What is your biggest fear in marriage?
Can I take a wild guess? Divorce?
It is a very relevant fear when the statistics say half [yes, 50%] of all marriages in the United States end in divorce.
This begs the question, what are we doing wrong?
Pause. Take a moment to look at this article by Dr. John Gottman, who is extremely accurate at predicting divorce.
Are you willing to admit that you use a harsh startup, criticism or stonewalling, negative body language, and/or do not regularly apologize?
They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.
Let’s all admit where we are weak and commit to becoming strong!
According to Dr. John Gottman, “emotionally intelligent couples are intimately familiar with each other’s world. I call this having a richly detailed love map.”
Are you ready to set your marriage up for success?
5 Ways To Fight For Your Marriage
1. Date Your Mate!
When is the last time you consistently dated your spouse?
Excuses are easily made.
You can blame each other for not scheduling it OR you can take charge and mark five dates on the calendar, RIGHT NOW!
When you have kids it’s easy to turn your focus on raising them and neglect giving your spouse the attention they need.
What most of us forget is how important it is for our children to see their parents living out a healthy, loving, nurtured relationship.
The example we set for our children is likely what they’re going to seek once they are ready to marry.
So, if not for yourself, do it for the children!
Let’s be real, the budget is probably the number one excuse as to why you don’t date.
Especially when you have kids.
It goes something like this…you’ve saved up enough to go out to a nice dinner but you have to save double that amount in order to pay for a babysitter. It is taking forever to happen because things come up and that $10 you keep trying to put aside for the babysitter is now going to (fill in the blank – because life continues to happen over and over again).
No more excuses!
Child watch swap! Pay a babysitter and do something free (like eating Costco samples)! Set up a movie on the laptop in a bedroom for the kiddos and hang out in the living room – or you and your spouse take your bums outside! Plan something for after the kids go to bed!
*When our girls were little we would put them to bed, bring the baby monitor outside, and sit by a bonfire…THOSE are some of my favorite date night memories!*
So, who’s going to commit to dating their spouse this week?!
2. Take Care Of Yourself!
What are you doing to take care of yourself?
Imagine yourself an empty pitcher. In order to pour into others you must first fill yourself up.
How are you filling yourself up?
There’s lots of information out there regarding self-care.
This Olga Phoenix self-care wheel hits six basics you can focus on to ensure you’re fueling yourself.
If you’re having a difficult time finding motivation, visit my blog post here.
Hopefully it will give you that little boost to finally focus on you!
Most of the time, when you take care of yourself, you become a happier you.
Happier you = happier people around you.
Happier people around you = your spouse!
In the beginning your spouse enjoyed spending time with you because they found you interesting.
They saw qualities that inspired them, your ambitions were contagious, and your smile was infectious.
If you’ve lost yourself in any way, it’s time to find you again!
So, who’s going to commit to a little self-care this week?
3. Laugh Together!
When is the last time you laughed it off?
Your spouse does things that get under your skin.
For most, it’s a daily occurrence.
Currently, I have braces and it seems to fling a ton of toothpaste on the mirror.
Cleaning that up is not always top priority, so there are days where it sits.
My husband could choose to nag me, but he doesn’t.
My husband could choose to laugh it off, but he hasn’t.
But I can guarantee if he laughed at it every time he saw it, we would have a quirky inside joke that brought a little more joy into our lives. Because every time I heard a chuckle come from the bathroom I would think, ‘oh poo, I forgot to clean that toothpaste up again. Thank goodness my husband has a sense of humor and can laugh with me.’ And then I will be more likely to clean that up as soon as he’s out of there.
Do you have a situation that could use some laughter to lighten the mood?
If you need motivation that laughter truly is the best medicine, read these 120 Inspirational Quotes About Laughter.
So, who’s going to commit to laughing more with their spouse this week?
4. Channel Your Inner Wild-Child!
Have you had a dance party recently?
Dancing like a child brings an instant fun-factor.
They hop, skip, and jump through streets.
Kids make silly faces, are playful, and tell obnoxious jokes.
Children are naturally optimistic.
Have you ever been to a five year olds birthday party?
It is a special kind of magic.
They open their gifts and it is an absolute joy to witness!
“It’s what I’ve always wanted!”
“It’s exactly what I asked for!”
“Did you see this? It’s so beautiful/awesome!”
They show off their gift like it’s their proudest possession – because in that moment, it is!
What if you treated your spouse like a child treats their new favorite toy?
What if you flaunted your spouse around in public by holding their hand and acting so proud that they are yours to hold on to?
Because you know what?! You are lucky!
You are so incredibly lucky to have your significant other!
You have a gift that deserves lots of care and attention.
You are capable of fun, pizzazz, and letting loose!
So, who’s going to channel their inner wild-child with their spouse this week?
5. Adventure Together!
When is the last time you did something new with your spouse?
Maybe you have an interest in cross-country skiing or rock climbing, but you don’t have the gear to go out and do it.
Search Craigslist or Facebook Sell Sites. Ask family or friends if it’s something you can borrow, or that they would give you, or maybe they’d all chip in for.
Do you enjoy going on backcountry road drives?
The thought of a whining child, or a complaining spouse are enough to make anyone want to turn around. But I encourage you to push through!
Is there a place you’ve always wanted to visit?
Figure out the amount you need to save to make it happen and then start pinching pennies!
Go on a bike ride.
Walk around your neighborhood.
Give each other $10 and head to the thrift store. Either come up with the craziest outfit or the best gift for each other or the best bang for your bucks!
Adventure is right outside your front door. The options are endless.
Pursuing common interests creates bonds and memories.
So, who’s going on an adventure with their spouse this week?
We need to start fighting FOR our marriages!
We need to make them WORTH fighting for!
Love each other well,