Over the course of the last few years I have had the privilege of working with many couples who are preparing for marriage or those wanting to enrich their marriage after several years of marriage. Here are five keys to remember:
- Focus on yourself. Despite how much we want to, we really cant change the other person. We can however change how we respond to others, how we react and how we teach them to treat us. A healthy marriage begins with a healthier version of me!
- Build communication skills. It is difficult to have a healthy marriage without building skills for communicating with your spouse/future spouse. Once the line of communication is broken along with it comes a myriad of other challenges.
- Seek to resolve conflict. Conflict resolution is among the top skills needed for any marriage to remain healthy. Coupled with strong communication skills these two skills alone can help immensely in most challenges couples face. It is important though to know how and when to resolve the conflict. Read 10 steps to resolving conflict here.
- Continuously learn. After a while in marriage you settle in and begin to believe you have your spouse figured out. To an extent you probably know a lot about them but this doesn’t mean that you should stop learning who your spouse is, what they value, what dreams they have, what excites them among other things going on in their lives. What is their “love language”? What says I love you to your spouse? We have a tendency to show love in ways that we like to receive love and that may not be how your spouse wants love communicated the best to them.
- Continue to “date” each other. Set aside regular time preferably weekly to continue to “date” your spouse. This will help greatly in communication and continuing to learn about them. Rotate between dates you enjoy and dates your spouse enjoys to mix it up and add more excitement to the relationship.
If you would like to learn more about how to make your marriage better I would recommend Prepare and Enrich which is a national program designed to enhance a marriage or get you started on the right foot. Throughout the mentoring process you will learn many of these skills as well as others. Me and my wife Lisa are certified in this program and would be happy to help those interested.
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman is a great book and it may save many relationships.
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Beautiful write up here. I think the points that you have mentioned here sums up how to maintain a healthy relationship within a marriage. I agree with all that you have written here. In addition to what you have written, I would add that, if the couple have a relationship with God, that would greatly help them. A person who is focused on the Lord knows that it is not just a marriage, but a spiritual journey. They would be accountable, not just to their spouse, but to God. They can take difficult situations within their marriage to God, and God truly is the divine peacemaker. A vow to marry someone, is a vow before God and man, but many seem to forget God as they navigate the daily struggles of their marriage.
God cares for marriages, and he wants to protect them. God cares about everything that concerns us, and a couple who do not have God as a third person in their relationship is missing out.
May God’s blessing be with you, Amen. 🙂
Great ideas,; especially the continue to date each other.