As the co-founder of The Facebook Marriage Page and StrongerMarriages.com, I’ve had the privilege of interacting with thousands of married couples online and in person. I’ve interviewed couples who have been happily married for a lifetime, I’ve studied the habits of of the healthiest couples and also explored the warning signs that can lead to divorce. I’ve boiled it all down into what I believe is the “Top ten” list of marriage advice in the world. I believe that this simple list, when put into daily practice, can have a tremendous impact on YOUR marriage.
In no particular order…
1. Always answer the phone when your husband/wife is calling and when possible, try to keep your phone off when you’re together with your spouse. Talking with your spouse always better than texting with somebody else (or checking Facebook or playing Candy Crush, etc.).
2. Make time together a priority. Budget for a consistent date night. Time is the “currency of relationships” so consistently invest time into your marriage. Strive to consistently give each other your best; not your leftovers.
3. Make laughter the soundtrack of your marriage. Share moments of joy, and even in the hard times, find reasons to laugh.
4. In every argument, remember that there won’t be a “winner” and a “loser.” You are partners in everything so you’ll either win together or lose together. Work together to find a solution. Remember that a husband and wife must function like two wings on the same bird; they must work together in full partnership for the marriage to soar.
5. Remember that a strong marriage rarely has two strong people at the same time. It’s usually a husband and wife taking turns being strong for each other in the moments when the other feels weak.
6. When you’ve made a mistake admit it and humbly seek forgiveness. You should be quick to say, “I was wrong. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.” When your husband/wife breaks your trust, give them your forgiveness instantly which will promote healing and create the opportunity for trust to be rebuilt. You should be quick to say, “I love you. I forgive you. Let’s move forward.”
7. Strive to have a “Naked Marriage” which prioritizes “nakedness” both physically (sexual intimacy) AND also emotionally (through complete trust and transparency). This means never keeping secrets from each other and never lying to each other. Secrecy is the enemy of intimacy.
8. Be your spouse’s biggest encourager, not his/her biggest critic. Be the one who wipes away their tears, not the one who causes them.
9. Never consider divorce as an option. Remember that a “perfect marriage” is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other!
10. Pray with each other and for each other daily and stay connected in a healthy church. Every marriage is stronger with God in the middle of it.
Don't give up on your marriage. It is worth the effort and investment. If you feel like your marriage is struggling, or even failing, there is hope. There is healing.