We live in a world of fragile marriages. It’s a hard thing to think about, and it can get even harder for many to discuss, but it is the reality right in front of us. Human nature has taken control, selfishness has hurt many individuals, and marriages are being started and stopped faster than you can say “Matrimony.” It makes sense on why so many individuals are skeptic about taking on a commitment as big as marriage is, but that really shouldn’t be the case!
I’ve recently seen a friend, in her 20’s, go through the emotional roller coaster of divorce. The only salvaging point of the process is that they didn’t have kids, so no extra emotions to try and get much needed counseling and spiritual healing from. She’s doing better, and I know God has plans for her, but I still hurt for her through it all.
You may be in that scary point of your marriage where the “D” word may not have popped-up yet, but you and your spouse know it’s there in the air. Or maybe, the Lord willing, you’re at a strong spot in your matrimonial union and you can’t thank God enough for everything going smoothly so far. Either way, as I like to say time and time again, extra tools in your tool belt of marriage could never hurt! So thankfully, mother, wife and writer Sasha Brown-Worsham have a few thoughts on what could help to continue to strengthen your marriage, as we all hope could happen for you and your loved-one:
1.) Hire a standing Saturday night babysitter: “If you aren’t lucky enough to have family or friends in town who can take your kids, this is one little thing that is worth the money. Both my husband and I work full-time so we tend to leave after we put our kids to bed, but even so, you can still catch a late movie and dinner at 8:30 and your sitter will love you for giving her a super easy job. If you can’t afford that, then at the very least do a mock date night. Order in, eat at the table by candlelight, and snuggle after the kids are in bed.”
2.) Asking how his day is and actually listen to the answer: “Too often we are rushed and in a hurry to get from one thing to the next. We may ask, ‘How was your day?’ but do we really listen to the answer? Could you tell us how his day REALLY was? Ask for details. Care.”
3.) Limit nagging (even when it’s painful): “Sometimes it’s hard NOT to nag, but it’s not sexy and it’s not good for the long-term health of a marriage. Just stop doing it. Better yet, keep a list of things that need to be done and have it on the fridge or in some central location. That way everyone knows what’s up and there is no need to keep asking for the same thing again and again.”
4.) Work out together: “We are lucky enough to belong to a gym with good childcare, so our kids go for an hour while we jump on the treadmill and hit the weights together. It’s a good time to talk and be alone and also get those endorphin’s pumping.”
5.) Read the same books: “If your husband is reading something, even if it’s something you would never read, pick it up after him. It gives you something to discuss, and very often, it’s a great way to get even deeper into his head. It can be surprisingly intimate.”