8 Easy Ways To Make Your Marriage Even Better Than It Is Right Now

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Being in a close, committed relationship in which both you and your partner adore one another is most people's dream. But if you don't feel like your marriage is quite there yet, there's hope for improvement.

My husband, David, and I have a GREAT relationship together. We by no means have the perfect marriage, but we both agree that most of the time it really is great.  We like being together, spend a lot of time together and do lots of activities together. Simply put, we have fun being together virtually every day. 

Here are some things that we learned in the process of becoming a great couple:

1. Make the decision that your marriage is going to be awesome. 

Start by deciding that no matter what, the two of you are going to have a great and awesome marriage. Make this decision together! Sit down together or go on a walk together, and talk about your marriage. Make a joint agreement that your marriage is going to be great, regardless of the things that life throws at you. 

The first step is making a commitment that the two of you will be awesome together.

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2. Think of ways you can nurture your relationship. 

This will not be a one-time event, but rather an ongoing process.  Great marriages require forethought and planning. If you do not think and plan ahead and thereby protect your time together as a couple to do the things you both enjoy, other people and other priorities will fill up your life quickly — and you will find you have no time for each other.  

To avoid falling into this trap, you will need to learn how to build this into your lives and your thinking, so that you are continually planning ahead and deliberately setting aside time for ONLY the two of you. Make it a priority. Learn how to always keep it on your radar and in your schedule.

3. Understand that it is not selfish to protect, nurture and continually work at building your marriage.  

We have learned that there is a great payoff for making the relationship a priority and keeping it one. Life is not always easy. When “life happens”, it can sometimes be difficult and painful. Having a spouse who not only gets you, but whom you know is also solidly in your corner and on your side, is a HUGE help and blessing.  

Once you've done the hard work to make and maintain a great marriage, both partners can handle about anything that comes your way in life.

4. Make it a priority to express your gratitude frequently. 

My husband and I thank each other many times each day — even for the little things we do for one another, like making a cup of coffee or doing the laundry. Even though we do it all the time now, it still feels good every time I hear it and puts a little money in the bank with me for the next time I take on a small task for my husband.

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5. Conduct an annual review. 

Years ago, I used a planner that had a section for long-term goals in very important areas of life listed. There was a place to write a few goals in each area, a spot to put the target completion date, and also a place to list how the goal would be measured.

We do the same sort of thing for our marriage, family and life, and we believe this critical in helping us to live up to our decision of having a great marriage. Come up with a plan for how you two will review your relationship, and commit to reviewing it annually. This is your time to dream dreams as a couple, make big plans and chart mid-course corrections.

6. Read a marriage book every other year. 

Even the best relationships have room for growth. And to achieve that, you need new input and challenges. That's why I suggest reading a book on marriage at least every other year and getting the workbook if there is one, too. (If you want a list of good books to choose from, send me an email and ask for our book list.)

Get involved as you read and work through the material — highlight it and makes notes about the things you want to bring into your relationship. You will find that it breathes new life and energy into your marriage.  

7. Be as positive with each other as you can be. 

As marriage counselors, we often hear one spouse say to the other, “You are turning out to be just like your mother" or "That is just like your dad.” But that type of language is never a good sign because it was always a dig, a put down and a very negative way to portray the other spouse. 

Everyone has picked up traits that result in negative responses and reactions. It is your job to be aware of the things that bring negativity into the relationship and work at rooting them out, rather than shaming your partner for them.

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8. Learn how to resolve conflict quickly with minimal messiness. 

It is not realistic to think that there will never be conflict in a relationship — even in a great marriage. But great couples have learned how to resolve conflict quickly and not allow it to drag on and on because they have made a commitment to learn how this works in their particular relationship. You can do the same. And as you do so, you will be well on your way to becoming a great couple.

Great marriages are always a “work in progress.” To be a great couple involves a commitment from both of you to continue prioritizing and nurturing your marriage.

If you want to improve upon your marriage, we can help put you back on track. If you're ready, take the next step now and call 331-308-0113 for a free 15 minute phone/Skype consultation with Drs. David and Deborah McFadden.

This article was originally published at Reprinted with permission from the author.