Marriage advice to strengthen your marriageEveryone's marriage is different. Life is difficult. What might work for you and your husband is not guaranteed to work for everyone else's marriage. But this does not mean that there are not some tried and true principles and strategies that you can implement to strengthen your marriage.
And we're not talking about the most common pieces of advice that may be antiquated and not useful. For instance, gone are the days when a man is emasculated if their wife makes more money than they do. Or the way to a man's heart is through is stomach. Often the advice we receive before we get married may be simplistic or simply outdated.
So what marriage advice can be beneficial to your marriage?
Marriage can be difficult for many couples. Unrealistic expectations, pressure from in-laws, the stress of the children- it's not hard to see why a marital relationship may erode over time. Dr. James Dobson, best known for role in creating Focus on the Family, suggests some common sense strategies for strengthening your marriage.
1. Do not marry with the possibility of divorce.
Divorce is not an easy solution. If you enter the marriage allowing for the possibility of divorce, it's a recipe for failure. My husband and I have never even mentioned the word. There are reasons to get divorced, such as infidelity, but make sure you marry someone who looks at marriage as a life-long commitment.
2. Guard your relationship with your spouse.
Your husband or wife should be a priority. You will have to live with them long after your children have left home. The greatest thing you can give your kids is an example of a strong marital relationship. This means you have to spend time nurturing your relationship with your spouse. When I hear couples talk about how they haven't been on a date in years I fear for their marital bond. Go out. Have fun. Get a babysitter and date your spouse again.
3. Even healthy relationships have conflict.
Good and bad marriages have conflict. In fact, if you never have any conflict you are probably not addressing some issues that need to be addressed. The issue is how you deal with your conflict. Learn appropriate techniques to fight fairly with your spouse and learn how to stop playing the blame game.
4. Make time for your family.
It's easy to over commit to other things and neglect your family, especially in the early years of marriage. Spouses often view work or other commitments as "providing" for their family, but often the material possessions they are attempting to acquire are much less important than spending time with their family and nurturing certain relationships.
5. Do what's right; not what you feel.
Often spouses depend on their feelings in a relationship, but marriage, and particularly love, is not defined by the highs and lows of one's emotions. Marriage may, at times, simply be a commitment based on your will. Obviously, in a successful marriage you want to feel those romantic feelings of love, but it may not be possible everyday for the rest of your life.