The most happily married couples aren’t born with a special ability to create harmonious relationships. They are not necessarily people from perfect families, that had ideal childhoods. Their marital satisfaction isn’t a result of incredible levels of compatibility between their characters.
Even shared values, goals, and mission in life don’t ensure relationship success.
It’s not this big stuff that matters the most. It’s more about the small, simple, day-to-day habits that make the difference.
Here are the 5 most significant habits to master in order to join the ranks of happily married couples:
1. Assume the best of your spouse’s intention in every action. This applies even to actions that cause emotional hurt, fear, or worry. Such situations are precisely the ones that require a diligent application of this habit. Ephesians 5:33 NIV says, however, each one of you must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
We all get hurt in relationships. Even the happiest couples go through moments of anger, insecurity, misunderstanding, and more. We can’t avoid these moments, but we do have the power to handle them in a healthier way.
If you believe the best of your spouse's intention towards you, this choice gives you the ability to overcome the initial pain coming from your partner’s hurtful words or actions.
Once the automatic ouch response gets out of the way and you don’t fall into a trap of taking things personally, you’ll see clearly that your partner loves you and cares about you, and that they probably didn’t know how hurtful their action would be. Otherwise, they would not have done it.
Try to see the very bet in your spouse NO MATTER WHAT. If you are struggling in this area, here is a quick but efficient prayer that works. Dear Father God, I love my husband (say wife if you are a man reading this). I am struggling to see the very best in him (her). Help me see him (her) the way You see him (her). I thank you for this expedient action to help me in this area in the name of Jesus. Amen. Here is a song by Marvin Sapp to give you insight on how God see's us, even when no one else see's us as valuable or worth loving. To God be the glory!
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2. Cultivate the capacity to give compliments. Giving genuine compliments to your spouse on a daily basis creates more positivity in your interactions and amplifies your self-confidence and self-esteem. Giving compliments is known to be good for the giver as much as it is for the receiver. There is, indeed, no reason not to engage in this powerful habit of happiness.
Proverbs 18:21 KJV says, death and life are in the power of the tongue; and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
What are you speaking out of your mouth about your husband (wife)?
Are you speaking death or life about your spouse to others?
Are you allowing others to speak death or life about your spouse to you?
As a wife, I do not care what my husband's shortcomings are or may be. I will not allow ANYONE to ever speak ill of my husband. I am very protective of him and will not allow that kind of talk. I make it my business to speak life into my husband daily. As a result, he always confirms that I am the best thing to ever happen to him. He says sweet things such as, "You bring out the best in me." I look at my husband as the man who holds the sun and moon up for me. How do you see your husband (wife)?
3. Plan for and prioritize time together. Creating opportunities for couple time is essential for the development of harmonious relationships. A few hours of quality time together each week allow a married couple to catch up, connect, share, and rejoice in their intimacy.
The more quality time is invested in the marriage the more valuable and fulfilling this marriage becomes.
If you struggle to find ideas for spending meaningful moments with your spouse, try a few items from this list: Go on a date. Anything from a fancy dinner in a restaurant to a cozy home-cooked meal prepared together will do. Plan a SEX date! The goal is to create memorable moments specifically in this department. This is an opportunity to give this type of date a name. Give a small but precious gift to each other before the date gets off into the action. Make it a tradition to do it at specific times of the year out of the house and specific times of the month in the house.
Okay... so in 1 Corinthians 7:9 says, if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. HOWEVER, 1 Corinthians 7:33-34 NKJV says, but he who is married cares about the things of this world - how he may please his wife. There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy, both in body and spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of this world - how she may please her husband.
Religious commitment to a monogamous relationship, seeing your spouse's needs as equal or even more important than our own, give the Christian marriage an edge in marital and sexual satisfaction.
by Mary Ann Mayo
If ever in doubt about sex among the married, refer to Songs of Solomon. JESUS!
Other fun things to do:
○ Game night (video or board games to spark up the playfulness) ○ See a movie or a comedy show. Anything that brings in entertainment, lightness, and laughter is welcome. ○ Sign up to volunteer together. Choose a cause that you both care about. ○ Go for a cup of tea and exchange love letters. Use the magic of words to show appreciation and gratitude for your beloved. ○ Engage in a team sport. Ensure that you’re on the same team. Sports like tennis or beach volleyball are ideal because they allow only 2 players per team.
4. Say thank you. Show gratitude in everything that the two of you do! Feeling respected, trusted, and appreciated is critical to any relationship. Saying “thank you” is the simplest way of showing appreciation and can often be more effective than saying “I love you.”
One of my podcast co-hosts, Stacie Young, is big on gratitude. She recently did a series on gratitude and expressed various acts to enhance the idea of showing it. She states, "We have gone through this journey of Gratitude by: Noticing, Journaling, Saying Thank You, and Speaking Gratitude Affirmations for what we have possession of and future affirmations for what we anticipate, and now..."
Gratitude is necessary because it sets the tone and pace for what you and your are willing to do and/or continue to do for one another. For more on Stacie's services, visit her website at www.tobecontinuedtlc.com
5. Focus on each other’s strengths. Couples that have a greater capacity to appreciate and be attentive towards the strengths of their beloved have happier marriages.
When one partner decides to focus on the qualities and values of the other, not paying much attention to the weaknesses or drawbacks, this results in a higher sense of empowerment, well-being, and personal value of the other.
Happy couples didn’t necessarily start off as such. They built their happiness through the consistent practice of supportive habits.
If you’re eager to strengthen your marriage, start building these habits right away. You have everything you need to make your marriage a satisfying success.
Reflect on James 3: 6 NIV It says, the tongue is also a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one's life, and is itself set on fire by hell.
Wives, speak life into your husband. Husbands, speak life into your wife. Remember what attracted you to each other. Find that flame. If it dim, find a way to make it bright again. You have to edify each other and lift on another up. Always remember in closing, PRIDE is the death of every relationship. Don't lose or let go of your spouse for situations that are workable or reasons that you chose to stay. If you chose to stay, take the conversations off the table that may have caused a rift as to why you considered leaving. Meaning, don't allow anyone outside of the two of you, who is not a professional counselor, therapist or coach, to discuss matters amongst your marriage. Stacie is a huge advocate for marriage maintenance and so am I.
I am Keci Monique`, your Affinity for Love Wifecoach.