Recently, my husband and I celebrated our four year wedding anniversary. Four years, is that it?!? I say that not because it has been a LONG and trying four years, but because it seems as though we have been together, enjoying this good life together for much longer. I say “good life” because my life has honestly and overall been GOOD since entering marriage. Every day as a married person has not been easy, but we are continuously learning how to maneuver through this thing.
Every relationship has moments of disagreement, disappointment, comments that hit below the belt, minutes of silent treatment, etc. What is important is to let those moments be just that–moments. If we allow those moments to fester into some large thing it will cause us to work a LOT harder to get back to the happy place in our marriage. Over the course of our marriage, my husband and I have learned that these things* are what help us to reap a healthy and loving relationship:
I cannot stress this enough, but hopefully you will understand its importance through what I will say next. If you do not talk to your spouse, your marriage will DIE. Period. How else will you know what your spouse likes and dislikes about the relationship, your home, and your finances? No subject should be taboo. Your spouse should be comfortable talking to you about absolutely anything: finances, level of happiness, even the things you do that irk them. (Trust me, you do some annoying things.) 🙂 Being open with one another is the only way to produce a healthy marriage. Doing so helps to build and maintain trust and will help you better understand your spouse. Personally, the idea of living with a complete stranger makes me uncomfortable. If your marriage lacks communication, you will eventually become strangers to one another. My friend, do not allow that to happen. Below are three things every marriage needs.
When my husband and I first married I would tell him almost everything that I disliked him doing. “You play the video game too much! You work too much! You need to give me more time!” Those were my biggest complaints. I probably nagged him for the first year and a half before I realized it would be more beneficial for me to shut my mouth and simply talk to God about it. I had to decide to make my pride sit down (I started to enjoy pointing things out) and allow God to work on my behalf. I mean, who wants to be married to someone who makes them feel like they do not do anything right? I no longer have those complaints, because God has helped my husband realize what actions were putting a strain on our marriage as well as his work. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent. Exodus 14:14 (ESV) I still have moments when I nag or could show my appreciation a little more, which is why I am thankful that God is always my listening ear and willing to help me fix me! Praying should be continuous!
We all know that there is power in numbers. This also applies when praying. Whether you are praying for your relationship, an issue that someone else may be facing, or for world peace, praying with your spouse is beneficial to your spiritual strength and family dynamics. When two marry they become one. Praying together will help you stay on the same page and will help you to remain spiritually connected. Coming together in agreement will also help you to see your prayers answered. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. Matthew 18:19 (ESV)
What goals do you have? What are your spouse’s dreams? These are questions that your spouse should be able to answer about you and vice versa. Once you know or even slightly know what your spouse’s goals are, you should do everything possible to assure them you support them. Find ways to assist them in meeting their goals and following their dreams. If you do not see their dream the same way they do, pray about it. One thing you DO NOT want to do is to show that you are disinterested in what they are doing. The worst thing for someone to feel is not having support from the person they love most. We all need encouragement and should be able to count on receiving it from our spouse.
*Note: Sexual intimacy is also important for keeping your marriage intact. (If you do not believe sexual intimacy is needed in your marriage, click here to read about your duties to your mate!)
If you’re married, what do you believe helps your marriage to thrive or hurts it? If you’re single, do you believe you could provide these three things in your future marriage? Which would be the most challenging? Leave a comment and let’s chat about it!