Make Your Marriage Stronger Over Time
My wife and I recently celebrated our 15th year of marriage. We have had some ups and downs through the 15 years, but our commitment level to each other has grown stronger. Here is what I’ve learned that has helped keep our relationship strong.
When I took my vows, I made a commitment to my wife that I would be with her through sickness and in health until death. This is an absolute commitment. This is a commitment to work through our problems and trust that we’re both working together.
There are days that are not easy in any relationship. I have found that being more upfront with how I’m feeling has helped me to move past any issues. I’ll try to process how I’m feeling to make sure it’s worthwhile. If it is something that needs to be discussed, I’ll try my best to bring it up in a non-confrontational way. If I’m being silly about something, then I’ll do my best to move on.
This has been one my most difficult areas to tackle. I have a habit of holding a grudge. If I don’t get out in front of how I’m feeling and let my wife know, it effects how I interact with her. She can always tell if something is bothering me. That’s usually when I’m trying to figure out if it’s worth discussing or if I’m being difficult.
Without commitment, anyone could walk away during these times. Instead, we’re committed to working through any problems. It’s easy to give up and move on, but when you’re fully committed to another person, you work out problems, grow your relationship and benefit from personal lessons learned from your spouse.
Time for Each Other
We have busy schedules, but always make time for each other. Our two kids need attention and we provide it, but we always work to make time for each other throughout the day. This doesn’t have to be structured or away from the kids. When they are off to bed or off playing, we take the time to connect and get on the same page. It’s as simple as sitting outside for a few moments and talking about the day’s events or relaxing on the couch before bed.
There are plenty of distractions with social media on cell phones, tablets and watching television. Make sure you put those away for some time with your wife. Just knowing what each other are going through daily will keep a trust in place that you’re looking after each other. Make time together, however long or short, a priority.
Willing to Sacrifice
We’re a dual income household. With both of us working, we have to be willing to sacrifice what we think is in our best interest in order to support the other’s career or personal well being.
In growing my business, there were many years where I had to put more work in to the business in order to achieve results. My wife had to sacrifice things she may have wanted to do in order to look after our kids. Now I’m trying to do better in return. Her career is growing. She’s one of the best therapists in our area and always gives her best to her clients. In order for her to do her best work, she needs some flexibility in her schedule. I’ve had to make changes at work to make sure I can pick up one or both kids and also be more helpful around the house.
At home, I may give up a chance to go drink beers with friends or go fishing in order to be home for my wife and family. They are the most importing thing to me and as long as I keep that in mind, I’m never really sacrificing anything. It’s a conscious choice to be with them.
If you’re not willing to give up everything for your wife and her to do the same in return, then your marriage may not last. When you get married, your spouse becomes your number one priority. Your career, friends and activities become secondary. There’s moderation and give and take involved throughout your marriage, but in the end, your spouse is number one.
Day to Day
We didn’t just get to 15 years of marriage without work. Everyday is an opportunity to grow your relationship. Even when you’re both having a bad day, you can learn from it and grow. I’ve had plenty of down days and we’ve had our share of disagreements, but we have learned from those disagreements and our relationship has grown to be stronger today than at any point.
My wife put in place a mandatory “I love you” and a kiss before I leave for work and before bed. A simple hug sometimes eases tension from disagreements. No matter your highs or lows on a daily basis, take time to reflect on why you love your wife. Grow your relationship daily and make steady progress through your marriage.
I’m not the perfect husband and I’ve still got a lot to learn. These are just a few things that I believe have helped my marriage grow stronger over the past 15 years and hopefully they can help yours too.
Share your thoughts and ideas on building a stronger marriage in the comments and please share this post with anyone you think it might help.