There are some principles to follow to maintain a healthy relationship with your spouse. I have found that many problems that arise could have been prevented by maintaining a level of connection in the marriage.
As Christians, we have a very unique opportunity to be connected together to the one who has made both of us and our marriage. Couples who stay spiritually connected do so in several ways.
Some couples pray together, and I think this is a critical principle for a Christian marriage. Some couples read the Bible together. This can also be a great principle. I would add only one caution here, and that is to share what the Word is teaching you, and not what you think it should be teaching your spouse, as that can sour the reading of God's Word together.
Some couples worship together at home. They play a CD or DVD, play an instrument, or just sing together. This can be an awesome principle as well.
Going to church is a great principle to do together. However, if your church attendance is similar to being entertained at a theater, this may be limiting its potential impact on your marriage. If you talk about the service and what you learned, it can be really helpful.
Serving in a church or ministry can also be a terrific way to stay spiritually connected. The experiences of ministry can be really bonding for the two of you to consistently stay connected. Regardless of how you stay spiritually connected, consistency is a very important principle for your miracle of marriage to stay strong over the decades.
Staying emotionally connected is also critical for a high-functioning, healthy marriage. I realize most of us have no emotional training. However, if you have problems sharing your feelings with your spouse, I recommend doing some feelings exercises. You can find the feelings exercise in my book, Miracle of Marriage. Couples that can entrust their heart to their spouse can have amazing intimacy and fewer arguments. The couples that are walled off emotionally have more significant hurdles in their relationships.
If you do the feelings exercise daily, it can increase your intimacy in weeks. You can also just randomly put feelings words in a jar and give examples about your life regarding the feeling picked. Anything you can do to talk about feelings can really help you have a healthy and more intimate marriage.
The couples who date have created a principle that has several positive side effects. When a couple dates regularly (weekly or two times a month), they have created a timely escape valve from the pressures of life. A couple that has fun has more resources, because they recharge themselves so they can become more patient with each other and their family.
Also, let's remember why you wanted to get married. You begin to remember how witty, intelligent and creative your spouse really is. I know just seeing Lisa smile makes the whole date worthwhile. Protecting your dating is important and it's really positive for the children if they are still home. Children feel more secure when parents want to be together. So date to keep your marriage healthy.
Hopefully you realize the importance of being connected to your spouse when it comes to having a healthy relationship. Use the principles in this article to help you maintain better connection to your spouse. Find ways to connect spiritually, emotionally and to date your spouse, and you will see your marriage become stronger and healthier.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books, including Miracle of Marriage. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com; on hisFacebook; by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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