Surprising Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage

I've kind of always wanted to be the perfect wife, and I don't know, I think I'm doing an okay job so far. But I also think one of the reasons why my husband and I have such a strong bond is because I'm one of those old fashion wives. But you also don't have to be an old fashioned house wife to have a strong, lasting marriage. 

This post is sponsored by BetterHelp. 

I know there are a lot of women and men out there rolling their eyes at the entire idea of an old fashioned marriage. But there are still ways to incorporate some old fashioned ideals into your relationship without all the ridiculous "one gender is better than the other" things that we all cringe at now. I'll admit, for many years women spent all their time catering to the man of the house. It was hardly equal attention and despite all that, marriages lasted much, much longer. So you have to ask yourself, what has changed through the years to contribute to such a high divorce rate. Surely it's not the equal rights thing, but maybe in some small way, it is. Think about it. Now, men and women both work. Not in all cases, but in most this is true. In the other cases, one person usually stays home with the kids while the other works. In both cases, no one has time for one another anymore. So this brings me to the beginning of my list.

1. Make time for one another. This is literally the most simple way to strengthen a marriage. Or at least you would think it would be. However, with today's busy lifestyle, it's hard to have time for ourselves, much less anyone else. So you need to make time. Particularly every single day if you can swing it. Even if this means the last few minutes before you fall asleep at night or in the morning while waiting for your Keurig to brew. Just take a few moments to be in each other's company. This list has some add on suggestions to this, so read on. 

2. Schedule in a date night at least once a month. This is something that my husband and I have been doing since our first year of marriage. Just because you are married now, doesn't mean you should stop dating your partner. As a matter of fact, I had read a study recently that had specifically stated that couples who have a date night once a week were more likely to have lasting marriages. I tend to think this is fairly accurate, because when you think about it, date nights are a great way to help you reconnect, communicate with one another, and just remind each other why you fell in love in the first place. Obviously this becomes harder once kids come along, but date night doesn't always mean leaving the house. You can have many great date nights at home once the children are in bed for the night. 

3. Talk. About everything. One of the most important things in a marriage is communication, and while this seems like a no brainer, you would be surprised how frequently this ends up also being the biggest obstacle and sort of a brick wall in the relationship. I use to keep a lot of things bottled up. Mostly things that I just felt I didn't want to burden my husband with. However, I soon realized that my unloading wasn't a burden on him at all. It actually brought us closer together because part of being a couple is to just be there for one another through hard times. And it's a two way street. When he has a bad day at work, he knows he can come home and talk to me about it, and just unload. 

4. Pamper your spouse a little. I am probably going to get so many hate mail for this one, but trust me, it's not beneath you to give your spouse a random back rub after a long day, or bring them a cold beverage. Too often now I see Facebook littered with posts from females saying they don't believe they should have to "wait on" anyone (except maybe their children). I am telling you right now, this isn't a sexist thing. Everyone enjoys having little things done for them. This isn't saying you need to constantly serve them and cut their food for them like you would a child. This is just saying that it's the little things that really make a difference. When my husband sits down to relax at night, I give him a massage and make sure he has a snack and beverage. Yes, I do this every night, but you know what? He does the exact same thing for me during the day while I'm working. He brings me snacks and drinks and will sit and give me a foot rub while I'm hammering out blog posts. It's not spoiling them. It's not demeaning. It just shows that you care. 

5. Remind your partner how much you appreciate them. This one is so easy, but sometimes we just get in a habit and forget how important this is. When your significant other does something to help you out, say thank you and be sincere about it. Even if it's just keeping an eye on the baby for a few minutes so you can get a much needed shower. Leave them random notes in their lunch box or through out the house with cute sayings or a number of things that made you fall in love with them. I do this a lot with my husband. When I pack his lunch box, I sometimes put in a cute little note. Or there have been times I have left post it notes on the bathroom mirror, listing every thing I love about him or all the reasons I am thankful for him. A random text message or Facebook wall post works, too! I still remember one particular message my husband sent me on Facebook while he was at work during a rough time in my life. It was about how his love for me is an ocean that he would proudly swim every single day, and that if I go under, he would always dive in and save me. It truly is the little things that can brighten a person's day, and they will remember that forever. 

6. Marriage Counseling. I know exactly what you are thinking. Like, surely you would only need this if things were falling apart, right? Wrong. So many people think that marriage counseling is a last resort to saving a broken marriage, but the truth is that it's for everyone. Traditionally, some churches would have you go through a little pre-marriage counseling prior to even walking down the aisle. This was a way to find out if a lot of couples were able to work through any issues that would possibly arise in the future and how to deal with them together in a manner that would help build them up instead of tearing them down. This seems to have been lost through the years in some churches, but I still think it works today. You don't have to have problems to go to therapy together. As a matter of fact, counselors are there to help strengthen your bond either way. 

7. Show interest in each other's hobbies. When my husband and I started dating, he was a huge comic book nerd and I was just a book nerd in general. I had read comics, but nothing he did, and I certainly hadn't watched any anime before that. He was so into these things, so I let him talk my ear off about all the things he loved. I would research those things on my own. I even sat and asked him questions and let him explain things to me. Wouldn't you know it, I ended up starting to really enjoy the things he liked as well. Even now, I can see how his eyes light up when show an interest in the things he likes. I can see the spark when I ask him a question about a character and he prepares to sit and give me the run down on a comic book's story line. I go to conventions and gun raffles with him because that's his thing. His happy places. And he goes to museums and historical landmarks and cemeteries with me. My happy places. What I'm trying to say is, you may hate football, but your spouse loves it. So surprise them by wearing his favorite team's jersey when he walks through the door and watch the game with him. Or even though you don't see all the hype about Fortnite, but your significant other loves it, take a little bit to sit and play a round or two with them.

Hubby and before the Red Hot Chili Peppers (my favorite band) took the stage in Pittsburgh May 2017

These are just some of the things that have worked for my husband and I. We have been a couple for 13 years and will be celebrating our 12th year of marriage this November. I still get butterflies when he pulls in from work and he calls me on his lunch breaks or his early morning break just to chat for no reason and see how my morning is going. He's my zing. 


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