Marriage is a blessing!
Take a minute and think about when you first met your significant other. You got butterflies thinking about them, you could not wait until you saw them again, you spent hours talking on the phone, you wanted to learn everything about them, their likes, dislikes, favorite food, favorite movie….we could not get enough, we were obsessed by this person!! This honeymoon phase is easy, it’s fun, we enjoy it so much that we think it can sustain us for the rest of our lives, we choose this person to make a commitment and spend the rest of our lives in love!
And then… one day, the things we thought were cute or funny, endearing even, are now annoying, all the habits and mannerisms that drew us to this person now get on our last nerve! We begin to question, “Is it supposed to be this hard?” “If I’m with the right person, should we struggle, every day?” Some days it seems like everything that drew us to this person now annoys us. Too often, people walk away from marriage at this stage. Our nation is all about easy, quick, fast fixes. Marriage is not easy, but it can be fulfilling, you can grow as an individual, as a couple, as a family. If you stay the course, seek help when needed, surround yourself with other couples who have similar values and marriage goals as you and your spouse you can succeed! Your marriage can thrive. In this phase of love, when the butterflies and easy conversation fade, you must be intentional and faithful. Some steps you can take to grow your marriage are communicate, communicate, communicate!
Keep God in the center of your marriage. Pray together, ask God to guide your marriage, yourself, and your spouse in the direction to prosper your marriage and keep your focus on one another. God gives us the gift of marriage and it is our job to nurture it. If we hold each other accountable, pray together, and are intentional about keeping our vows and communicating our needs to God, as well as each other, we can better understand our partners needs. A couple’s devotional is a great way to keep your focus on God leading your marriage. The Bible has plenty to say about marriage, it gives us examples of good relationships and what NOT to do in marriage. Take time to look at scripture about marriage and love, and then talk about what is missing in your marriage.
Almost all couples who are struggling in marriage report they do not communicate in their daily lives. They are so busy with work, small kids, big kids, sports, dance recitals, plays, drama, church, community, household chores, you name it, life gets in the way of our marriage. We hardly see our spouse let alone speak to them. Again, being intentional about taking time to talk about busy schedules, who is going where, talking and discussing family needs and who will cover what event, helps alleviate the stress and busyness. It keeps us connected and working together!
We also need to be heard; part of communication is actively listening to our spouse. So many couples report “I don’t feel heard, so I just stop asking” “We fight about the same things over and over” communication stops and resentment builds. Taking time to listen to our spouse’s needs and taking action to meet those needs is a must in your marriage. Being intentional about communicating, I feel, I need… followed by action keeps your marriage moving forward. Learning conflict resolution skills can help you be a better listener, process your emotions, and come to an agreement or a compromise. It takes practice, your therapist can help you with this skill.
NEVER stop dating your spouse! Date night is a crucial time to laugh, have fun, ask silly questions, be in the moment and make each other feel cherished and loved. Put your phone down, leave your worries for another day, direct all your attention to your spouse and have light fun conversation, reconnect and focus on the love that brought you together.
Communication is the lifeline to all relationships! It nurtures and grows relationships with friends, parents, businesses, and most importantly our spouse. It is the single most important thing we can do, communicate with God, communicate with our spouse, communicate with our family, our business partners, the list goes on… At New Vision we value our own marriages and we are committed to helping you navigate your marriage. I love all things about marriage counseling, pre-marital, couples looking for a little extra help, couples in crisis. We can give you tools and strategies to grow a struggling marriage to a thriving marriage. We trust God to bring you back to one another and teach you how to communicate in a safe, non-threatening environment. The bible has much to offer about marriage, that is our foundation along with therapeutic strategies to foster change and bring long lasting love. We should never question God’s intention for our marriage, he doesn’t want us to take the easy way out. God wants us to stand on the vows we made to him, to each other, and our families. Prepare to fight for your love, enjoy the peaks and talk through the valleys, your marriage is worth it!
It all starts and ends with solid communication!!