Today is our 4th Anniversary, so in honor of that I’m going to share 5 things that I’ve learned are necessary for a strong marriage.
It’s been 4 years of ups and downs, intimacy and emotional distance, hardships and easygoing, times of busyness and times of monotony.
I’ve learned that for a marriage to not only survive those changes, but to thrive and grow, there are things that you have to do for your marriage.
1. Lower your expectations & focus on the positive
There is nothing that kills any experience faster than negativity. It’s a fact of life that people will regularly disappoint us, our expectations will not always be met, and that life is not catered to meet our personal desires.
As much as your spouse loves you, they aren’t going to be able to read your mind, meet your expectations, or always do the right thing all of the time. They are human, just as you are, and they will disappoint you at times.
When I choose to focus on my husband’s flaws, my negativity and anger escalates quickly. I turn into a self-absorbed brat and all I can see is his flaws, which makes me uninterested in serving him, listening to his needs, or giving of myself for his benefit.
However, when I choose to focus on the positive things about my husband, and to remember that I have negative traits too that he has to deal with, it helps me to feel more loving towards him and able to focus on loving him well.
Choose to be thankful and positive about the wonderful things in your marriage and life together, and don’t focus on the negative parts. Celebrate about the awesome things you have in your love together!
2. Eliminate double standards
My husband is not perfect and neither am I. I can’t expect my husband to always treat me perfectly and selflessly, while allowing myself to be self-centered and looking out for my own interests.
One of the best marriage tips I ever received was that if you want your husband to do something for you, instead of badgering him about it or looking down on him, just do it yourself. Focus on becoming a better wife and that will better your marriage as a whole!
You can’t change your spouse. You can only change you. And if 50% of the people in the marriage get better, then the other half is bound to go along with eventually. Stay positive, focus on loving and pleasing your spouse, and watch you marriage grow!!
3. Be quick to apologize & to listen
There is nothing that binds a marriage together better than communication and humility. Share exactly how you feel (in the kindest words you can) when things are hard, or your feelings are hurt. But in doing so, be sure to ask how your spouse feels and actively listen to their opinion.
When you do something wrong, apologize as soon as you know you have wronged your spouse. Humility goes a long way in having a trusting marriage. Once you have this foundation of trust, nothing can defeat your marriage.
4. Pray together
If your spiritual walk is not in sync, then nothing else in your marriage will be either. Not only should you pray together, you should discuss spiritual concerns. Discuss what you are learning in your personal study and walk with God. Be vulnerable together.
Yes, our physical, emotional and mental selves need to be unified with our spouse, but we can have all of that and be missing the spiritual unity, and you will have a huge gap in your ability to bond and be one flesh. Share your soul with your husband and watch your marriage flourish.
5. Get physical
Remember those good ol’ days of falling in love when you couldn’t keep your hands off each other? I’ve realized that my natural inclination is to forget that physical attraction. I push my husband away, tell him we can do it later, or simply don’t want to at all.
One of the best ways I’ve found to revive the physical love is to get the romance back in there. Marriage can easily fall into a routine of ignoring each other until it’s time for lovemaking, get it over with, and go back to life.
What if we acted like we did as young lovebirds? Hanging onto each other wherever we go? Kissing every chance we get? Making out every time we get alone? Slow dancing for no reason at all? Yes, our sex lives will change with time and children and age… but we can always continue to make the effort to romance each other to keep that love alive.
What is the best marriage advice you’ve ever received? Let me know in the comments!