Marriage has its ups and downs. Nobody ever said it would all be sunshine and roses.
There’s a reason we vow to love and cherish “for better or for worse”.
Along the way to the “better”, there will inevitably come some “worse”.
If anyone tells you they have never had problems in their marriage, they’re either delusional, or they’re lying to you!
Even the happiest couples have times where things are “worse”.
So what do we do when the worse comes in marriage? When the storms of life rage. When schedules are crammed. Or when you just don’t see eye to eye on much of anything.
So many factors that can cause so many problems.
When the tough times come, what can be done to strengthen a marriage instead of tearing it apart?
Here are 5 ways to strengthen your marriage and to keep it strong whatever comes your way.
1. Strengthen Your Marriage By Remembering.
Remember what he means to you.
Your husband will have some not-so-shining moments. Keep in mind that you have yours too and try to cut him some slack.
Especially when you know he is tired or stressed out.
I know this is easier said than done.
But try to let the little things go.
And when he’s really getting to you, try to recall all the things you love about him.
2. Strengthen Your Marriage By Talking.
This may sound cliche, but good communication is absolutely essential in marriage.
In my own marriage, I have to admit that it’s me who could be a better communicator.
My husband is good about calling, texting, telling me his plans, or just letting me know he’s thinking about me.
While I, on the other hand, get distracted, or get so caught up in what I am doing that I forget he’s not a mind reader, and don’t keep him very well informed. And what’s even worse, I think I often leave him feeling overlooked, or kept on the back burner.
I love him with all my heart and never want to cause him to feel that way. Verbal communication is just not my strong point.
Another way we have both dropped the ball with communication is by giving each other the silent treatment. We are both easily offended and hard-headed and the silent treatment comes easy to both us us.
But it’s not healthy. And 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 tells us that love is not proud, it doesn’t dishonor others, it’s not self seeking or easily angered, and love doesn’t keep a record of wrongs.
If I’m honest, I have to admit that almost anytime I get my feelings hurt, it’s really just a matter of pride.
So usually the silent treatment stems from pride.
Pride can be toxic. It can destroy a relationship.
Thankfully, my husband and I have made progress in putting aside the silent treatment. We try to talk about our feelings honestly now. But our marriage is a work in progress.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a time to be silent…just before you say something you know you’re going to regret. (For more on improving relationships through choosing your words wisely, click here.)
And one of the things we need to be willing to say when we do talk is “I’m sorry.” (That phrase is hard for me to get out sometimes. But there are times it needs to be said. And we have to work on accepting an apology gracefully as well. Apologizing is hard enough when it’s met with love and grace. It’s a thousand times more so when it’s not.)
After more than 10 years of marriage, we still have our moments. But we believe that our relationship is worth it.
And so we press on for the “better”.
3. Strengthen Your Marriage By Touching.
Kiss. Hug. Make time for alone time.
My husband loves it when I scratch his back or rub his head.
And all too often, I don’t do it.
Maybe I’m tired, or I’m busy.
But a touch can mean a lot, so it’s important to show affection in this way.
And then there’s sex.
I’ve heard that most rocks in a marriage are in the mattress, and I think this may not be too far from wrong.
Physical contact just keeps us connected.
4. Strengthen Your Marriage By Looking.
Look at your man. Try to really see him.
Tell him when he looks hot. Trust me, they like to hear it just as much as we do.
Notice when he looks tired too, or when the look on his face tells you there’s something on his mind.
And don’t forget to look into his eyes. Eye contact shows someone that you are really listening. And in a marriage, eye contact can be down-right intimate.
The eyes say so much.
Take a moment to gaze into your husbands eyes today.
5. Strengthen Your Marriage By Feeling.
Empathize with what he’s going through.
Listen to him.
Try to put yourself in his shoes.
When there’s something wrong, be there for him.
Consider his feelings in all you say and do. Even when he’s not around.
Marriage is not always easy. We all have our tough times as we grow as a couple. But marriage is worth all the work it takes to make it strong.
You can strengthen your marriage in little ways every single day, just by remembering, talking, touching, looking and feeling.
Pretty simple, huh? But the return on these small investments into your marriage will be priceless!