20 Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage

My marriage is by no means perfect. We argue, we make messes and make mistakes, but that’s part of marriage. We grow and we learn from our mistakes. My husband and I work opposite shifts. I work 8-5 and he works 3-11 so the amount of time we have with each other is typically in passing. For us, it’s even more important to constantly be working at our marriage. Our marriage is by no means in peril, but there are certainly things we can do to strengthen and build what we have created over the years. Here are 20 ways to strengthen your marriage.

  1. Pray for your spouse- Whether you pray in the morning or night, the importance of praying for your spouse is underrated. Your spouse doesn’t have to know that you’re praying for them, but regardless of the current state of your relationship whether you’re happy or angry at each other, always remember to say a quick prayer for them.
  2. Apologize when you’re Wrong– This may seem like common sense, but when you have two stubborn people in a relationship, admitting when one is wrong can be hard. This is a constant struggle for my husband and I as we are both very stubborn and think we’re always right, BUT we work on this daily. We are still learning (after nearly 7 years together) on how to compromise and apologize.
  3. Imagine what life would be like without your Spouse– During an argument; take a moment to think about what life would be without your spouse. This helps us understand that this argument is just “in the moment” but does not define our future relationship. To visualize your life without your spouse can put things into perspective and lead to quicker resolutions
  4. Laugh more– I say this because I believe we should all laugh hundreds of times a day! Laughter can lighten any situation and it works the ab muscles. Ha, that’s beside the point. Laughing decreases stress hormones and increase immune cells helping us to stay healthier. Plus as an added bonus, laughter triggers the release of endorphins which are the body’s natural “feel-good” chemicals. Endorphins help to promote an overall sense of well-being, so why not laugh more? It may lead to less arguments and more fun in a marriage.
  5. Arrange weekly lunch or dinner dates-With my husband and I being on opposite schedules making time to eat together can prove to be a challenge. Whether we make time during the week to catch lunch together or ensure we have a good meal together on the weekend, we make sure we do this at least once a week. This may not seem like a lot, but when your spouse works 7 days a week 75% of the time, I’ll surely take what I can get.
  6. Schedule alone time– Interpret this suggestion any way that you see fit, but it’s important to have some one-on-one intimacy from time to time. When kids are added into the equation, don’t be afraid to get a sitter or ask a family member to take the kids overnight. It is nice to be able to sleep in for once and not have any responsibility for a few hours.
  7. Talk about the little things– Small talk can open up some great conversations. Talk about anything to do with home life, parenting, work, news, etc. Put down the phones and turn off the TVs and just talk to one and another.
  8. Have your own life- It is okay to have a life outside your marriage and parenthood. Make time for friends. One should never get mad at their husband or wife for going out with his/her buddies from time to time. I would never want to take up all of my husband’s free time, as I understand the importance of friendship and time away from me.
  9. Remember to thank the other person- However small it may seem or even if the response is expected, always thank your spouse. It creates a lot of positive energy and appreciation in the marriage.
  10. PDA- Don’t be afraid to hold hands or steal a quick kiss in public. Just touching your spouse whether you’re mad or not is important for creating a sense of togetherness and unity. This can also help curb hurt and angry feelings.
  11. Don’t Yell- Now I’m not suggesting that you stop fighting because some fights are completely necessary, but stop yelling and name calling. This is especially important if you have children because they are impressionable and may thinking that yelling in relationships is normal.
  12. Don’t hold grudges- Holding grudges does not resolve anything. If a situation arises that hurts one or both spouses, it’s important to talk about it and resolve it sooner rather than later. This includes not bringing up things from the past to substantiate an argument in the present.
  13. Be open to the others opinion- Marriage (and relationships in general) require compromises from both spouses. Be open to your spouses’ opinion and suggestions on home-life, parenting and careers. Remember that you’re a team, so it’s important to work together towards a common goal.
  14. Compliment your spouse- This may seem silly, but it’s important to help build and maintain self-esteem within a relationship. This can be as simple as complimenting the way they look one day.
  15. Communicate- Your spouse should be your confidant. Whenever you are struggling with something, open the communication line with your spouse. You shouldn’t seek a confidant outside your marriage. There may be instances that your problems revolve around your spouse, but your spouse should be the one you’re talking about those problems with.
  16. Protect your marriage- There are always going to be outside forces that knowingly or unknowingly try to destroy your marriage. Stay away from those people and/or influences. If there are people who are struggling in their own marriages, it’s imperative to not associate yourself with them and focus on your marriage.
  17. Cook a meal together- Divide up tasks when preparing and cooking a meal so that you can both be in the kitchen working together at the same time.
  18. Raise your child(ren) together- Be the best parents you can be together. Learn from each other and grow as parents together. Never speak poorly of your spouse in front of the children and teach them how important respect is in a marriage.
  19. Travel and be spontaneous- Don’t ever get so caught up in life that you forget to enjoy it. Travel to new places or visit places where memories were made together. Be spontaneous and take a road trip without planning it. Not every part of your marriage has to be a routine or well thought out. Add some spontaneity to your marriage. Do the unexpected!
  20. Love each other unconditionally- The MOST important thing you can do in a marriage is to love each other. Regardless of the current situation, whether you’re happy or angry with each other, never lose sight of why you got married in the first place. Love can overcome anything. Be each other’s biggest fans in life.

I hope some of these suggestions resonate in your marriage and current situations. Maybe you’re not yet married, but are looking on ways to get your marriage started on the right track. I’m not trying to say that I’m an expert on marriage or even relationships, but I will tell you that in the nearly 7 years of being in a relationship with my spouse (4 years of marriage), we have been through more things together than most couples experience in an entire lifetime. I base my suggestions off of experience and growth within my relationship. Any others that you would add to this list? Please don’t hesitate to share!

My husband and I.

My husband and I.

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