Marriage is not an easy thing but is often treated as such. I think we often get it in our minds that the hard work is done. We won her affection, now we just get to sit back and reap the rewards of married life. This mindset is not only foolish but ultimately dangerous as the divorce rate in America loudly suggests.
With that in mind, what are you doing today to ensure that your marriage stays strong? I was talking to a co-worker today about my wife and me’s marriage in these regards. He made the comment about how well Elisa and I compliment each other and that we seem to have a very strong marriage. Now, I agree with him on this but that is mostly due to how amazing my wife is. However, that got me to thinking about what all goes into keeping that marriage strong. The key is balancing out your roles so that you compliment each other.
When we began house parenting back in 2010, we had never been in a position to work together before. We discussed this in detail and especially how we felt we would react to each other when there was a conflict between the two of us. I mean, where you do go when you work together and live together in the exact same place? Fortunately, for us, being around each other constantly has only made our marriage stronger.
Yet, what about you? How do you do it? What is the magic formula to marital bliss? Every time I talk to someone who has hit one of those monumental anniversary dates, I ask them that question and the answer always varies. This tells me that there really isn’t just one way to make a marriage work. For that matter, a person could probably write a book on the subject (and most likely have).
And, while many people often focus on how to avoid the mistakes that can be made in marriage, it’s interesting to consider all of the things that you can do right in your marriage to make it stronger.
So, here it is. I have put together a short list here of 10 things that a person can do to ensure that their marriage is successful.
Zach’s Top Ten Tips for a Happy Marriage
1) Don’t try to change your spouse. Instead you should change yourself to accomodate the things about your spouse that are different than you.
2) Talk about your problems and be sure to apologize when you are wrong. Failing to communicate these things will destroy your connection.
3) Take your spouse out on regular date nights. However, skip the movies and dinner. Go find something else to do that is fun like mini-golf or bowling or maybe even a concert.
4) Tell your spouse how much you appreciate them and do it often. Do not get in the habit of assuming that they know how much you appreciate them.
5) Make a point to be friends with your spouse’s friends. A) They’re probably not going to go away. B) They’re probably very cool people and your spouse will appreciate the effort that you made.
6) Pay attention to your spouse. Do not get so caught up in whatever it is that you do that you fail to meet their needs. Make time to snuggle and do it daily.
7) Laugh with your spouse regularly. This is a difficult one (or can be) if you do not share the same sense of humor. However, being able to laugh together is paramount to the success of your marriage.
8) Always be your spouse’s friend. Your friendship does not end because you are married. This is the person who you will be closest to for the rest of your life. Being their friend will make that time more enjoyable.
9) Have sex as frequently as you can. (Sorry mom, I know you’re reading this). The emotional connection is only as strong as the physical one. If you are not connected physically from time to time, the emotional connection of the marriage will die.
10) Learn from your mistakes. Listen people, none of us are perfect. Mistakes will happen in marriage. I’m not talking about infidelity or anything crazy like that. I’m talking about the little things. My parents would get into fights and then never talk about it. You have to learn from your mistakes in order to keep from repeating them.
Alright, there it is. Life is Strange. Marriage is Hard. You have to do what it takes to make it work. Don’t get caught after the fact wondering what went wrong.