5 Quick Tips for a Healthy Marriage
1. Pre-Marital—if you are thinking about getting married, pre-marital counseling is a must! A very high percentage of the married couples who see me in crisis did not go through pre-marital counseling. Pre-marital counseling will set your marriage up for success by flushing out potential issues and giving you tools in advance to deal with those issues once they arise. If you are already married and did not go through pre-marital, all is not lost! Keep reading.
2. Tune-Ups—We take our cars in for tune-ups and we only expect to have those for several years. We
want our marriages to run like a finely tuned sports car and to last the rest of our lives, but we often put more effort into the maintenance of our cars than our marriages!
Give your marriage regular care and maintenance by seeing a marriage counselor or therapist when you hit a bump in the road. When your car is making a scary sound, you take it in to an expert to get it looked at before it blows up. Do the same with your marriage!
3. Date Night—With today’s fast paced and busy lifestyles, it is vital for married couples to carve out intentional time each week with the goal of focusing on each other and having fun. For a successful date night follow these rules:
- Be clear with each other on expectations.
- Put effort into planning.
- Get out of the house.
- Arrange childcare in advance.
- Keep the mood positive. Date night is not the time to talk about problems; it is time for fun and romance.
- Unless there is a true emergency, keep your promise to have a date.
4. Do-over—Every couple has disagreements and arguments. That is simply part of doing life together. If we always agreed on everything, life would be boring. If you want to move past disagreements and arguments in a fast and healthy way, then agree to have a do-over rule with your spouse.
Agree in advance that part of the culture of your marriage is that when one of you says “let’s have a do-over”, then you both agree to take a breath, let the issue go, and start fresh. Do-overs are a tool you can use to avoid getting trapped in negative situations of relative unimportance while staying focused on the big picture of having a healthy, loving marriage.
5. Prayer—There really is truth to the old adage that “the family that prays together stays together”. Dr. David Stoop, licensed psychologist and author of over twenty-five books on marriage and relationships, asserts that there is research proving that married couples who regularly pray together have a significantly lower divorce rate.
Carve out a few minutes each day to sit together, hold hands, and pray for each other. This will take your relationship to a whole new level of intimacy. Once you begin to do this, you learn that it really is hard to remain angry or resentful at someone you are praying for on a regular basis.