Tuesday, April 1, 2014

10 Ingredients for a Healthy Marriage

Our 2nd anniversary is coming up in June, so it's not like I'm an expert at a perfect marriage. And is there such thing as a perfect marriage? Well, I don't know that either. However, I wanted to share some things that are working for us and things we've learned along the way.

God is at the center of our marriage. We seek His counsel and try to live our lives accordingly. We talk about our faith and what we believe. And we talk about scriptures we come across and how they pertain to us and our lives. God is the only reason Bobby and I are together. And for that we are grateful.

We strive to be selfless and put each other first. Supporting each other in our views, likes/dislikes, having the mindset of what each of us prefer in every situation has really illustrated the love and respect we have for one another. 

We listen. Well most of the time. We try anyways. Ok, this one takes practice. Sometimes when I'm in the middle of a show, he'll comment on something. So I have to decide whether to listen to him or the rest of the show. Sometimes the show wins. Not a #1wife moment. And sometimes I'll hear him talking but not think anything of it because I think he's talking to one of the kids or the dogs. And then, he'll ask, "Did you hear me?" Umm, nope sure didn't. haha He's the same way. So it's give and take really.  ;)

Communication is key. When I've ignored him (or didn't hear him) he tells me of his frustration and vice versa. But there's also communication needed when we talk of plans and things that need to get done around the house, and also we communicate our feelings. Yeah. I know. Gross. Anyways. We've done pretty well with communication. I can't read his mind, and I probably don't want to. But if we communicate our wants and needs and feelings, it'll make our marriage stronger through the years. So I've heard.

We have a financial plan. I am so excited about this I can barely stand it. We were so stressed before we started our budgeting with money and bills. "What bills can we pay this month?" and "What bills will have to wait?" It was so stressful on both of us. Finally, we started Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and actually have a plan in place to alleviate debt, save, and then eventually be able to give and invest. I've always heard one of the main reasons for divorce is money problems, and we did not want that for our marriage. We've had to make sacrifices. We can't just go out and buy a whole new wardrobe or go out to dinner all the time. But now we have money in the bank for emergencies. We can pay all of our bills. And we are getting rid of debt and saving. This is what is important at the moment. The clothes can wait I guess. We couldn't have done any of this without the FIL (father-in-law) though! And we have learned so much through the Dave Ramsey FPU classes as well.

We have some family rules. Clean up after yourself. No talking back. No lying. No cheating. Ya know. The basics. We probably need to add to this list. But it's good to have some rules to keep everyone in line.  ;)

We continue to bond and spend quality time together. I'd love to do more outings and traveling, so hopefully we can once Spring gets here! Honestly, this weather has been insane!!! We want to keep things interesting. I'd love to explore our city and go to the park and do fun activities around town that we haven't had a chance to do. There's plenty of date ideas on Pinterest, so I'll definitely incorporate some when planning. But we certainly don't mind spending a nice quiet night at home on the couch watching movies. But for a healthy marriage, you gotta mix it up.

"Be patient." I tell myself this a lot. You know the scripture, "Love is patient, love is kind..." This is so true. We all have different personalities and different ways of doing things. What a testimony to love to show your spouse patience. And it's not like it's a picnic living with me. I don't always clean up after myself right away (refer to step six), and sometimes he forgets to do something I've asked him. We're not perfect. Patience is something a couple should learn early on. We can't have the "My way is the only way" mentality. It just doesn't work. I'm thankful for how patient we are with each other. It truly makes a difference.

We rarely fight. (Thank heavens!) I don't deal with confrontation well. But there have been arguments, which is a given. We don't fight dirty and bring up things from the past. This is definitely a no-win strategy. We love each other enough to communicate and get over it. We usually can come to an agreement and conclusion. You have to learn to pick your battles too. Trust me. That will lower your blood pressure. Not everything should be so dramatic.

We trust each other. Bottom line. We are both committed to this marriage and family. Having trust in your spouse is one of the top things to keep a marriage healthy and functioning properly. Without trust, there's doubt. And why would you stay with someone you can't trust? I know he loves me, and he knows I love him. If I ever questioned that of him, I would certainly communicate my yucky girl feelings to him. Bottom line. We trust each other.

Like I said, I'm no expert at marriage. But I have certainly found that these tips are currently working. No one is perfect. In fact, tip 11 should be that of Forgiveness. I hope you find these tips useful, and I certainly have room for improvement.

Do you have any tips to add? What do you find works best in your relationship?

1 comment:

  1. These are great! Communication is definitely key - I think I can boil down every argument or disagreement we've had to miscommunication. You've got to be open and honest and not hold onto things. Thanks for the advice. :)