrong. I've been trying to do that more lately instead of just getting defensive/offended by any argument we have...and I think it's made some really good things happen in my relationship. It's hard to be the first to apologize, but it's important.

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  3. These are such important tips for any marriage! Communicating is such a HUGE part of a happy marriage!

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