Do you ever wonder why relationships are so messed up? Why so many marriages are falling apart? It could be as simple as we’re not working on our relationships. Our society doesn’t put an emphasis on building relationships anymore, just tearing them down. There’s just not enough time, right? It’s not the popular thing to do, or the convenient and easy thing to do. It’s easier to just let a relationship happen and not put effort into it. But that doesn’t work.
When we were dating, we didn’t really have to work on our relationship, it just kinda happened. We were in love after all. We were still in that getting to know each other stage. There wasn’t a need to work on the relationship, it just happened. Then came the first year of marriage and we couldn’t figure out why things seemed so wonky. Why things just didn’t happen anymore.
It’s because we were never taught that we would actually need to work on relationships. That we would need to build them, grow with them, cultivate them and give grace during them. Besides not being taught that we NEED to work on them, we definitely were not taught HOW to work on them.
- Recognize the importance of your relationship with your spouse.
- Identify the four steps necessary to implement good relationship techniques.
- Discover the attainability of a great relationship with your spouse
A Life-Challenge Can Wreak Havoc on Your Marriage if You’re Not Prepared
Our son was born at 24-weeks. That’s almost four months early. He was barely over one pound and 12 inches long. As you can imagine, it was quite a challenging time. He was on life-support for two months, then on oxygen for months after that. There were many nights that the doctors said to “be prepared, there’s not much else that can be done.” He had bleeding in his brain. His skin was translucent and we could barely touch him. They gave him a poor prognosis. But he made it. We made it.
Can you imagine going through that journey alone, even if you are married? So many couples do just that. Go through an earth-shattering life-change…alone.
I am thankful for what my husband and I learned before that challenge. We learned to work on our relationship. To build it up. Who knew we were building it up and making it strong for such a time as that? There is no way that our marriage would have survived the stress of that situation if we had not built our relationship prior and become strong together. We depended on each other then, just as we do now.
4-Steps To Implement Good Relationship Techniques
1) Create a Plan
Figure out what is important in your life? Your Faith. Staying married? Strengthening your marriage?
When you’re coming up with a new plan, a new goal, those plans and goals needs to be specific.
I’m going to read marriage books to improve my marriage
I’m going to spend 30 minutes of uninterrupted time with my spouse; no phones, no kids, no tv.
I’m going to invest in my marriage by attending marriage conferences or seeing a marriage counselor.
I’m going to send clear messages to my husband instead of mixed ones, and not expect him to read my mind.
Let your spouse know about your plans. Let them know that you want to make your marriage better and you’re starting with baby-steps. Let him or her hold you accountable, graciously. If you’re brave enough and ready, ask him or her to let you know when they see something that you could improve on.
2) Put The Plan Into Practice
Take action steps for your plan, do something, start small. You don’t have to do everything, just do one thing. Or just the beginning of the plan.
Write it down, where you can see it!
Sticky notes on your bathroom mirror
In your calendar or planner and hold yourself accountable to the plan
Making this plan is part of a lifestyle change. You are doing this to improve your marriage, to make it last. This isn’t meant to be a quick fix, so don’t treat it like that. It takes a while to get things moving forward. Treat this is a long-long-term project.
Once you’ve made your plan, follow up on your promises. If you made a commitment, even to only yourself, hold yourself to those promises you made.
If you are studying your marriage in the Word or in other books or media, don’t just be a hearer of the what you are learning, be a doer of it. You know the scripture, James 1:22, “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” There is a reason God instructs and gives us help in many places like books, videos, the Bible, other people. Because He knows what He’s talking about. He wants the best for us and knows what we need. He wants us to be happy. Those instructions are not for Him! They are for us, to listen and do!
List what you are doing to accomplish your plan. Have an action plan. Then check it off each day.
I’m going to read a marriage book 15 minutes everyday.
I won’t say anything negative to my spouse.
I will give my spouse one compliment each day.
I won’t jump to conclusions when he or she has done something or tries to tell me something.
3) Pursue Your Spouse
Your husband or wife is worth the effort it will take to make the plan and follow through. Your marriage is worth it for so many reasons. Stability. Companionship. Life-long friend. Family. Love. Trust. Go after your spouse. Let them know with your actions that you are after them with a loving, respectful and serving heart.
Don’t keep score any more. Just enjoy the good parts. Ignore the faults and mistakes. Because we all make them. Let your husband or wife know how special they are. How thankful you are to have them with you, by your side.
Would your spouse know that you are fighting for them and for your marriage. Or do they feel that you are fighting against them and your marriage? With every action step you take, ask yourself, “is this fighting for my marriage or against my marriage?”
Changing can be really super-duper hard for some. You won’t succeed at it alone. Get on your knees before God and PRAY! Ask Him for guidance and help. For wisdom and grace. To show you what you need to do, where you need to work, how to love your spouse. How to build a strong relationship with him or her. Pray for your marriage. Pray for your spouse. Pray for you!
God will answer your prayers, on His Timeline. Just because you’re not seeing an improvement yet, don’t quit the plan. Don’t quit praying.
Having a great relationship with your spouse is not unrealistic. BUT it will take some work. Anything good takes work. Raising children takes works. Being successful at your job takes work. Being a friend takes work. Your marriage is no different. It will take work.
A great marriage is very attainable. Start this plan and be on your way to a happy marriage.
Women! Who doesn’t love to journal, or at least buy a new one? Either pull one of those journals out of the closet, or go grab a new one. Guys, if you’re not into journaling, start a new note in your phone. It’s a great place to keep little reminders with you all the time.
Use this journal to keep track of building your marriage strong.
What can you journal about?
- What is important to you about your marriage. Or what would you like to be important to you?
- Write down 5 good/admirable qualities about your spouse. Add to this list all the time.
- Write down 5 things you would like to do better in your marriage. There is always something to work on, this list can grow too.
- Keep track of the 4 steps that you are going to do to make your marriage great:
- Write down your plan.
- Write down how you will put it into practice.
- Keep track of ways you are pursuing your spouse.
- Write down what you are praying for. Then keep track when those prayers are answered.
- Keep track of successes, of happy moments, of good times. (This helps you remember the good stuff when you’re down-in-the-dumps about your marriage)
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