For those of us who have grown up dreaming of meeting Mr. Right, having a beautiful wedding, living in a house with a white fence and then living happily ever after I have some bad news. It’s not going to happen.
[Tweet “Great marriages are possible, but YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING TO DO THE WORK! @aidajingram”]
I love seeing old married couples, they give me hope and something to strive for. Healthy marriages are beautiful.
[Tweet “Marriage, just like any other relationship, you get out, what you put in. @aidajingram”]
You can expect things to just happen all you want, but that is NOT realistic. Unless you take steps to make your marriage better and keep it growing, it won’t.
After being married for 19 plus years trust me, I’ve had my fair share of epic fails. There have been tons of smiles and laughs, but I have also had my fair share of disappointments.
Here are a few things that I have learned that I hope will help you.
5 Tips To Help You Build A Great Long Lasting Marriage
First, I want to say that I am incredibly thankful to God for His favor and strength during those times when being married stretched me further than I thought I could go. I have a great husband and I love and appreciate him greatly, but marriage is not for the faint of heart.
It’s important to remember that both you and your spouse are changing, growing, and evolving. The person you say “I do” to on your wedding day, is not the same person 3, 4, 5, 10 years down the road and neither are you. Add the stresses of life, family, finances, health and planning for your future and things change real quick. Being happily married is something everyone wants, but people don’t always know how to stay there.
1. Surround yourself with people who will speak life into you & your marriage
We also had a lot of people around us who shared, encouraged, and blessed us both with wisdom, prayers, and information to make the journey just a little easier! I also cannot underestimate the need to pray for your spouse and give your marriage and your spouse to God.
2. Realize that Marriage is a choice, you need to make everyday!
It is not a choice you make once, it is a choice you make over and over again. That is, if you want to stay married! That beautiful day with friends, wedding cake and food is just the beginning and if you aren’t willing to put in the work this journey will be a lot harder than you thought. Being married means you decide to love, not hold grudges, not argue about every little thing, and you need quickly figure out what is important and what isn’t priorities.
3. Pick your battles
In marriage there will be plenty of disagreements and times where you don’t see things eye to eye. You decide, which battles are worth it and which ones are better left right where they are, on the floor. You need to learn how to be quiet, calm down and you need to learn how to love the person you are with instead of trying to turn them into your version of who they should be….
4. Love requires sacrifice…..
It is easy to say that everything is important, but it is not and the sooner you figure that out the better. REMEMBER: Even the best marriages take work, effort and time to develop and grow. Learning to become one is a process and the sooner you figure that out the better.
5. Invest in Your Marriage
Although there is no short cut to a great marriage, there are clearly some great choices that you can make that can make your marriage healthier and stronger.
Make it a point to invest in your marriage by going to conferences, buying and reading books, and picking up tools that make your marriage stronger. Tools and information that help you realize how important marriage is and resources that give you a chance to make the journey easier are a life saver. I have learned to love great resources because they challenge you, reinforce the importance of fighting to stay together and they give you tips that help you stay focused on preserving your relationship.
The Growing A Strong Marriage: Starting Strong Kit was one of those tools I got a chance to check out recently. The video and book give you a lot to think about.
The Growing A Strong Marriage: Starting Strong Kit is resource includes a DVD and guide book with stories from several marriage experts, who I am sure you will know. This is great for marriage, because it provides some great information and reinforcement for the journey. The stories shared here are reassuring, thought provoking, and give you a window into what it takes to build a successful marriage from people who have been there and done that and who have learned a lot along the way.
Marriage is important work with implications that go above and beyond just being in a long-term relationship. Healthy marriages provide stability for families and they are beautiful examples that show young people what is possible when they commit to a long-term relationship.
If you have some great marriage tips please share them below, so I can put together a post with all of your suggestions.