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Do ever wonder what you can do to make your marriage stronger?
Do you find yourself constantly coming back to the same issues, even after making up a short time ago?
Well, you aren’t alone.
Life + stress can complicate things.
New job(s), relocating, selling a home, purchasing a home, death of a family member, stress on the job, new baby are just a few things that can cause tension in a marriage.
We don’t want to admit that we allow these stressors to affect our relationship, but the sooner we figure out the source of the problem, the sooner we can find a solution.
After 9 years of marriage, here are 5 ways I’ve found to make my marriage stronger.
Stick With the Issue at Hand During An Argument
How many times have you been in an argument with your spouse about something simple like the dishes, and then it turns into an ugly battle that brings back painful mistakes from the past or things that have nothing to do with your current disagreement?
When we hurt, we tend to hurt. It’s easy to take cheap shots and point out someone’s flaws, but does that really help you get to the root of the problem?
Take some time and create boundaries. Agree to disagree on things that don’t matter, and agree to keep some topics off the table.
Sticking to the rules you create can make your marriage stronger.
Keep Family & Friends Out of Your Business
It’s easy to vent your frustrations to the closest person that will listen. In many cases, that is a parent or close friend.
While there is nothing wrong with getting someone in a (happy) marriage to give you advice on occasion, it’s another thing to constantly air your dirty laundry to everyone.
The problem lies when you and your spouse have made up, your family and friends have not forgotten the things he said to you.
They are now giving him the side eye, while you and your husband have made up. Some things are best kept between you and him, and when necessary, your therapist.
Speak Your Husband’s Love Language
Trust me, I am guilty of things. I’m a gifts, quality time and acts of service kind of girl.
I love when my husband cooks me breakfast and lets me sleep in.
I also love when he allows me to have some quiet time out and about without the kids. It allows me to recharge and come back home refreshed.
However, his love language is physical touch and quality time. I could spend hours cooking his favorite meal and making sure his favorite outfits are clean, but if that isn’t his love language, I have just wasted my time.
While those are both very kind acts, I can’t expect him to be happy being loved the way I want to love him.
We by nature are selfish beings, and so it’s easy to want to do for a person what we would want for ourselves. But in a marriage partnership, it’s all about give and take.
We learn how to love our spouse in their love language, and in turn, they love us through ours.
Continue To Date Each Other Even After Kids
I get it.
The more kids you have, the harder it is to get away.
It’s even harder to get away when you don’t live near family.
But you can’t use any of these things as an excuse. Your marriage depends on it.
As you age, your interests and needs change. If you aren’t constantly communicating those changes to your spouse, arguments arise. You begin to feel like you don’t know each other any more.
This is a dangerous place to be in. It’s hard to have those heart to heart conversations when babies are crying, kids are arguing and homework needs to be done.
Having that (alone) quiet time allows you and your spouse to reconnect. Even if that means reconnecting at home after the kids are in bed.
This is an absolute must.
Build Surprises Into Your Marriage
When we first got married, I was not one who loved surprises.
I am very type A, and I love predictability.
But you know what kind of surprises I always liked? Ones that ended with quality time (one of my love languages).
So even if your husband isn’t one who is big on surprise parties, try surprising him in other ways.
If he is usually the one to take out the trash, if you see he is running behind one morning, take the trash out for him.
If he loves Indian food and you hate it, surprise him by picking up lunch for him from the Indian restaurant and bring it home for dinner.
Little surprises show your husband that you care.
And when he knows you care, he is more invested in showing you that he cares—and these little things make your marriage stronger!
Regroup After Major Life Changes
Remember how I said it’s easy to hurt when you are hurt?
That doesn’t always mean that the hurt comes from your spouse.
Sometimes a death in the family, a new baby, selling a house, a new job (and the list goes on) can create havoc in your home.
My husband and I added a baby to our family 9 months ago. We were excited to have a son, because just 6 months prior to his birth, we experienced a miscarriage.
After the miscarriage, I battled with grief and depression. It was a difficult time for me personally, and in my marriage.
After our rainbow baby was born, I was diagnosed with Bells Palsy and postpartum depression reared its ugly head.
The months that followed were tough for us both.
We’ve had to work hard at dating each other and communicating even when it was difficult. We talked about our feelings without making personal attacks.
I realized that I can’t expect my husband to know how I feel just by looking at me. I had to tell him how I felt, even if it seemed apparent.
Instead of scowling at his suggestions, I kept an open mind and listened when he tried to help.
No one is perfect, and life experiences can be difficult. The joy in marriage is that you have a life partner to walk with you through these experiences.
So how do you get on the same page as your spouse?
Allow your spouse to walk along side you, don’t shut them out.
And once you have made it through the tough time, you will notice that the tough things often make your marriage stronger.
Life is tough. Weathering through life’s storms with your husband can be tough too. But anything that is worth having, is worth fighting for. Don’t let circumstances get in the way of the love that you have for each other. Taking some time to get to know each other again in the midst of life is t one of the keys that will help you make your marriage stronger.
Here are a few books that my husband and I have read through marriage counseling or on our own that have been helpful in our marriage: