If you’re wondering how to have a great marriage, look no farther than your own mirror. Because the part of our marriage over which we have the most control is ourselves. As the authors of one of the best marriage books around writes, “In the face of problems or pain in relationships, too often people think, ‘I married the wrong person!’ A great marriage is predicted not so much by your finding the right partner as by your being the right partner.”
“A great marriage is predicted not so much by your finding the right partner as by your being the right partner.”
Now that’s not to say you have to be perfect or that you have to be a martyr and suffer silently if things in your marriage aren’t going well. What it does mean is that your mindset and your intentions are within your control, and taking charge of them can make a big difference in your relationship.
So when our marriage gets a little bumpy or our husband is driving us crazy, it’s easy to focus on the exterior causes of our unhappiness and point the finger at the guy we share life with. But before we look outward, it’s best to look inward, toward ourselves, at what we might need to change to help our marriage get back on track. So keep in mind these 3 guidelines for how to have a great marriage.
(The following includes excerpts from the book, Fightingfor Your Marriage: Positive Steps for Preventing Divorce and Preserving a Lasting Love (New & Revised), along with our ideas on how to do your part to have a great marriage.)
1. Do positive things for your partner and the relationship.
Most people know how to please their partner. Do you regularly do the things that make a difference?
You can start by doing small things that are positive for your husband and your relationship. For my friend’s husband, it can be something as simple as picking up roasted peanuts for him to munch on while he’s watching baseball on TV. It’s a little thing, but it shows she’s thinking about him.
Something else you can do regularly is to sincerely compliment your husband. Here are 10 compliments for your husband for you to try.
2. Let negative or annoying comments bounce off you.
Decide to let negative or annoying comments bounce off you. If there are ongoing concerns you need to deal with, deal with them at a time when you are both calm and you can get your partner’s attention in a constructive way.
So try to let things go when you can. If the negative or annoying comments are hiding a bigger issue, address it after you’ve cooled off. Otherwise, consider what else could be behind the negativity because most of the time it’s not about you. Instead, it might be linked to these 4 other stressors in your husband’s life.
3. Be the best person you can be in your relationship.
Take responsibility for you own issues, personal growth, awareness, and mental and physical health.
Try to carve out the time you need to get your rest and your alone time, so you have something good left over for your relationship with your husband. These 9 killer mommy breaks are worth considering.
Once you’ve started doing your part to have a great marriage, give it time. You might not see improvements right away, but at least you’ll know that you’re giving your marriage the attention it deserves.
Let’s Talk: What do you feel your part is in having a great marriage?