This week was our 31st wedding anniversary! (I know right!?! You didn’t think we were nearly that old!)
I am so happy with the man I have and know that he is happy with me as well – this didn’t necessarily come naturally to us. We’ve learned some things over the years and while it may sound proud to offer ten tips to an outstanding marriage we feel pretty strongly that understanding and practicing these tips were game changers for us! Whether you need a little pick-me-up or adjustment for your marriage or whether you need a full blown overhaul we believe these tips will help.
#1 Keep God in the center (or put Him there)
At first I wrote “Keep God first” but then Eric changed the wording and it added so much meaning. If God is just first then sometimes we check Him off the list and wander off, but if God is in the center He affects everything. I have learned so much about God through my marriage. I have learned about grace, acceptance and forgiveness in ways that could not have happened through the best of books, seminars or meetings. With God as the center I have never been alone, even in some pretty dark hours I knew He would see us both through.
We are always reading a devotional book together out loud over breakfast. Maybe that’s not your style but it works for us. Pray together, over meals, before bed, when you first wake up – do something. Find what works for you. Keep trying stuff. If your faith is really a priority in your life it will show in your actions, if it’s only a priority on paper… well, you know.
#2 Keep talking
Share your lives with each other. The moment you start siloing and sharing more with others than your spouse is the moment you allow a wedge to begin lodging itself between you.
#3 Remember Love and Respect
Ladies, he needs to know what you respect in him. Your opinion means more to him than anyone else’s. He forgets that you think he is amazing just like you forget that he thinks you are beautiful. Don’t just love him and care for him, let him know you respect him.
Men, tell her she’s beautiful. She’s likely afraid she’s getting older and losing her charm. Words tend to leak. Remind her you love her regularly and want to protect and provide for her.
Which brings us to:
#4 Practice the 5 Love Languages
How many can you remember? Let’s see – Words, Touch, Gifts, Service and Time. You might think that I’m going to tell you to know your spouse’s love language and be sure to meet them there, but I think I’d like to go one step farther and suggest that you often do something in each of the categories. Really – how could that hurt? And what goes around comes around, if you get my drift, and the cycle is a good one!!
#5 Fight Nice
If you haven’t already – learn how to communicate well. Truly being able to share your heart in a safe way is a total game changer. Drilling down to what caused your reaction and sharing your inner-self draws the other closer and invests in a deeper understanding and relationship. Blaming, yelling, using words like “always” and “never” are actually subtle means of manipulation and are not healthy communication.
#6 Build a rhythm of rest
Plan stuff to do together for your days off. That sounds so simple but investing in planning is well worth the effort. The same goes for the occasional long weekend and vacations. If you wouldn’t want people living at the pace you live at then why are you living at that pace?
#7 Find stuff you are both interested in and invest in it
We bike the Erie canal, love Starbucks trips, take walks and always have an interesting series going. What do you do together?
#8 Build the WE – make traditions
Similar to the last two but different, we have a popcorn tradition for Sunday nights and certain things we do for holidays. Building traditions grows the WE .
#9 Sleep together
This one just has to be brought up though it is rather a taboo topic and rightly so as the privacy of intimacy in marriage is to be guarded! But suffice it so say this – if you think your best sex was on your honeymoon, you are sorely missing out! In the Kingdom the best is always yet to come and that is true in the bedroom too. If this isn’t your reality – keep practicing, you will get there!!
#10 Laugh together
Life is too short to be serious about it. Laugh at each other, laugh at yourselves, find ways to have fun togetherJ
Let us know if we missed anything! What do you do to keep your marriage fresh?!