9 Ways to Invest in Your Marriage
Stacy Prouty, Non-denominational Minister with Say “I Do” Ceremonies
As wedding officiants since 2004, we’ve met thousands of people, officiated hundreds of wedding ceremonies and renewal of vows and heard firsthand what makes a marriage work. Here are a few things that we’ve heard and learned that seem pretty consistent with what psychologists offer as keys to a successful marriage.
1. Actively listen when one of you speaks – Active listening means centering your attention on what your partner is saying without distraction, without thinking about what you will say next, and without judgement
2. Communicate clearly when you want or need something – Don’t be afraid to speak up and trust that your partner wants the best for you. Rephrase or repeat their response to make sure you understood correctly. Talk about things at a time that you feel your partner is not rushed, exhausted or distracted.
3. Ask for and make personal time for what you need to be a happy person – If you need time to process a disappointment or to cool off, take it. If taking a class or spending time with friends makes you feel fulfilled, do it.
4. Understand that you will disagree and that it not only normal, but it is ok.
5. Be grateful and tell your spouse often you’re thankful for having him or her in your life.
6. Make time as a couple to appreciate your relationship – outside of work and family. Arrange and keep date nights or weekend getaways even when it stretches your finances or time.
7. Be vulnerable, trusting, open and trustworthy with your partner. Many suspicions are born of fatigue or past relationships. Closing yourself off deprives you and your partner of needed closeness and joy.
8. Forgive easily – both your spouse and yourself. Allow yourself to let go; holding on to anger or disappointment feels lousy and fuels a fire that isn’t particularly warm.
9. Periodically talk about how you will make, save and spend money. The number one factor for breakups and fights in marriages is- according to a study by SunTrust – is money.
Start practicing these 9 ways to foster a successful marriage now. This is a simple call to value our relationships, partners and marriages, treat them with great care, and invest in them daily. The happy returns are worth it. Feel free to leave comments or suggestions! If you or someone you know is getting married or celebrating a special anniversary soon, let them know about Say “I Do” on the SunCoast where we craft and coordinate unforgettable ceremonies. Our affordable wedding packages make the day special and can save you time and money.