Do you know how to improve your marriage? Do you need to? One of the biggest enemies of a good marriage is a mediocre one. Many of us have mediocre marriages. If somebody asked how your marriage is really going, you’d probably think for a second, shrug your shoulders, and say “fine.” You get along “fine.” You handle the kids together “fine.” Everything is “fine.” But the problem with “fine” is that we tend to settle for it. But isn’t fine good enough?
No. Not everyone needs to have a marriage that is on fire with romance, of course. That’s largely unrealistic (a few of you manage that and I am in awe). However, many of our fine marriages are just a little effort shy of becoming good. Moving from fine to good can happen as a result of your commitment to developing certain habits that will improve your marriage over time. Here are 5 habits that will improve your marriage if you commit to them over the long haul.
We’re busy people. Careers, kids, volunteering, and faith communities take up all our time. Sometimes, it seems like the only time you talk to each other is when you’re discussing schedules and deciding who is driving which kid where. We need to be more intentional about connecting.
This doesn’t have to take a big chunk of time. But it does need to happen on a regular basis—perhaps 15 minutes each night before you go to bed, 10 minutes in the morning as you drink your coffee, during breakfast on the weekend, and in text messages throughout the day.
Courtship is an archaic word, but it describes the period when you’re trying to woo your spouse. You remember it, right? You sent her sappy cards, made her a mixtape of her favorite songs, planned elaborate dates. What if courting didn’t stop once she said I do and instead, you developed a habit of doing little things to woo your wife? What if you made an effort together? Planning date nights once a month, writing romantic cards, buying her gifts, going for walks together. You might be surprised at what changes when you put in a little effort.
3. CuriosityCultivate the habit of curiosity when it comes to your wife.
In fine marriages, we often assume we know each other. After all, you’ve been married for 5, 10, 20 years. What else could you learn about your wife? Probably a lot. Practice asking questions about your wife’s day, her interests, what she’s excited about, anxious over. Maybe this could happen every night when you connect. Cultivate the habit of curiosity when it comes to your wife. You may be surprised what you learn.
You need to fight for your wife and her passions. What is she passionate about? Encourage her to pursue that. Obviously, there are variables to sort through to ensure that you’re both working toward what’s best for the other and the family. But far too often, our western culture assumes, especially when kids come along, that a wife puts her dreams on hold to take care of the family. Of course, she will sacrifice, but so should you. And part of that sacrifice is creating space so that she gets to pursue her dreams, too. If people ever ask your wife who her biggest fan is, it ought to be you.
The best marriages tend to involve community. You cannot be everything your wife needs nor can she be all you need. Make a habit of spending time with people you both enjoy and who are in favor of your relationship thriving. This could be a church group, a community organization, or just a group of friends you both enjoy hanging out with. Just as no man is an island, neither is any marriage.
Earn some points! Share this iMOM article with your wife: 3 Little Things You Can Do This Week for a Better Marriage.
Sound off: Which one of these habits could you begin cultivating today?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your wife and ask, “What is one habit we could create that would help us improve our marriage?”