Unifying and Strengthening Your Marriage 

by | Jan 22, 2024 | Family

Strengthening your marriage is hard work. Mignon McLaughlin once said, “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” If you ask anyone who is (or has been) married, they will most likely agree … marriage is committing to your spouse every day, and then following through on that commitment.  

Whether you’ve been married for a week or a decade, there will always be ways to strengthen your marriage. And why not? Working on your marriage can be super fun! Here are a few ideas to try. 

Matt and Briley Nguyen™ take a selfie.

Get to Know Each Other 

People change over time. So, of course, your spouse won’t be the same person on your 10th wedding anniversary that they were the day you met. The last thing you want is to wake up and feel like you don’t know the person next to you, so put in the time to get to know each other regularly.  

Do you know their love language? Pioneered by marriage counselor Dr. Gary Chapman, this love language quiz assesses how you best receive and feel loved by others around you.  

There are five love languages Chapman identifies. They are: 

  • Physical touch 
  • Words of affirmation 
  • Quality time 
  • Giving gifts 
  • Acts of service 

Most people have multiple ways they feel love. The love languages quiz identifies where you fall on all five languages (high or low). It’s a great way to understand your partner better, and these answers can change over time! Often, we will have different answers after big life changes, like the birth of a child, loss, job promotions, etc. Taking it once a year is a great way to make sure you’re both giving each other what you need! 

Looking for some connection a little more often than just once a year? Try out ChatPacks™, a fun and easy box of conversation starters for long road trips, dinner conversations, or date night fun! It’s easy to fall into the same conversation ruts when you’ve been together a long time, so let ChatPacks do the heavy lifting. 

Learn How to Disagree (and How to Resolve It) 

Disagreeing is a very normal part of long-term relationships, so don’t assume it’s a bad thing if you and your spouse don’t see eye to eye on every issue. The key to strengthening your marriage with healthy disagreements is communication. 

Put the boxing gloves down, because that isn’t the fight we’re talking about (although for many of us, that’s the first place we go). Learning how to fight fair could turn a really nasty opportunity for damage into a beautiful resolution that will strengthen your marriage.  

Kathy McCoy, Ph.D., wrote an article on fighting fair for Psychology Today and cites five rules to keep your fights fair.  

  1. Only talk about how you’re feeling, instead of accusations. For example, instead of saying, “You never help around the house!” try, “I feel like I’m carrying the majority of the household work and it makes me feel isolated.” By focusing on feelings, you’re avoiding your partner feeling defensive. 
  1. Keep it mature. Having an attitude is an accelerant to the flames of conflict. Keep eye-rolling, flippant comments, and storming off under wraps.  
  1. Have the courage to cool off. Sometimes our emotions are too big to fight fair, so it’s okay if you need a break to get yourself under control. 
  1. Keep focused on the issue at hand. Don’t bring up something that happened in the past that doesn’t directly apply to what you’re discussing now. 
  1. Remember who you’re talking to. Your marriage is your most precious relationship. If what you’re about to say isn’t something you would say to a friend or coworker (or your mother), you shouldn’t be saying it to your spouse.  
Matt and Briley Nguyen™ sit on bikes smiling at the camera.

Find Balance 

Life is a balancing act, and strengthening your marriage is no different. It’s important that you spend enough time together to feel united, but also spending time apart to keep your sense of individuality. It will look different for every couple, so do what works for you. A solid marriage benefits from both participants having their needs met, and sometimes those needs are having a night out with friends or attending the gym solo. A little distance every now and then gives you time to miss each other, as long as you’re happy during the time you’re together as well. 

Strengthening Your Marriage is Worth the Hard Work 

Marriage is a roller coaster, but when you’re united with your spouse in true partnership, you can handle it together and enjoy the ride.  

Part of growing as a couple is having a positive attitude. Head to our blog, “Attitude of Gratitude,” for inspiration on how to develop a positive mindset!