We asked nine women what their number one habit is for keeping a marriage strong. Their answers are all habits we should have in our own relationships.
1. Have one-on-one time - Lonica
Wife of 23 years, Lonica Knudsen, says the number one thing that has helped her grow closer with her husband is consistently spending one-on-one time together. "Set aside at least 30 minutes daily to spend together and go on at least one date night per week." With three rowdy boys living at home, setting even a short amount of time aside each day can be hard, but she and her husband make it a priority.
What you and your spouse do during your daily one-on-one sessions is up to you (and it can be hard to find in your busy schedule) but setting aside weekly dates is sure to improve your relationship.
Texan Jaclyne Loera says communication is key for a strong marriage. "I think before I talk, so I don't just say something mean or something I didn't really want to say. I've learned that over the years!" Jaclyne said this habit goes hand in hand with making time for each other. With these habits, Jaclyne says despite the challenges of recently moving between different states, she and her husband have gotten so much stronger as a couple.
Getting into the habit of thinking about how your words make your spouse feel is a great way to strengthen the bond between wife and husband.
3. Ask nicely and say thank you - Shellianne
Shellianne White from Utah says "it's easy for me to expect my husband to do certain things without me asking, because it seems obvious to me that it needs to be done. So then I stew about it and get angry because he hasn't done it; all the while he has no idea I'm even stewing about something!"
In Shellianne's experience, she's learned that simply asking her husband for something (even if it seems obvious) eliminates a lot of frustration. Then, of course, remembering to acknowledge his gratitude for his help goes a long way.
4. Have the mindset you can't change your spouse - Kristina
Kristina Park says she's keep her marriage strong by not changing her spouse. "You can only change yourself and your reactions to things," says Kristina. She says there have been a lot times she wished her husband did things differently, but she learned "to instead try to think what I can do differently to make a situation better instead of dwelling on how he needs to change, regardless of if he needs to or not. Don't victimize yourself!"
Changing your mindset from "I wish my spouse would change" to "what can I do differently to make the situation better" is a very useful habit to have to be happier in marriage.
5. Acknowledge your spouse's love language - KateLyn
For KateLyn Jenkins, she can be completely happy just by cuddling with her husband while watching TV at night because her love language leans towards physical touch. "For some reason, that makes any negative feelings or worry about us just melt away."
If your spouse leans towards words of affirmation, focus on giving your spouse compliments often. If your spouse's dominant love language is quality time, purposefully spend time together. Finding out each other's love language is a great way to know the best ways to strengthen your bond as husband and wife.
6. Serve each other - Kari
Kari Campbell said the most important thing she has found to keep a strong marriage "is to serve each other." Kari makes it a habit to serve her husband every day. "Lots of people think the grass would be greener with someone else, but what really is needed is to tend and water your own lawn."
Service is a huge way to make your spouse feel loved - and the more love you show for each other, the stronger your marriage will be.
Emery Rodziewicz, says the key to keeping her marriage a success is all about smiling. "I have to remember to laugh at the hard and unexpected stuff." Emery says she also always makes sure to put a smile on her husband's face no matter how hard the day way. By having these habits, Emery says her husband (and her kids) know that they are the most important things in her life.
8. Don't ignore issues - Josse
Josse Tobiasson says she's learned to not ignore any issues going on between her and her husband. "Keeping open the lines of communication in all relationships I think is key." Instead silently stewing about a confrontation between them, Josse makes it a habit to address the problem.
While some couples may lean more towards passive aggression when it comes to marital issues, a good habit to form in your marriage is addressing problems right away. This will keep your marriage's communications skills at a good level and help the two of you to resolve any complications you might be having.
9. A simple morning routine - Lori
Lori Park, who got married in 1982, says she does one very specific thing every morning, and it's helped the love between her and her husband grow. "Wake up every morning and say to yourself, 'what can I do to make my eternal companion's day a good one?'" Lori says after years of this morning routine not makes her husband's day better, but also ensures she has a good day herself.
These nine women have strengthened their marriage with their selfless and thoughtful habits. If we all took these practices into our own marriages, our relationship with our spouse is sure to strengthen and flourish.