I am still celebrating God’s faithfulness in my marriage. Having shared 4 beautiful years with my best friend and in that mode of celebration; here are 18 tips that I have practiced to keep my marriage beautiful as the days go by.
You will agree with me that the next important relationship after Jesus is your spouse, so you have to take the relationship very serious. Read through these tips I have put together for 4 years.
1) Healthy Communication:
Poor communication can make you doubt if you are married to the right person. Even though I studied communication in the university, I still had difficulties telling H exactly what I mean in many circumstances. But because you do not want the intended message to be misunderstood, you have to work on keeping the communication lines open. Talk often about every and anything.
It is very easy to take your spouse for granted, it may be his responsibility to pick up the kids, still say ‘thank you, hun, for picking up the kids’, It may be hers to cook, do not eat and stay silent, say “thank you for the delicious meal”. It is that simple but it goes a long way to strengthen your marriage. Let them know you value their efforts.
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3) Invest time in knowing more about each other:
I think this takes a lifetime of knowing your spouse! It takes a time to know what she actually means when she says “drop it”. Men do not assume you know your wife fully because she doesn’t know herself that much. When that time of the month comes she could be a little edgy for little and no reason, well you should keep the communications lines open. Know what they like and what they abhor, what turns them on and the list is endless…
There is strength in recognizing your innate differences; this will help you know more on how to complement each other.
3) Forgive often:
It is allowed to be angry, I mean you could as well be in heaven right now if you never get angry with your spouse. But do not let your anger linger around for long, forgive easily and be fast about it.
4) Pray together:
I am convinced you must have heard “a family that prays together, sticks together”. Yeah as cliché as it sounds, it works! From my experience, praying together has helped us in times when I am angry with H because I know we cannot approach His throne in anger, we are obliged to sort out issues before praying. So as often as you can, practice praying together, not only will it shield your home, but it will also strengthen your marriage.
5) Focus on building a solid foundation:
When I say focus, I mean give it a laser beam intensity! Put in all your energy. If your foundation is weak, it will not stand when the storms of life blow. Make no mistake, the storms are bound to come, let your foundation stand firm.
6) Be intentional about making each other happy:
You do not sleep your way into a happy home, you got to be intentional about it. Do the little and even the ‘big’ things that make your spouse happy. It could be coming back home with fresh fruits for your wife or accompanying her for shopping (haha), just do it.
7) Practice listening to each other:
Ah, I know some men are ever listening and never hearing (King James English). Listen attentively whenever your spouse has something to say and respond accordingly. Do not go on nodding your head just to make-believe that you are with him or her. Listen genuinely, sometimes you may not even have much to say, but at least you have ears to hear.
8) Show genuine interest in your spouse’ business:
In rare occasions will you have a couple in the same career, cultivate a habit of showing interest in what your spouse is up to. Thanks to H, my science know-how has greatly improved! Ask to know what projects they are working on, its progress, setbacks… It really does hurt to live with an unconcerned spouse! Be in the know! I may not tell the processes that go on before proteins can be extracted from insects, but at least I know that is one of the uses of insects.
9) Never talk negatively about your spouse to anybody:
Talking negatively about your spouse to anyone is stupid! Yes, it is, the two have become one, and who talks negatively about themselves to anybody? Wise up.
10) Love your spouse passionately:
I believe Love is what made you marry her/him in the first place, so let love lead.
“Husbands love your wife like Christ loved the church…”
Love makes submission easier, a submissive wife is a loved woman. Husband your role is to keep loving your precious jewel and the rest will fall into place.
Do nothing out of selfish conceit, let love be the motivation behind every action.
11) Practice Patience:
Be patient with one another, and I say it again be patient. Mister husband, you will need this virtue so much, it will help you on those mornings when madam wife will spend 3 hours to get ready for church and comes out of the dressing room expecting you to appreciate how she looks. I know it is not funny when you have to make several trips between the car and the door in anticipation of her coming… patience will help a great deal.
12) Always remember you are on the same side:
You are all in one team! You are not rivals, so work with that mentality, it is for our common good, it is not husband versus wife.
13) Weed constantly:
Only a foolish farmer will sow seed and not come back to pull out the weeds. You need constant weeding.
Give heed to the things your spouse complains about and work on changing them. I have been banished from staying in my airy Kaba (big dress in Cameroon) at home because my H didn’t like it.
14) Laugh often:
Nothing beats real good laughter with your spouse, laughter is medicinal.
15) Assume the best of each other:
In the first year of marriage, there were times I erroneously assumed H was out to hurt me with some of his criticisms till I understood he meant well. Because your spouse loves you, dare to always assume the best of him/her. They mean well even though it may come out wrong sometimes.
16) Go on dates:
I am still dating my husband, I still have those butterflies in my tummy when I talk with him. We still have date nights and it is totally beautiful. Never stop dating.
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17) Respect each other’s role in the home:
I know it is teamwork, but it needs to be clear who has the final say in important decisions at home. My H will say “let me take the decision and be at fault, rather than you pulling the strings and it backfires. You will not handle the reproach or blame that well”. I don’t mind letting him be at the helm of decision-making. That puts me in a safe location, in quietness and peace; I don’t contend myself with matters too wonderful for me. After all, that is one of the reasons I got married to him; to take hard decisions (haha)
18) Have sex often:
Other related posts to catch up on…
1. Anniversary note to my H
2. 18 Labels , so what?
3. 10+8 = Who am I?