As an editor at FamilyShare, I have read my fair share of articles written by our amazing authors. Marriage is our most popular topic. We have hundreds of articles devoted to discussing marriage. After reading and editing around 100 articles about marriage and relationships, I've noticed five common ideas. Here are the recurring topics continuously discussed as ways to strengthen your marriage:
As they say, it is cheaper to pay for a babysitter than a lawyer.
At the start of each week, pick a night where you and your spouse are both free. Call your babysitter or relative to see if they can watch the kids for a couple of hours. Then, plan your date. You can spend the money for dinner at your favorite restaurant, or do something that doesn't cost a cent, like going for a walk or window shopping. Or, go to the book store and browse books together. All matters is that you both are taking time together.
2. Be nice
This may seem simple enough, but making a conscientious effort each and every day to be kind to your spouse makes an enormous impact. Let them sleep in a bit while you help the kids in the morning. Iron their favorite shirt for work. Send them a sweet text in the middle of the day. Prepare their favorite dessert for when they get home. Fill up their car with gas for them. Any nice action - whether big or small - shows you are thinking of them.
Your spouse is not a mind reader. You most likely are not one either. You have to remember this when you are having a stressful day and want their help. Communicate exactly what you need from your husband or wife and listen to what they say in return.
Also, if you have expectations about what is going to happen for a birthday, anniversary or date night, voice these to your spouse. You don't want to feel let down or blindsided by something you expected to happen, but didn't.
4. Do something fun together
You run. He fly fishes. You love to bake. He loves to grill. You love rom-com movies. He loves sci-fi movies. Sure, you have differences in your relationship (and differences are good!) but you need to find things that you like to do together, too. Try a hobby that neither of you have done before like tennis, painting or even soccer! Sign up for lessons together or go to the park to try out a new sport.
For cold winter nights, find a television series you to both like to watch. He might like action and you like romance, but everyone likes to laugh, right? Look for a comedian or funny sitcom to watch together while you cuddle up. After the kids are in bed, pop some popcorn and enjoy a quiet hour laughing with your spouse.
Some of us pray daily on our own, but when was the last time you prayed with your spouse? Try praying every night or morning with your spouse to help them with their struggles. Hearing your husband or wife say your name and praying for you gives you a boost of reassurance and love.
If you do not pray, find ways to let your spouse know you want to help with their challenges. Leave encouraging notes, praising him for his hard work. Or, hug her extra tight at the beginning of each day. Anything to let your spouse know you are their biggest fan.
There are always little things we can do to improve our marriage; these five ideas are the most popular, but also seem to be the most successful. Try them out for yourself and see what they can do for your relationship.