Marriage tips!

I gained a lot of personal perspective after many years of listening to my clients tell their stories. With every story I heard, I tried to take away something from the conversation. Something I could use in my own personal life and my own marriage. They say to learn from our own mistakes, but I think we can also learn from other’s mistakes too. Before I outline my marriage tips, I want to reiterate that I am not perfect. My husband is not perfect, and my marriage is not perfect. I do not always follow these tips. Marriage is work…hard work. Before you visit with a divorce attorney, consider these tips. 

1. Communicate –  Communicate about the biggest and smallest things. Tell your spouse about what happened in your day, and then ask him or her about their day. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We might not ask for help because we are afraid the other person might view us as weak or that we can’t handle it, but couples are teams. When one teammate is down or needs help, the other teammate should step up and lift the other.  Personally, I struggle with this tip. I often think I can handle it all, but I sometimes need help. If I would just ask my husband for help when I first needed it, I would not feel so angry or upset later. Communication is the key to a healthy marriage! 

2. Intimacy – We all need physical and emotional intimacy with our partner. It doesn’t always have to be about the physical, the emotional intimacy is as much as important as the physical. Physical intimacy doesn’t have to be about intercourse. Just a hug or a kiss or  holding hands. Don’t shut out your spouse and don’t give him or her the silent treatment. Don’t look to someone or something to fill the void. Again, if you feel the intimacy is lacking with your partner, communicate and tell him or her what you need. 

3. Hobbies –  Find something you and your spouse can do together. Such as golfing, or tennis, or fishing, or volunteering. Find something that is for you and spouse to do together. I know this is hard with work schedules and kid schedules, but when the children are grown and they don’t need as much attention as they do when they are younger, the couples need feel connected. Finding a common hobby or interest will help the couples to feel connected. Even if it is just playing video games together after the kids go to bed. 

4. Try counseling – One of the first questions I ask during an initial consultation is “who is your therapist?” Too often the answer is “nobody” or “my spouse doesn’t believe in counseling.” Even if you don’t want to meet with a mental health professional, consider meeting with someone at church. I personally think all options should be considered before divorcing, including attending therapy. I have seen many marriages saved by marriage counseling.     

5. Forgive – We are not perfect. Our marriages are not perfect. We all make mistakes. Sometimes the mistakes are too big to save the marriage, and in those instances consider forgiving the other spouse so you can move forward emotionally. There is so much strength in forgiveness. Bitterness kills the human spirit, and it kills the marriage. Forgive not for the other person, but for yourself. 

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