A strong marriage is more than just an extravagant wedding, it’s what happens after the wedding. Having a strong marriage takes hard work, grace, and focus. Marcus and I work hard to keep our marriage strong for many reasons, but for one simple reason…
(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which means, at no additional cost to you, I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I have recommended.)
Marriage is Important
There are countless tips out there for cultivating a strong marriage. Here are a few that have worked in our love story.
- Campaign for your spouse. Present him as the perfect-to-you man that he is, when you talk about him to new people. Too often I see someone nagging about their spouse to a new friend or random person that doesn’t personally know their spouse. What that does is put a preconceived idea of your spouse in that person’s mind. Should these two people cross paths in the future, your spouse will have a lesser chance of making a good first impression because of what you have said prior to them ever meeting. I have personally witnessed someone do this, it happens often.
- Protect and Guard your Marriage. Your spouse should come first. Always. That means before friends and before kids. (That’s still hard for me to accept sometimes because my kids are my everything.) Unfortunately, friendships will come and go. Its highly unlikely that you will be best friends with the same people 20-40 years from now. One day (so far in the future for mine, thank GOD. Why can’t they be little forever?!) our kids will move out of the house and off to college. When that day comes I want to have a marriage that’s stronger than ever, not one that feels like a roommate situation because I’ve neglected it for the past 30 years.
A strong marriage requires two people who choose to love each other, even when they struggle to like each other.
- Never stop dating your spouse. I know that it’s not always easy to get a babysitter. I understand that 200%. I personally have a hard time trusting someone that isn’t family to watch my kids. We solely rely on family, which is free childcare, which is understandably not as readily available. When we DO get a date night outside of the house, we try to make the very most of it. We do something that will allow us to talk and enjoy one another’s company. Just the other day we went Rollerblading! It was a blast AND I got to hang on my husbands arm the entire night because he’s way more coordinated on blades than I am. #Datenightwin. Sometimes we aren’t able to get out for a date. On those nights we will typically sit around a fire outside or play some board games at home. The end goal is the same, spend quality time with one another, without the kids yelling and running around you and without
phoneslife’s many interruptions.
- Spend time as a family. As important as it is for you to have alone time and date nights, it is equally important for your marriage to enjoy life as a family. We LOVE doing things together, we like having people over and letting the kids run crazy and play. We like going on family outings together. Being together as a family definitely contributes to the wellbeing of our marriage.
- Worship Together. In our household, God is our priority. We believe that and we want our kids to grow up knowing and believing that. Practicing our faith together and attending church and church events together has been a game changer for my family. It has made our entire family dynamic and family bond better and stronger. If you are in the market for an AWESOME bible, I recommend this Beautiful Word Coloring Bible, Hardcover (affiliate link). It’s great for adding your own flair to your bible and really making it YOURS! I have this exact bible and LOVE IT.
We work on our marriage daily and our family is better because of it <3
- Be Honest. We have no secrets. Does that mean I tell Marcus every little thing? No. There are many things I talk about with my girlfriends (Mom talk, girl talk, periods, blah blah blah) that Marcus could care less about. These things have nothing to do with him or with my marriage and arent something that we would ever talk about. There are other times I am probably overly honest with him (like when I tell him how hot I think Channing Tatum is), but I trust my love with him so much that I’m willing to put all my cards on the table!
- Don’t stop being intimate. I am shocked at how often this happens. I know there are many factors (ie; medication, birth control, kids, etc) that can play into a person’s libido and relationship, but people…THIS IS IMPORTANT. At the very least, make an effort to be intimate. Now, when I say intimacy I don’t mean you have to have tons of sex (but hey, if that’s your thing, you do you, honey!). Intimacy can be closeness, affection and/or togetherness. Snuggling, kissing, holding hands or whatever it may be to you, it’s important and necessary for maintaining that bond between you and your spouse.
- Make each other laugh. Oddly enough, this is a big one for us. Our marriage is FUN every single day because we strive to make one another laugh. It’s as simple as it sounds.
Couples who Laugh Together, Last Together – Dr John Gottman
Everybody’s relationship is different and it may take more than these things for your relationship to be stronger. However, I’d be willing to bet at least one of these things can be the start of a stronger marriage for you. Marcus and I will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary this September. He is my rock, my best friend and my biggest supporter. 3 houses and 2 kids later and our marriage is the strongest it has ever been. We must be doing something right.
To dive a little deeper into making your marriage stronger, I suggest grabbing a copy of The 5 Love Languages (affiliate link). I promise you will not regret it. That book is a MUST HAVE for married couples! Momma’s yall need to check out The 5 Love Languages of Children (affiliate link) it is SUCH a game changer for moms and dads struggling with their littles! I can’t speak highly enough of these books! <3