5 Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage
Some say that marriage is “hard work,” but in truth, if you stay on top of the job (no pun intended), it’s not hard work. In fact, it can be lots of fun.
However, if you let up on the gas pedal, you end up having to push uphill, which is hard work.
So how to make your relationship stronger and how to strengthen your marriage?
To strengthen your marriage you require intentionality, consistency, and a nutritive environment to thrive.
I have helped countless couples rebuild, reinvent, and discover that with some tweaking they can become more in love than when they first met, with a more profound admiration and respect than before.
While I’ve also helped couples navigate divorce with dignity, I genuinely believe your marriage is worth fighting for unless danger is present.
If you want to strengthen your marriage but don’t quite know how to navigate the bumps in the road, there are several proactive ways to strengthen a marriage, improve your relationship, and prevent divorce.
Here are the five things to do to strengthen your marriage:
1. Accept your partner
We all have our likes and dislikes, habits, and unique personalities.
Your partner is not you, and if we’re honest, that’s part of what attracted you to them in the first place, right?
When we try to change our partner or conform them to ourselves with constant nagging, comparison and negative language use, we create resentment in them.
When you address your expectations with your partner, approach them with an encouraging and accepting posture; you have to be willing to accept your flaws too!
When you’re both honest about flaws and irritations, but reemphasize your love, you create more peace and growth in your relationship.
2. Respect your partner
When conflict arises, we can choose to respect our partner by avoiding criticism and blame.
So many disagreements in life can be mitigated with compromise and grace. There are two sides to every fence and it’s critical that before you get on the battlefield you take a look from their side of the fence.
We have a hard time humbling ourselves and compromising. It’s human nature. But get this: selfish people lack resilience.
Those who can compromise, develop flexibility, and cultivate stronger and deeper relationships.
To strengthen your marriage, you can honor and respect your partners by being a champion for them and their dreams, and by being gentle in your approach.
3. Forgive your partner
You know how the saying goes: never go to bed angry!
You can either hold onto resentment or choose to forgive your partner. Who likes being bitter?
Forgiveness is a gift to your partner, and to yourself. Holding a grudge takes mental and emotional space and feeds into negative habits which erode love and admiration.
Forgiveness helps to maintain a meaningful emotional connection with your partner. It helps them feel loved, valued, and accepted.
Emotional connection protects your partner from a distance and strengthens your marriage.
4. Communicate with your partner
In this digital age, it’s easy to get distracted and neglect quality conversations with your partner.
Communicating about your everyday life, your dreams, your frustrations, and your feelings is fundamental to strengthen your marriage because it fosters positive emotional connection with your partner, which in turn stimulates a sense of security and happiness.
It may sound elementary, but as long as you are intentional about communicating, you can generally resolve any challenges that arise.
Good communication means telling your partner what you need; they can’t read your mind!
Instead of sitting in resentment and anger, release those negative emotions by telling your partner exactly what you need in a loving way, not blame and pointing fingers.
And, when you listen to your partner, they feel valued and understood and you build deeper connections.
5. Court your partner
To strengthen your marriage, it’s essential to continue courting your spouse.
Make time for a date night every week, whether it’s cooking together or playing a board game, going out to a fancy dinner or trying out a new activity.
Initiating quality time and expressing intentional actions shows how much you care about your partner. Learn your partner’s love language so you can speak to it.
And, acknowledge when your partner goes out of their way to show you love. Everyone loves to be seen and validated for their effort.
Maybe they buy you your favorite ice cream or do the dishes when it’s your turn…when you express appreciation for their effort, you reinforce your partner to take kind and thoughtful action, and you infuse more gratitude into your mentality.
These actions are psychologically complex yet relatively simple to initiate, and with thoughtfulness and intention you can reinvent your relationship and help it thrive.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.