In yesterday’s article, I offered 3 Pitfalls that you can willfully choose to avoid in your marriage.
In today’s article, I’d like to offer 3 Simple Steps that You Can Take to Create a Healthier Marriage.
- Proactively discover and deliver what your spouse appreciates and receives value from. In my wife’s case, this involves small things like, planning date nights. It includes the occassional bundle of fresh cut flowers brought home or left at home for her. It definitely involves full faced attention when she’s talking to me. How did I discover these things? Honestly, I asked, or I learned. Trust me on this one – asking is the way to go! When I talked about assumptions in yesterday’s article, this is one example of that. Go ahead and ask what they would like for you to do, become, or stop doing that would feel like a gift to them. It’s not bio-engineering. It’s a simple conversation over dinner. Once you have HEARD what your spouse describes as something they would feel like, when offered is a gift – deliver on it. Then learn the frequency with which you are to deliver. I’ll promise you that this is so easy to do and so powerful when done!
- Set a specific time that the two of you are going to talk about your day. This requires that we put our phones down, turn off the television, and actually talk about the highs, the lows, the good and the bad in your day. Here’s the best advice that I can give you on this effort – be completely present as you listen, not just when you are speaking! If you are a time-crunched couple, or you are “not very good at sitting still,” then have the conversation while you take a walk. The power of simply talking about your individual days is a powerful way to stay emotionally and romantically connected. By the way, this doesn’t have to be an hour long talk. Be sensitive to your sweetheart’s tolerence for chatting. Remember, this is helpful for you, but is designed to be powerfully helpful for y’all.
- Learn the power of praying together, out loud. I realize that I must sound like a broken record on this subject, but when Jenny and I pray together, it is such an intimate time between us. Triangulating the conversation between you, your spouse and God is supernatural. I am supremely confident that you cannot hold on to bitterness, pettiness, anger, or disappointment once you have sat in God’s lap and talked it out with Him. Again, be aware of your spouse’s tolerance level. Their spiritual maturity might be significantly lesser than yours on any given day. Be sensitive to that. I know plenty of Christians that weaponize their personal spiritual maturity against their partner. It ALWAYS BACKFIRES! Don’t fall prey to the urge to pray silently. I urge you to discover just how awesome it is to pray with your spouse – out loud and together!
I hope that you’ve been encouraged by this two-part series and will consider instigating these ideas into your marriage. I’d love to hear from you, so please give me a shout at email@example.com – and let me know what works in your marriage.
If you are looking for a bit of weekly inspiration, please join in the conversation each Thursday, as Julie Homrich and I INTEGRATE FAITH & PSYCHOLOGY on the POSITIVE TALK PODCAST.