Weddings used to be done a lot in summer, but I’m finding now they are really held throughout the year.
Love that! Celebrate new life, new unions, and the gift of togetherness. This print says “and they shall become one flesh” from Genesis, one of my favorite verses. Being in a marriage is being part of something bigger than yourself, and it is one way God prepares us to be the very best version of ourselves.
5 Simple Things That Help You Keep Your Marriage Strong
No matter how long you’ve been married, there are always things you can do to improve your relationship. Here are five simple ones.
Talk Less and Listen More
One of the biggest problems with couples that have been together a while is listening. After a while, you tune things out or assume you know what your partner is going to say and fail to listen to the rest. It’s a natural occurrence and certainly not malicious, but you can improve your relationship by focusing on the things your partner says. In fact, ask them something you might not know, and sit back without interrupting as they answer your question.
Good things to ask include:
- What was your favorite childhood memory?
- When did you know it was love for us?
- What’s the one thing you wish I knew about you?
You might be surprised with the things your spouse reveals when given the invitation to talk more about themselves without interruption.
If you’re newly dating, listening can also be a problem, because you might be nervous and trying to impress your date. Rather than getting a few more words in, focus on what your date is saying (and implying) and learn to ask questions to get to know them better. This will help you realize the areas of commonality you share so you can bond faster.
Hang Out With Positive People
If you’re spending all your time with couples who fight or belittle each other constantly, you may come away with a slanted view of your own relationship. Never underestimate the importance of friends who care about your relationship and support you. If you need a few more positive friends in your life, make an effort to meet more people. Things to try include:
- Meetup.com (the site offers plenty of activities and groups)
- Church groups or events (meet other couples who share your faith and outlook on life)
- Volunteering (do a good deed and perhaps meet a friend or two in the process)
Show Your Love
If you’ve been married for a long time, you may feel that your spouse knows you love him or her and therefore you don’t need to keep saying (or showing) it. But making an effort to let your spouse know you love them in no uncertain terms, even if they have heard it thousands of times before, can actually make your relationship that much more solid. The trick is not to just mindlessly tell your mate you love them, but to do it in a way that they will most appreciate. Some folks enjoy hearing it or having it written down, while others like small gestures.
If you’re unsure how to show your love, think about some of the “hot button” issues between you both. Things your partner nags you about (not folding the laundry, taking out the garbage, not cleaning up after yourself) are one place to start when it comes to ideas. Doing tasks around the house without being told to can make your partner feel valued and appreciated.
Another tactic is to use different words to let someone know how you feel. Instead of saying “I love you” for example, say:
- “I’m so proud of you”
- “I appreciate you making dinner every night”
- “You amaze me with your devotion to the kids”
If you’re not a couple that typically holds hands, make a point to do so the next time you’re out shopping, on the couch watching television, or just going for a walk. Taking your partner’s hand reminds them of the physical bond you share in other ways. It also lets them know you care on a different level than telling them you love them. When someone can feel the warmth of your palm against their own, it provides a reminder that you are there for them, willing to stand by them, in the physical and emotional sense.
Talk About Happy Memories
Frequently recall the happiest times you’ve spent together. Focusing on the good times can remind you of the sweetness in your relationship and encourage you to treat each other better. This approach also helps you put the small things that bug you about your spouse or significant other into a more reasonable perspective. No relationship is perfect, but if you can view your partner in a positive light, it changes the way you treat them, talk about them, and interact with them.
I’ve got more prints (which make great gifts!) that celebrate marriage over in my print shop.