How To Build a Better Marriage: 10 Helpful & Practical Ideas
Simple Ways To Improve Your Marriage
Welcome to Magical Marriage Secrets 101: How To Build a Better Marriage.
Sorry about that. In another life, I wanted to be a college professor.
Just trying to live out some dreams over here…
Ok, enough of that. Onto what all this is really about.
Marriage. And ways to make it the best it can be.
Let’s start this off with a very important fact. (one that we all know but a little reminder every now and then is nice)
A better marriage does not at all mean a perfect marriage. Perfection is unattainable!
Every aspect of your relationship will not be wrapped up in a pretty little bow at all times. That is just not realistic.
The chances of your marriage firing on all cylinders 100 percent of the time is pretty low.
Now, this is not to make the concept of marriage seem like a bummer.
I’m not saying over the years everything inevitably goes downhill.
But spending your life with someone and building a life with another person is not a walk in the park.
When it comes to creating awesome relationships, it’s about choices.
Marriage is improved one choice at a time. It is made better one action at a time.
Advice or any tip or idea is easy to read but not so easy to actually apply to your marriage. At least not apply consistently.
It takes time to really have an impact.
In today’s world, it can be all about fast fixes, right? We want quick little tips that are going to create change almost immediately.
And that’s just not how it works.
But with consistent effort and time, you can build a marriage you are really proud of.
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Here Are 10 Ideas All About How To Build a Better Marriage
I was watching one of those home renovations shows the other day. (that and cooking shows are my obsession)
Anyway, they were talking about support beams.
That is how I view communication. It is a crucial part of a marriage. It is something that should be taken seriously.
Talk about all the things.
What do you expect from each other?
Who will take out the garbage? (might seem silly but little day-to-day expectations matter)
Talk about finances. Or any other uncomfortable topic that comes to mind.
Often, we push this stuff off and just cross our fingers that things will work out the way we have pictured them in our minds.
And there will probably be times when it does work out okay.. and there will definitely be times it does not.
Along with talking, comes listening.
Listen. Give your partner the gift of being heard. And hope they do the same in return.
Also, I have to mention that communication is a great way to keep assumptions to a minimum. Assuming can run rampant if communication is not present.
Learn together. Learn more about each other as well as yourselves. Grow together.
Discovering new information that speaks to you is really cool. It’s extremely refreshing to be introduced to a new perspective.
To be able to say, “Hey, what do you think about this?”
This can open the door for so many conversations.
There is nothing negative about seeking out resources or tools for your marriage. Dare I say it can be fun?
We have all read or heard something and had an aha moment. That’s exactly what can happen here.
These books are really good reads!
You would also not have to search for long to find a relationship podcast!
If you want to spark deeper and more interesting convos, these TableTopics are another really awesome tool to use.
3) Make Time
If I had a dime for every time I heard the word busy… well, I would have a lot of dimes.
Life is busy. I’m not calling BS on that.
But pockets of time are possible.
You read that right. I know this is asking a lot from you, but you need to put on your Hermione Granger hat and add an extra hour or two in the day.
Ugh. Kidding. That would be pretty cool though. It really bums me out that Hogwarts is not a real place. Although, I am still holding out hope that magic is real!
Spending time together is not always easy. Especially as kids or pets or just added responsibility come into play.
But do you know what is pretty easy?
Becoming disconnected from your partner.
It happens and then you are caught like a deer in the headlights. Sailboats passing in the night vibes.
Of course, this is not ideal. No one sets out with the intention of feeling very distant from their spouse. No one is writing that in their vows.
Can’t wait until the day we hardly spend any quality time together.
Make the deliberate decision to invest in your marriage. Treat it like the valuable asset it is.
Small pockets of quality time can and will have a massive impact on your marriage. Do not underestimate those short and sweet moments of connection.
Quality over quantity all day long!
4) People Show Love in Different Ways
Are you familiar with love languages?
Well, if you are not, then this book is a must-read. It goes into detail on the different ways people give and receive love.
