Ah, love! After weeks, months, years of dating, the final step of marriage comes to most couples' minds. Marriage isn't always going to be easy or beautiful, so I discovered some awesome ways to strengthen your marriage-- and these are just some things I have experienced myself! I always considered marriage to be the most "exciting" step to get to in life! But, after passing the first 5 years of my own marriage, my husband and I started to realize this whole marriage thing wasn't as easy as it seemed. So, we searched and found ways to strengthen not only our marriage but these are some awesome tips I'd like to share with you on ways to strengthen your marriage, too!
One of the first of many ways to strengthen your marriage is faith! Being faithful to one another is of course the most important thing. No matter how rocky things can be, STAY faithful and BE faithful. Things won't be any easier if you are unfaithful to one another, it will only cause more bumps on the road. Faith can also mean to have faith in Christ, God, or whatever religion or being you believe in. Creating a foundation based off Christ will not only strengthen you as a couple but your marriage as well!
Marriage doesn't mean you are done dating. Marriage is the key to continuing dating! Say what? Yep, you read that right! Just because you are married, it doesn't mean all the fun is thrown out the window. Continue dating one another, go out on date nights, and dress up for one another. Continue flirting, all the things you used to do when you dated your significant other-- do them in your marriage! This will keep the flame alive and the excitement as well! And no matter your age, it will always remind you of those "good ol' dating days"!
Ah, yes, the "S" word. Sex! Sex is very important in a marriage! Studies show that sex releases hormones that decrease stress, enlighten mood, and increase happiness! Who would've thought? Sex is a special bond between a couple that not only shows affection, but it's the time that you dedicate to one another and please one another. Studies also show that sex not only strengthens your marriage in the bedroom but outside the bedroom as well. Now, I'm not saying do the deed all day, every day. But, do it when your body tells you-- whether it’s a spontaneous quickie or a planned romantic night in. Do it with passion! You won't be sorry!
This is one of the top things on my list of strengthening a marriage! I firmly believe in praying together as a couple. Study the bible; find a common prayer to do together. Work and keep God or Christ in sight. Focus on problems or things you want to work on in your marriage and pray about it. Know that God is there to help you even if, at times, it may not seem like it. Push through the struggles, focus on God, and remind yourself the reason you got married in the beginning. And remember the love you have for one another.
Communication is key in any relationship! Talk to one another, talk about your feelings, talk about your worries. Fix issues when they come about and don't push them on the back burner. Mind your tone, don't push or have an attitude, don't say things you don't mean. Be mindful of one another. Talking will help solve issues. If, at times, you don't agree with your spouse, don't be quick to fire back. Listen. Try and understand their point of view. And if you have nothing nice to say, then don't say anything at all.
Listen to one another, listen carefully, and listen wholeheartedly. Use appropriate body language, don't roll your eyes, don't cross your arms, etc. Be respectful. This is your loved one spilling their feelings to you, wanting to communicate and fix whatever problem may be on hand. Don't selectively hear what you want to hear, really listen to them. Try and understand their whys, their confusion, and their frustration. There might be some things that are difficult to hear but listen anyway. Try and put aside your frustrations and hear them out first. You will want the same respect when it’s your turn to talk.
7. SHOW AFFECTION
Show each other how much you love each other! It's not as easy as it sounds, actions speak louder than words! Say how you feel, tell your spouse you love them, share your feelings. Show appropriate PDA, kisses, hugs, holding hands, etc. Body language also speaks and means a whole different language. Snuggle, cuddle, and be mushy and kiss lovingly. These are just little signs to confirm and reaffirm your love for one another.
8. EMBRACE the IMPERFECTIONS
Nobody is perfect and no relationship is perfect. I'm no marriage counselor, but I know for sure that you can't always expect a person to be perfect, or a relationship! There are going to be little things that irk you, things that drive you up the wall, but that’s what makes that person unique. Embrace it. Those little irks will keep you on your feet. Some of those things can be fixed and some can't be fixed, but you learn to pick which imperfections to just let roll off your shoulders and what to work on together to fix.
9. PICK YOUR BATTLES
Not everything should be a problem or a fight. Not everything should always result in an argument. If your spouse leaves the fridge door open and it stays open all night, but you come across it in the morning and the food has already spoiled, remind yourself that accidents happen. The incident already happened, there is nothing much you can do to fix the situation, so simply move forward and learn from that mistake. I understand tensions and emotions can play a major role but remind yourself which battle is worth fighting about. That example can be easily solved with a respectful verbal manner and positive actions. No arguments necessary. Pick your battle wisely, not everything should be a nasty fight!
Like Aretha Franklin belts-- R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Respect one another, you guys are in this relationship together, you are in this fight together, and even though it isn't always easy, respect one another! Give respect where it is deserved. Treat your spouse the way you want to be treated. Obviously, if you aren't being treated with respect, offer space and try again at a later time. But, remember to be kind to one another, love is a great battlefield.
These are just a few things that come to mind on ways to strengthen your marriage. These are some of the things I've personally tried in my own relationship. I can honestly go on and on about other ways you can improve a relationship. Remember, you know your loved one more than anyone else does, really focus on how you can be a better person-- not only for your spouse but most importantly yourself. Change is always good, especially if it’s for the better interest. Let me know your strategies to strengthen a marriage!