My marriage relationship is made up of several different components it seems. There’s the friendship element, our financial life, our teamwork as parents, our sex life, and so on. What I’m beginning to realize is that I rarely, if ever, have every category humming perfectly at the same time. In every season of marriage, there are strengths and weaknesses. What you needed to work on five years ago may be totally different from what needs attention today.
So let’s take a moment to analyze our relationships and diagnose what our marriages need right now. By boiling things down to one or two main areas where you can improve, you give yourself manageable goals to strive toward and avoid feeling overwhelmed or discouraged by the too general desire for it to just be “better.” Focusing on a particular area can help you take specific actions to fix what’s broken or improve it.
Take a look at these marriage tips for some of the common areas of struggle, and see what you can improve today.
1. Make your marriage better in the area of family finance.
You may be getting along fabulously in every other area of life but regularly bumping heads with your husband about money. If so, you’re not alone – it’s one of the top reported causes of marital stress. The good news is that you can fix it. Work to communicate better and argue less about the bottom line. Read our 8 Ways to Stop Fighting With Your Husband About Money.
2. Make your marriage better in the bedroom.
If you never fight but your marriage lacks physical intimacy, you still have a problem. Marriage should include an emotional, spiritual and physical connection to be truly healthy. Start with an honest conversation about what each of you wants from your sex life, and make an effort to reconnect in this way.
3. Make your marriage better by parenting as a team.
Parenting is hard. Feeling as if you’re going it alone or, worse yet, forced to overcome an uncooperative spouse makes it even harder and slowly sabotages your marriage. Do you and your husband agree on the goals for your kids? The kind of people you want to train them to be? If so, you’re halfway home! But you still need to agree on some methods of training and discipline to get them to the goal, and promise to support one another in the process. A house divided cannot stand, and a parenting plan weakened by disagreement won’t produce the results you want for your children. Here’s how to Stop Fighting About Kids and Discipline.
4. Make your marriage better by deepening your friendship.
This one is major for me. When I truly like my husband and want to be around him, tell him the funny thing I heard today, and unload my concerns…our whole marriage is better and more connected. He’s my BFF, as my daughter would say. When I’m more invested in other friends and interests, it creates a gap between us, and that gap is a place for problems to take root. Amp up the friendship element of your marriage and watch other things fall into line as a result. Try our Q & U app for questions to ask him!
5. Make your marriage better by loving your husband’s family.
I know that when I see my husband make an effort to show love and tolerance for my side of the family, it makes me love him all the more. We know that extended family relationships can be complex, but by doing your best to make those connections peaceful and positive, you protect your own marriage from friction.
Let’s Talk: Which area of marriage do you feel called to focus on right now?
Dana Hall McCain writes about marriage, parenting, faith and wellness. She is a mom of two, and has been married to a wonderful guy for over 18 years.