This fall, there will be many people who will celebrate the year of “firsts”. First child off to pre-school or kindergarten, first child on a sports team or band, first or last child off to college, first marriage, first grandchild and the list could go on. You can fill in the blank with whatever new milestone is in your life right now. As we navigate these milestones in life, it seems that it may also be time to re evaluate our personal relationships with our spouse.
I was called this week for a phone interview about marriage challenges that couples face through the seasons of life. In doing some research, I found this from the University of Missouri that I could personally relate to and thought you might also, on ways to strengthen marriage.
- Remain good friends-be polite and respectful to each other. Gain enjoyment and satisfaction from the friendship you’ve built.
- Partners in a growing relationship are committed to a strong marriage and will work through the problems to build a stronger marriage in the process. It’s not always easy and fun, but knowing you can count on your spouse, helps to ease the challenge.
- Perform daily acts of kindness- a simple way to express fondness and concern for each other is to lend a helping hand without being asked. This sends out messages of love and concern.
- Share enjoyable times, go on a date and have fun together! Or write a love note or e-mail to let them know you are thinking of them throughout the day.
- It is essential to make your marriage a priority, to take time to enjoy each other—research has shown that the amount of fun time spouses spend together is a major factor in the happiness of their marriage.
- Create family traditions, they help to figure out what is important to you and they give meaning and predictability to marriages and families. Traditions enable us to reaffirm our love and devotion to one another.
- Each of us continue to grow as individuals so that we may grow together. We are not the same people we were 20 years ago. Taking care of ourselves and doing things we enjoy help us to improve the relationship.
Marriage is a challenging relationship that has many seasons. It requires hard work for each of us and when we combine that with determination and discipline, it has the potential to be very rewarding and satisfying. If we seek to have a positive attitude, be empathetic and committed in our purpose and combine that with a lot of love and respect then more than likely we can have a fulfilling marriage. Having our spouse as our friend throughout the history of our life allows us to enjoy the friendship,the fun and traditions that have given us the joy of a strong marriage and that’s definitely worth the effort!!
Author: Melinda Hill, CFCS, CFLE