Words of Wisdom for Marriage
Stages of Marriage
In the article, For Every Marriage, Stages of Marriage, it states, "All marriags experience change and transition. That's what keeps them alive and growing." (www.foryourmarriage.org)
According to the article, my marriage is in the "middle years (6-25 years), which usually coincide with the active parenting stage." I am going into the seventh year of marriage with my husband. We are finding that marriage does have transitions and stages, growth and change. We each are growing and changing as individuals, too. As the years go on, we know that we need to continue to find ways to work on our marriage and adjust to any changes and transitions that occur in our lives, especially while raising the kids in which the article says, "The marriage satisfaction rate drops significantly for parents with young children."
We have gone through obstacles like many married couples and may go through more as our family and lives change and grow. A positive attitude and the willingness to adjust and work through our relationship will play a big part in keeping our commitment strong so we have decided to start now to keep our marriage pumping!
Food for Thought for Marriage
We have a long way to go with our marriage but have gained some experience through these years that may be helpful to others. I wanted to share what we have learned that helps with our relationship and the things we try to remember to keep our bond strong.
Food for thought for married couples:
1. Respect each other.
2. Make a point to fall in love with each other repeatedly. One of my college professors said, "The thing with love is that if you can fall in love with one person, you can fall in love with anyone so the secret to staying happy with your spouse is to fall in love with each other over and over again."
3. Talk about what you love about your spouse regularly to remind yourself and him/her why you fell in love with one another .
4. Clean up after yourselves around the house. Don't make your spouse feel like they are your mother or worse, like a maid, who picks up your clothes/belongings after you. You don't want them to treat you like a child or resent you.
5. Try your best every day to show your best side. Don't just save it for others.
6. Be excited when you see each other after being apart; smile, kiss, hug and embrace each other like little kids do when they greet their parents at the door. Show your spouse they have been missed. They will look forward to coming home.
7. Find creative and new ways to get closer as a couple whether it be sharing something like a new hobby or going out more to events or places you have not experienced. New experiences keeps the relationship interesting and exciting. For instance, I started a book club with just my husband so we have our own special activity to share with one another; it brings us closer and offers us something more to discuss.
8. Don’t fall into boring, predictable routines that lack excitement. We all develop routines, some are necessary but throw in something different every now and then to change it up for the better.
9. Hand out compliments to one another often and don’t compliment other people more than each other. There is something very wrong with that!
10. Give constructive criticism kindly. Use caring words and a loving attitude.
11. Take an interest in each other’s interest. I love reading and recently, I started reading things out of my norm to share my husband’s love of reading like Mangas (Japanese comics) and watching more anime movies with him. He also takes an interest in the books and movies I enjoy. He even agreed to take dance classes with me!
12. Find ways to surprise each other every now and then - the good kind, not the bad! Bring home a favorite dessert, flowers or take your spouse out for a nice dinner, movie or something else they would appreciate.
13. Make it a point to know your spouse like you know yourself, to understand him/her as much as possible.
14. Let your spouse in when they want to get to know you more and are trying to understand you.
15. Always be on the same team and stand united whether it be with your kids, other family members, friends, coworkers or anyone else. Others shouldn’t expect either of you to stand divided or try to divide you.
16. Be each others best friend. Confide in each other.
17. Be lovers. Give each other the “bedroom eyes” whenever possible.
18. Make time to be intimate and experience closeness with one another often.
19. Don’t hang up the phone on one another when you’re upset.
20. Don’t make your spouse feel like he/she has competition with others.
22. Don’t compare your spouse to others.
22. Go on regular dates (with each other). Take turns planning the date.
23. Celebrate every anniversary. Get the dates correct!
24. Work on your marriage while it’s still good and you‘re both still happy with one another. Don’t wait until it seems unfixable to nurture your relationship.
25. Stop what you’re doing every now and then and hold each other.
26. Give each other massages.
27. Cook and do chores together.
28. Exercise together. Motivate one another to be healthy.
29. Pray together and pray together with your children.
30. Don’t fight in front of your children.
31. Make decisions together.
32. Give each other space when needed but be careful not to shut out your spouse.
33. Respect one another as individuals. Don’t expect your spouse to always agree with you; instead, respectfully disagree.
34. Kiss and make up as soon as possible, don’t wait for your spouse to apologize first. You both may end up waiting a long time.
35. Accept when you are wrong or made a mistake. Admit it and resolve it together.
36. Keep your identity. Share your whole self but don’t lose yourself, who you were and who you want to be.
37. Be each other’s biggest fan and support one another’s dreams and goals.
38. Encourage your spouse to be the best he/she can be. Help him/her to do that.
39. Say loving things to one another often. Leave out the vulgar language and profanity. Neither one of you will feel good saying it or hearing it.
40. Cuddle, smile, hug and touch as much as possible.
41. Really listen to one another. Communication is always important in all relationships.
42. Something I learned during my pre-marital class that holds true: “When you and your spouse have an argument and one of you wins, you both lose.”
43. Don’t focus on one another's flaws because soon, that‘s all you may see about one another; we are human, we all have them.
44. Talk about your future together often. Isn’t that the goal to reach, after all, in a marriage - to still be sharing your lives in the future?
45. Continue to flirt (with each other). Who says all the fun and excitement have to stop when you are married?
46. Make your relationship a priority. Schedule dates, schedule time to talk, make appointments with each other. Meet for coffee for an hour. Go out together.
47. Spend time with other married couples
48. Consider renewing your vows.
49. Keep your relationship private, don’t discuss every detail (especially bad ones) with family and friends. If you need advice or help, consider a counselor, church minister or priest.
50. We have never tried counseling and I have heard mixed opinions on whether they help so please research this for yourself with your spouse but don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to seek counseling if you think it will help. If you do need outside help with your relationship, you may want to look into this; your marriage is worth the effort.
Stop by my blog for more insights and ideas on marriage and relationships:
Adjust through Changes Like Raising Children
Marriage is a Process
For Every Marriage, Stages of Marriage divides marriage into chronological time frames of:
- Newly Married (0-5 years)
- Middle (6-25 years)
- Later Years (26+ years), also known as the "empty nest" years
"Another way of looking at transitions in marriage is through cycles of growth. Most relationships move through cycles that include":
- Mature Love
Stages of Marriage explains that the bottom line is that marriage is a process and recognizing that there are various stages helps to deter couples from misinterpreting these transitions negatively. Realizing that there are common stages to go through in marriage may avoid couples from turning to divorce.
You can find all this information at the For Your Marriage website.
Growing in Marriage
What stage are you in with your marriage?
Challenges to Face in Marriage
Check out some of my other work for suggestions to keep your relationship growing:
- Creative Things to do with Your Partner to Keep Your Relationship/Marriage Interesting
Every relationship needs to be nurtured with love and given attention to survive. Life's daily chaos makes it hard at times to focus on it so adding in positive routines to rebuild it is important.
- Tips to Create the Perfect First Wedding Anniversary Paper Gift Idea: Love Letters
Love letters make perfect paper gifts for that first anniversary or for any occasion to show your spouse how much you love them.
- A Poem About Love: Falling Into Wonderland - Part 1
Love can sometimes feel unreal as if you are falling into a Wonderland world like when Alice arrived in her own wonderland. Love can turn your world upside down as your emotions take over.
- A Poem About Love: Falling Into Wonderland - Part 2
Love is not made up of logic and reason. It does not follow a straight path but sometimes you feel as if you are falling down into the rabbit hole where magic and dreams dwell.