A healthy marriage is not an easy thing to maintain. When you first get married – especially if you’re young – you get married with all of these ideas in your mind of how it should look and how it should go. The trouble is that most couples don’t factor in the fact that they are going to grow up together. The things that you felt or that you believed when you were 25 may not be the same things by the time you turn 40. As you grow together, you both change. Sometimes this is for a good thing, and sometimes this leads to divorce.
The question is whether or not you meant it when you promised each other to be there forever through the good times and the bad times. For some couples it’s just not possible that’s okay. But for those who would like to have a healthy marriage, there are some tips that you could use to ensure that you are able to be together and in love for the rest of your lives. Here are six tips for a healthy marriage.
- Commit, no matter what. It’s not easy to imagine that you will ever divorce the person that you love the most. However, it does happen and sometimes for very good reason. Some people grow so far apart but there really is no reparation here. The thing is, whether you head to Christian marriage retreats to speak to counselors and spend time together with God to discuss and assess your marriage as a couple who are united in trying to make things work, or you just need to ban the word divorce from the table, you need to fully commit to each other. You shouldn’t have divorce talk or conditions on your love. You both should know what you expect from each other before you get married, but if you find out that what you initially promised each other is going to be possible, counseling is the way to go, don’t just give up.
- Create ground rules. If you want your marriage to be healthy then you have to know what you want from each other. This isn’t just what you expect on the day you get married and you exchange your vows. If one of you wouldn’t be able to tolerate or get over somebody else cheating in the marriage or committing any kind of adultery, that has to be clear from the start. You also have to decide whether or not you are able to continue in your marriage if that happens. By creating some ground rules, you can respect each other and love each other with open hearts and know exactly what you want from this marriage to work.
- Remember that you’re a team. No matter what, you have to be with each other and be a team together. You have to ensure that you are looking to each other for advice, for comfort, even the bad conversations you have to have sometimes. You shouldn’t be looking elsewhere to discuss your marriage unless it’s with a registered counselor or your priest. If you have a problem with your spouse, discuss it and learn to communicate as grown-ups. You are a team so you have to act that way.
- Get to know each other’s love languages and use them. There are five love languages and if you haven’t read about these you need to start doing some research. One of you may have the love language of physical touch where the other one may have the love language of acts of service, but no matter what the love languages are you need to be able to honor them. If you can do this, you will be able to respect each other as partners because you are making an effort for each other.
- Don’t forget intimacy. Intimacy in a marriage is not just about making love. It’s being able to hold each other while watching TV, or holding hands. Or checking that your spouse has had their dinner for the evening because you care whether or not they have eaten. Intimate things like this will bring you together as a couple and make you more than just friends. Friendship is important in a marriage, but intimacy is what laces you together as husband and wife.
- Remember to serve each other. For your marriage to be healthy, you have to do things for each other without being asked, and without using them as a weapon. If you need your partner to help you clean more in the house, then ask them to pull their weight and watch them stand up for you and be there for you. That’s the measure of a good marriage.