Over the course of the last few years I have had the privilege of working with many couples who are preparing for marriage or those wanting to enrich their marriage after several years of marriage. Here are five keys to remember:
- Focus on yourself. Despite how much we want to, we really cant change the other person. We can however change how we respond to others, how we react and how we teach them to treat us. A healthy marriage begins with a healthier version of me!
- Build communication skills. It is difficult to have a healthy marriage without building skills for communicating with your spouse/future spouse. Once the line of communication is broken along with it comes a myriad of other challenges.
- Seek to resolve conflict. Conflict resolution is among the top skills needed for any marriage to remain healthy. Coupled with strong communication skills these two skills alone can help immensely in most challenges couples face. It is important though to know how and when to resolve the conflict. Read 10 steps to resolving conflict here.
- Continuously learn. After a while in marriage you settle in and begin to believe you have your spouse figured out. To an extent you probably know a lot about them but this doesn’t mean that you should stop learning who your spouse is, what they value, what dreams they have, what excites them among other things going on in their lives. What is their “love language”? What says I love you to your spouse? We have a tendency to show love in ways that we like to receive love and that may not be how your spouse wants love communicated the best to them.
- Continue to “date” each other. Set aside regular time preferably weekly to continue to “date” your spouse. This will help greatly in communication and continuing to learn about them. Rotate between dates you enjoy and dates your spouse enjoys to mix it up and add more excitement to the relationship.
If you would like to learn more about how to make your marriage better I would recommend Prepare and Enrich which is a national program designed to enhance a marriage or get you started on the right foot. Throughout the mentoring process you will learn many of these skills as well as others. Me and my wife Lisa are certified in this program and would be happy to help those interested.