This book can provide so much clarity for you, your partner, and your marriage.
Remember how I mentioned aha moments earlier? This book was hitting me with those left and right.
I actually read this book at least once a year as a little refresher.
BTW: If you have kiddos, I highly recommend you grab this book ASAP. It is all about the love languages of kids and it’s such an eye-opening read.
5) Right or Wrong
Here is something I know to my core. I am ALWAYS right when it comes to discussions or disagreements with my husband.
Just kidding. I mean, I do feel like I am right quite often.
But if we focus so much on how we are “more right” than our spouse then there will not be much progress in actually moving to a better place in our relationship.
An issue won’t be solved if all we really care about is that we won.
This is not at all to say that we should keep quiet about how we feel.
Stand your ground. Speak up for yourself. Don’t shy away from expressing any and all emotions.
But the real key here is to keep a focus on what you are working toward rather than creating a spreadsheet on who has more points in the “right” column.
Leave the competition for when you are playing Scrabble.
6) Leave Space For Change
My husband goes to the chiropractor for adjustments.
Your marriage will change over time and adjustments will need to happen as well. They should happen.
I have been married for 12 years. If no changes had occurred during that time, I would be very concerned that I accidentally married an undercover robot.
If you are in a long-term relationship, then change is just part of the gig. And it’s not a bad thing. In fact, we don’t have to label it at all. It just happens.
And it happens whether we actively participate in it or not.
On the flip side, there will also be things that may not change all that much about your partner (even if you would like them to).
In every marriage, there will be some give and take.
Compromise is not giving in.
Compromise is not giving up. It is not surrendering. But when you enter a marriage, there is now a “we” to think of as well.
Both people may need to bend a little.
This doesn’t mean the “me” goes out the window.
There will need to be some meeting somewhere in the middle. And try not to get too hung up on things being smack dab in the middle. Right at fair.
The idea of fairness can be a slippery slope.
Here is a small compromise that happens in my marriage. I love to cuddle when going to bed. My husband does not.
So we cuddle for around 10 minutes and then go to our own sides of the bed and go to sleep. This may seem like a silly thing but it means a lot to me.
And the seemingly small meet-in-the-middle moments create a much better environment for the bigger issues you and your partner may face.
I think this comes down to enjoying your marriage more.
Enjoy and (try) to appreciate the season you are in. Even if that season is not ideal.
Gratitude can really come in handy here. If we try to seek out at least one thing to be grateful for daily in regard to our spouse, then enjoying and celebrating our marriage will happen naturally.
Mini celebrations are game-changers. A three-minute dance party in the kitchen after getting the kids to bed on time is never a bad idea. (a quiet dance party of course)
We don’t have to (and shouldn’t) wait for a date on the calendar to celebrate.
9) Always or Never
Be careful with these two words.
These words can make a statement feel like more of an attack. And in reality, the chance of something always or never being a certain way is rare.
We use these because we are really trying to get our point across, right? But what can actually happen is our point gets missed and the conversation takes a turn.
This is a tough one. And one I really struggle with.
It has taken me a lot of practice to be more mindful of the words I am saying.
And also to be able to recognize when I might need to step away for a period of time because my emotions are taking over and my words won’t be helpful.
10) What About You?
Work on yourself. Take care of yourself.
Be good to yourself.
You can not show up for your relationship if you are not showing up for yourself.
Don’t forget that you are a person. A complete person separate from your marriage.
You can and should have your own life. Encourage your partner to do the same.
My mindset is healthier and I just feel all-around better when I am learning and being exposed to different information and opinions.
These personal growth books help me do that. (if you are a parent… these parenting books are awesome too)
I also just read this book last week and it had a really refreshing outlook and perspective on life and how we choose to live.
Take marriage seriously. Not too seriously of course.
Just serious enough to recognize and acknowledge that it won’t always be sunshine and roses. And make the choice to make a choice to better things.
Have any tips on how to build a better marriage?
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