I sat down with a woman I like to call “Grandma” this week. She’s been married for 52 years, and for the last 12 years she and my grandpa have been marriage counselors — it’s safe to say she knows a thing or two about marriage. And she definitely knows about making your marriage last.
She agreed to share with me — and my readers (that’s you!) — eight tips for making your marriage last.
1. Be Equally Yoked
This is something you can make sure you do to make your marriage last before you even get married. Make sure the person you choose as your spouse is someone who has the same beliefs and morals as you. If you both believe differently, it can cause problems or even destroy your marriage. Discuss these issues before getting married.
2. Don’t Criticize Your Spouse in Front of Others
When you criticize your spouse to your friends or in public, you make others think less of your spouse and your marriage. You also separate that bond you have with your spouse. Even small digs said as jokes can cause problems — it’s like a snowball, each small dig adds up until you’ve hurt your spouse in a big way.
3. Honesty, Trust, and Security Are All Connected
Honesty leads to trust, and trust leads to security. When you are secure in your marriage, you can be honest. Being honest, even in situations where it’s tough, shows that you care enough about your spouse to work on and save your marriage. Start being honest on the small things, which will help keep big harmful things from happening.
4. Laugh Together
Don’t be so serious about life that you can’t take time for joy and laughter, family and fun. Make family and fun a priority. Enjoy life.
5. Learn to Communicate and Start Small
Start communicating from the beginning so it becomes a habit before problems even arise. A big part of communicating is listening. Listen for the feelings and concerns of your spouse rather than focusing on what you think they should be hearing from you.
6. Learn to Forgive
Be willing to listen to why or what caused your spouse to hurt you. It can be something from their childhood or perhaps it was a reaction to something you did. Often times it is not intentional. You can forgive much easier when you understand why they hurt you in the first place.
7. Get Perspective.
When frustrated or angry, make yourself look at the big picture. Is this something that will be important in a year? In a month? Will it even be important next week? If not, is it worth being angry about or causing an argument over? Always put your marriage first. Choose your battles.
8. Recognize and Appreciate Your Spouse
Open your eyes to recognize the things, even the smallest of acts, that your spouse does for you, your family, and your household. Show them you appreciate them — even with a simple compliment. Build up your spouse with encouraging words. Bonus: When your spouse sees your appreciation and gratefulness, they are more likely to keep doing those things.
What tips would you add for making your marriage last?
You may also like these posts:
- 10 Secrets to a Happy Marriage
- Books to Help You Grow as a Couple
- Loving Your Husband When Your Own Love Tank is Low
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