3 Ways to Keep Your Marriage Growing

A few simple tips to keep you from getting stuck in a rut in your marriage.

We’ve all watched the downward spiral of a relationship, whether it was a friend’s, a family member’s or our own.

There are probably several factors involved when a relationship starts to go sour. But sometimes the path toward the end begins when we choose to look at the negative things. This step affects our mindset, and we then start to make excuses for our actions when the bad outweighs the good. Soon, we cut off effective communication.

This path is detrimental to any relationship, but when it happens in a marriage, it can lead to divorce becoming a viable option. With a divorce rate around 50 percent, we need to have a renewed focus on our marriages.

Marriage is beautiful when things are going well. Each person can bring something to the relationship, and it is rewarding and fun at the same time. But if your marriage is not where it should be, it is draining and frustrating.

Marriage is beautiful when things are going well. But if your marriage is not where it should be, it is draining and frustrating.

Marriage is the most important relationship you can have with another person, and it is so worth the effort. Here are three actions to take to keep your marriage headed in the right direction:

1. Communicate

The no. 1 thing missing from a lot of relationships is communication. Trust is the basis for this. When trust is built in a relationship, then and only then are we able to communicate freely.

I can remember a time when my wife, Jasmine, and I weren't communicating well at all. I would wake up, get ready for work, spend all day at work, come home and eat dinner, say a few words and do it all over again. Without making time for each other and communicating, bitterness was slowly growing inside each of us. It felt like we hit a dead end, and in the midst of it all, we forgot to have fun! 

Maybe this sounds familiar. If it does, let me be the first to motivate you to head in the opposite direction. Ruts like this usually happen when you slowly stop communicating, and you end up coming out on the other side of the rut wishing that you would never have dwelt there at all.

For Jasmine and I, communication is the only thing that brought about change in our lives. When I held everything in and let it eat away at me, my wife couldn't be held accountable for it. That wasn't fair. And then after doing that enough, my reaction was to "fly off the handle.” It wasn't until we effectively communicated that anything was fixed.

Tip #1: Begin communicating with your spouse today and see how that one step can change things for the better. 

2. Prioritize your spouse

Your spouse is the most important earthly relationship you will have, and they need to know that from your actions. Showing your spouse they are the most important person in your life changes things in a positive way. Putting your spouse first also shows your children what having the right priorities and order is all about.

In the day-to-day family life, your daily tasks can easily become the most important things happening, If this is done repeatedly, relationships fall to the wayside without you ever taking notice. For this not to happen, you have to become intentional with planning out your time, scheduling your day to be the most productive for you and setting aside time to spend with your spouse.

Along with making time for your spouse, you can show them you care by bragging on them. It can be easy to nag, nitpick or complain about the things you don’t like about your spouse, but this isn’t helpful in any relationship. Begin speaking positive things about your spouse more often. You can do this in front of others or when you are alone. It not only lifts their spirits, but also ensures that you see their great qualities more often. Build this habit of regularly encouraging each other into your lives.

It is time for all of us who want to make a bigger impact to become more disciplined with the most important asset that we own: our time, and spend more of it investing in our marriage.

Tip #2: Make your spouse a top priority and everything else will fall into place.

3. Find unity

Getting your spouse on your side with your career and your dreams is necessary to make sure you are running alongside each other and not in opposite directions. As you may have already found, achieving your dreams is much more difficult without the support of your spouse.

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Marriage can be difficult, but it is the best thing that will ever happen to you.

Do all that you can to be in unity with each other. This ties into the first two points. Communicate with your spouse, and guard your priorities and your time to make sure you are working together and not against each other.

Because men and women are wired so differently, we have to work to find out what makes the other person in the relationship "tick." We should be more concerned about the other person than about ourselves. When a relationship becomes about the other person, then and only then does a relationship grow. Be more disciplined to create habits in your life that show your spouse you care.

Tip #3: Take time to make sure there is unity in your marriage

There will be times when you feel stuck in a rut in your marriage. It will be hard. It will take work. So whether you are new to married life, have been in it a while or plan on getting married someday, remember that marriage can be difficult, but it is the best thing that will ever happen to you. Marriage can draw both you and your spouse closer to each other and to God and draw out the best in each of you.


Adam Smith


Adam Smith commented…

What is one tip that you can share with us from dating or marriage that you have personally learned?



Brett replied to Adam Smith's comment

i have shared a bunch of things in answer to that question on my blog and i have a relationships tab actually [http://brettfish.wordpress.com/relationshippy-things] which is worth checking out as there are a bunch of options... but two i would highly recommend are this marriage one where i asked 18 friends of mine who are in good marriages for one thing they would recommend to strengthen a marriage [http://brettfish.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/how-to-save-a-marriage-before-... and then on the dating question this series i ran called 'i kissed dating' has some excellent advice and stories - http://brettfish.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/i-kissed-dating-the-parts

hope you find that helpful
brett fish

Adam Smith


Adam Smith replied to Brett's comment

Great links. Thank you!

Leslie Hayes Decker


Leslie Hayes Decker commented…

To treat my spouse with even greater dignity and respect than given to those outside my home. As you said, spouses respond to one another's praise - in fact, we respond to it by changing to become our best self. You said it best, "Marriage can draw both you and your spouse closer to each other and to God and draw out the best in each of you". Great article with rich wisdom, Adam!

Adam Smith


Adam Smith replied to Leslie Hayes Decker's comment

Great advice for anyone to use in their marriages!

Steve Cornell


Steve Cornell commented…

Good advice!

Selfishness is consistently listed as a primary reason marriages dissolve.

When couples understand that marriage is not about being in love, but an agreement to love; not about feeling loved, but highly valuing each other, then they will find the path to deep and meaningful companionship. And (as an added benefit), they usually experience the feelings of love that come with the choice to love.

Adam Smith


Adam Smith replied to Steve Cornell's comment

Absolutely! I have also found that selfishness is definitely at the root of most problems. Thanks for the feedback, Steve!



TONI POHARCYK commented…

Adam, this comes at a crucial time in my life in so many ways. I am old enough to know these things, but sorely needed to be reminded. Wonderful!! My best to you, Jasmine and Colbie. I remember when you were waiting for her to arrive! It all goes fast! My son is 32, and my daughter is 28! Get all your hugs and kisses (-: Toni in CT

Adam Smith


Adam Smith replied to TONI POHARCYK's comment

Thank you so much! I am realizing that now, Toni. The time really does fly. :)



Brett replied to Adam Smith's comment

i added in two links earlier when Adam asked about marriage and dating but here is another one specifically marriage related and one of the great things about marriage and an article like this is that it is not exhaustive - there are just so many different things we can do and be to see marriage work well and communication is a really huge one as is that of putting your spouse first [in an ideal world they will be reciprocating by putting you first although that should not be your intent and it can be hard sometimes to find that non-selfish what-can-i-get-out-of-this putting her first but well worth it for the marriage] - so here are some other points to hold alongside the ones in this article... http://brettfish.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/how-to-love-your-woman-better-...

a lot of good stuff shared by a variety of different people through the years - i love it when people speak life into marriage so thank you Adam and keep on

love brett fish

Adam Smith


Adam Smith replied to Brett's comment

Thanks Brett. Marriage is one of those things that deserves our attention. Thanks for reading!

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