If you’re wondering what it takes to gain intimacy in your marriage, take a look at the list below. It is no secret anymore what it takes to remain married for the long haul. Researchers discovered through science, observation, and counseling, what a couple must do and think if they want to remain married for life.
Living in a healthy, supportive marriage is not impossible, in fact, it is very possible. Take a look below to see just how possible it is!
1. Clarify what the actual conflict is first. Then see if there is any other reason this conflict is here: tired, low estrogen, low sugar level, whatever.
2. Stick to the issue at hand. Don’t dredge up past hurts or problems, whether real or perceived.
3. Maintain as much physical contact as possible.
4. Avoid sarcasm.
5. Avoid “you” statements. Use the words “I feel” or “I think.” No past or future predictions. For example: Wife says, “You could have called, you know. You always try my patience. You’re inconsiderate and you always will be.” A better example: “It’s not like you to be late without calling. I was worried; what happened to you.
6. Don’t use “hysterical” statements or exaggerations at the time of conflict.
7. Resolve any hurt feelings before continuing the conflict discussion.
8. Don’t resort to name calling or losing your temper. If this happens, agree to continue the discussion later.
9. Avoid power statements and actions. For example: “I quit!” “Sleep on the couch tonight.” “You’re killing me!”
10. Don’t use the silent treatment.
11. Keep your arguments as private as possible to avoid embarrassment.
12. Use the “Quick-listening Method” of communication when arguing. Repeating back each other’s words for clarification.
13. Resolve your conflicts with “Win-Win” solutions. Both agree with the solution or outcome of the argument.
14. Above all, strive to reflect HONOR in all of your words or actions during a conflict.
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Dr. Greg Smalley serves as executive director of Marriage and Family Formation at Focus on the Family and is passionate to equip premarital and married couples with the knowledge, skills and insights necessary to enjoy a lifetime together.