Here are 10 habits that will strengthen your marriage.  A habit is something that you do so routinely that it becomes second nature.  You don’t think about how to respond in a situation – you respond out of habit.  This doesn’t mean it loses its value – it means you are well practiced at something that you do value!

 Whenever you start developing a new habit it feels awkward.  You have to consciously decide to put aside how you used to respond, and respond instead in this new way.  Some of these 10 habits may be like that for you – maybe they aren’t habits just yet.  The more we choose to act a certain way the more these responses become ingrained in how we relate to people.

 The more we do these things, the easier they become to do when we don’t feel like it.  And though that may sound like insincerity, the truth is when we do the right thing even when we don’t feel like it, we are protecting our relationships.  I’m not talking about hiding something that is terribly wrong – but on those bad days, when you don’t feel like being nice to your husband, your habits will kick in.  Though I would suggest a little attitude check at these times because if you keep going like that you can eventually kill all sincerity and you just get dull actions, driven by doing the right thing – not love.  Our habits should always be driven by our love.

10 habits for a strong and healthy marriage

1-Talk to each other as friends – not parents, not business partners, but companions.  Once children come along a lot of time is taken up talking about our children – their good and their bad!  So we have to be intentional to talk to each other as friends; talk about important stuff, talk about heart stuff, real stuff – not just small talk about your day.

 

2-Touch each other – hold hands, kiss, hug – your physical touch is different than expressing love to others in your family – and it should show.  I read somewhere the other day that holding hands is a reminder that you are not in ‘this’ on your own.  I liked that.

 3-Greet each other – and say goodbye.  Whether it is the coming and going from the house, or simply rising in the morning and going to bed at night – we need to take these opportunities to touch base and show our love and support – besides, it is simply good manners!

 4-Fix offences quickly – It is so easy to take offence – but we can choose not to, or if things have gone wrong, we can choose to forgive.  When something niggles at me I have one of three choices to make: choose to think the best of my partner, choose to let it go, choose to talk about it calmly.

 5-Notice each other – give compliments to each other and comments of appreciation regularly.  It is easy to take each other for granted but we build connection when we notice each other – not just what the other person does, but who they are to us.

 6-Serve each other -Be helpful:  do little things to help each other.  If we are going to see little things that we can do for each other, little things that will bless and encourage our spouse, we need to be both aware and available.  It’s all too easy to get thingy and say ‘its not my job’ but really – we are in this together.

 7-Serve others – be bigger than yourselves.  There is much companionship and comfort in marriage – but there is also much strength and purpose when two come together.  Don’t live in your own little marriage bubble, but instead look outward, see who it is in your sphere of life that the two of you can support, encourage, love.

 8- Spend time together – For any relationship to thrive (not just survive) you need to spend time together.  Marriage is such a relationship – you need to spend time together connecting on a spiritual, emotional, social, intellectual and physical level.  One of those spheres can be neglected for a while, for a reason, but for a marriage to be strong, you need to spend time together catching up and growing in all of those areas.

 9-Take time to look after yourself – Oddly enough you also need to spend time by yourself growing and developing as a whole person.  After we are married we need to continue to be a whole person with unique interests and passions and bents just as we were before we were married.  We need to continue to be that interesting person that our spouse fell in love with even though so much of our life does indeed change.

 10- Say I love you… often!

 

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