Marriage is an amazing thing. You fall in love and get to spend the rest of your life with the one person you trust, enjoy, are attracted to, and can’t wait to grow old with. Of all the people you could choose from, you chose them and they chose you. It’s a wonderful thing!
But things change, don’t they? Not every day is a walk in the park. Life can get in the way. Kids can get in the way. Money can get in the way. Stress can get in the way.
Its hard to imagine that this is true before you say, “I do”. But it does. We all know the statistics when it comes to how many people are divorcing these days and it’s a tragic thing. So what can we do?
People don’t get married and believe they will be the next one in line at divorce court. But it happens every day. So here are some things to consider that may help you to not only stay together, but thrive in your marriage.
Tips For Thriving Marriages
- Laugh more often. When you were dating, laughing and smiling was probably a lot of what you did together. It was fun. It was light-hearted. Being together was good. But so many of us get bogged down with the stress of raising a family and trying to make ends meet that we lose our joy. It sounds simplistic but it’s amazing what happens in a home and in a marriage when couples laugh together. Find ways to make this happen more often and try to remember what it was like when you first met. Laughter can make your marriage feel like that again.
- Make marriage a priority. I know for us, we don’t have a lot of extra money right now. But we choose to budget a few dollars each month towards our marriage. We use it for date nights, or ice cream, or babysitters. Even if it’s not much, it shows us that our marriage matters and is a priority in our lives. Just like paying the mortgage or budgeting for food, we make marriage a priority with our money and find time to use it together.
- Treat your spouse like a friend. It seems that we lose sight of this the longer we are married. What starts out as two best friends becoming one unit often becomes two business partners trying to manage their enterprise. We get frustrated at each other and try to manage expectations rather than work together as friends with a common goal. Remember that your spouse is your best friend. Talk to them and respond to them as such. This seemingly small thing can make a big difference in how you say what you say and can have a major impact on the attitudes and atmosphere in your home.
- Say the magic words: “I’m sorry.” Why is this so difficult for us? I know that there are a lot of words for it, but the one that stands out to me is pride. Pride destroys marriages and can so easily be diffused if we would simply say these two magical words more often.
- Watch your mouth. Sometimes we need to say certain things (like “I’m sorry”). Other times, we need to learn to say nothing at all. What I’m referring to is how we talk about our spouse in front of other people. Nothing can wound or cut as deep as reckless words, talking negative, or being demeaning, rude, or sharing private matters with other people. Make it a point to always build up your spouse in front of others and never tear them down.
- Hang out with people who value marriage. You become like the company you keep. Be careful of spending time with people who have been hurt by marriage and try (even if unintentionally) to bring you down to their level. Instead, find like-minded people who honor marriage and want to make it better like you do and spend more time with them.
- Ask for help. We all think that everyone else is doing fine and that our problems are unique to us. It is simply not true. Find a trusting source or seek out godly counselors who you can grow from. Better yet, find a couple who has a marriage you respect and would like to emulate and ask them for some time to discuss their secrets to a thriving marriage. You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised that what you find out was that they made a lot of mistakes but had a deep commitment to never giving up.
Next to your relationship with God, there is no other area of your life where thriving is more important. So much of the joy and blessings of this life come from the hard work required to make a marriage great. It isn’t easy, but it is worth it! Do what it takes to make your marriage great.
What tips would you give to making marriage great? Please comment or share on social media with the hashtag #thrivingmarriage.