Last week, my wife got upset with me over something really small. What I did was wrong, but I couldn’t figure out why she was so upset and then it finally occurred to me. It had been a while since we spent time together. When she feels connected to me the missteps and miscommunications are easier to get over. When there is disconnection it’s a lot harder.
The key to having a good marriage is taking time to be together. Here’s our suggestion — 30/1/1. Spend 30 minutes a day one-on-one with your spouse. Have 1 “date night in,” a week where you all watch a movie together, play a game, or tackle a project. Finally, plan for 1 date night out a month at your favorite restaurant. Make 30/1/1 your foundation, then add our 10 ways to have a vibrant marriage.
1. Make a decision and be deliberate.
We tend to do what we want to do. So decide to work on your marriage. Sign a contract with yourself, or with your wife, if that helps, but avoid being haphazard regarding this kind of commitment.
2. Tell your wife you want nothing less than the best marriage possible.
Marriage communication makes all the difference. You made the decision, now speak it out loud. Say it with flowers, or another meaningful gift. There’s power in putting such a commitment into words.
3. Understand that it’s not all about you.
Actively think about marriage as a partnership, and then make sure that you don’t stop at 50% when it comes to giving. The best way to ensure you are loved eloquently is to love your wife with abandon first. Family leadership starts here.
4. Tape this list on your bathroom mirror and commit to it every day:
- I love my wife
- I will work to bring my wife joy today
- I promise to build her up
- I will be an active listener in my marriage today
- I can’t wait to do something creative for my wife today!
5. Call your wife during the day and tell her you love her.
We tend to believe things that are repeated consistently. Take the time to tell your wife how wonderful it is to be married to her—and it will be that wonderful to be married to her.
6. Make your relationship with your wife your first priority.
It’s not about the kids; it’s about the family into which the kids are born. Children are happier when their parents are happy. Finances are better when a married couple communicates. People are physically healthier when they are in healthy relationships, especially healthy family relationships. It’s about having a good marriage—period!
7. Take turns coordinating one fun couple’s activity every week.
When both partners are active in terms of investing in the relationship, vibrancy is a natural by-product.
8. Schedule “us time” at least once a week, preferably twice.
The fact is that you will be more productive at work if you’re happy at home.The fact is that you will be more productive at work if you’re happy at home. Your volunteer work will be more effective if you don’t blow off each other in order to support the PTA or your church. Nurture the core of the family, and the family can reach out from that strength.
9. Never take one another for granted!
This is the most common reason for mediocre marriages. People just drift apart due to lack of effort. Your marriage relationship is more important than ANYTHING ELSE in which you’re involved. Invest in one another.
10. Learn more about marriage.
You’ve heard of the routine physical for your body or the 12,000-mile service on your car, or how about the annual “well-visit” you schedule for the dog and the cat? Well, get some essential maintenance done on the marriage. Take a seminar, book a session with a counselor, or attend a couple’s retreat through your church. Be a step ahead. Keep growing in your relationship.
Sound off: How do you keep your marriage vibrant?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “If you could do one thing each week with me, what would it be?”