Doug and I have been married for over a decade (13 years) and have learned a lot about relationships and love. We work together, raise three boys together, dream together, travel, adventure, cook, clean, and run our daily lives entangled with one another. He is a blessing and our marriage is something I protect and treasure. It is something we work at, and make a priority. Our marriage isn’t an accident. It is intentional and full of love.
I believe there are many things that go into a successful, happy, healthy marriage; but if I had to give you my top 3 tips, here would be my list (in no particular order) at this moment in my life:
- Don’t say everything you think. Now, this one is hard for me and something I have had to learn and am continuing to work on. I have no filter, I don’t think before I think, and I say whatever is on my mind. I have found that this isn’t the best of things. I have seen how one dig in the heat of a fight, can have you way more in the wrong then the reason you are having the fight in the first place! Don’t say that dig. The fight will end in a moment but that dig will always been spoken and you can’t take it back. Even the not-so-serious comments that can be correcting your partner or making a joke at their expense in a cutting way, just don’t say those things. ESPECIALLY in public or around friends. Love always comes back with love and it is hard to love someone that is always digging at you.
- Have a Weekly Date Night. This has to be a non-negotiable. You need to take time for your relationship. This isn’t a meeting of the home schedule or finishing up work, this is a time to have fun with one another. TO DATE. It doesn’t have to be red roses and fancy dinners, it can be a walk on the beach, a hike, a night in where the kids go to grandmas, I don’t know what this looks like for you in your home and relationship, but I know this has to happen. You need to continue to connect and play and have fun together. That doesn’t stop when you get married, or have children, or get too busy. Doug and I have 3 kids and many commitments and companies, and we still have a weekly date night.
- Affirm One Another. Even if you don’t feel it, say something nice. Your heart will catch up to your mood. You have chosen this soul to be yours and you need to constantly compliment and tell one another why you love them so. Not just for your partner but for yourself! I have found that this is a shield to my relationship. When we are constantly lifting one another up, I want to be around Doug more. I want to inspire him and be the woman he sees me to be. I want to lift him up as the head of our household. We have taken this a step farther and will affirm each other in front of our boys. To see their faces while we do this is a blessing and one of my favorite moments. They have even started to affirm one another on the way to school or in their play room. It brings my heart so much joy to hear them telling each other why they love one another.
No relationship is perfect but I can tell you marriage is amazing. If you work at making your love a priority, it will come back to you ten fold. Isaiah 55:11 says, ” It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” God is love and if we put love out into this world it will not return empty. That is a promise that we can claim over our relationships today!