Here are 3 tips for a healthy marriage. It would be nice to avoid marriage counseling, but if you need marriage counseling in Grand Rapids, MI–the Health for Life Team can help.
Getting married is the easy part, staying married takes work. There is so many conflicting advice and opinions out there, it is hard to know what is true.
- Take Time to be a Couple
When you first dated, chances are you spent more time just being the two of you, than you did as a group. As the relationship grew, the term “couple” became a description of your identities. The wedding ceremony focused on the 2 of you as a couple, not on everyone else. So why should that change after marriage? I know, life, jobs, children, families, pets all get in the way.
Make time together a priority. If that means going grocery shopping together without the kids, going for a walk without the dog – then do it. Go on dates, rediscover the person you fell in love with. No phones, work, kids, troublesome talk. Just time to focus on each other.
Start on little adventures, then progress to spending a night away from home as a couple. As time goes on, try taking a long weekend, and eventually a full week away from the children. This not only helps grow your relationship together, but it also allows the children to see you not only as a parent but as a couple. This action serves as great modeling behaviors for your children and a sample of what they can look for in a marriage. Once the children leave the household, you will once again be just the two of you. By taking time together now, you might avoid the question later on “Who are you again and how do we fit as a couple?”.
- Share Chores
Fawn Weaver, founder of the Happy Wives Club, interviewed couples all over the world, and found that “Each couple, no matter their culture or socio-economic class, had this in common: They worked together as a team. There was no my work or your work. It’s our home, so it’s our work”.
Thriving Family magazine in 2013 reported on a study done in Norway found that “couples who split housework evenly were more likely to have marital conflict. The problem wasn’t the housework but rather the dynamics of splitting things down the middle”. Kurt Bruner, a pastor and author, says “If you are keeping score on such things, you have already started a relational battle”
- Argue Smartly, Negotiate in your Marriage
Dr. Peter Pearson, from The Couples Institute, offers this advice: “I tell couples to find ways to better manage unruly emotions when arguing. Once this is accomplished, you can avoid some common mistakes couples make:
- Caving in too quickly to avoid tension or to keep the peace,
- Stubbornly pushing too hard for your own solution
- Trying to change core values, integrity, emotions, attitudes spirituality.
” Dr. Pearson also adds that “the only thing you can truly negotiate are behavior and decisions. What someone will do and when they will do it”.