|(Photo by our amazing photographer, Rachel Thurston)|
So, at this point, because of our combined experiences, Danny & I happen to know a lot about what makes for a good marriage. :) We think marriage is one of the greatest blessings anyone can have & we really do feel grateful for it every single day. But we also know that a lot of people have ebbs & flows in their marriage & that it can be a difficult experience for many. So here are our best tips. These are all specific things that we do, so we know firsthand they work like a charm :)....
• Speak REALLY kindly to each other. Always! Do not speak with a negative tone (ever). It's possible to do this folks, if you want to. Just sayin'.
• Make SERVING each other your highest priority. And make serving others your second highest priority. [There is nothing more attractive and endearing than a charitable person.]
• Speak highly of your spouse to others and then later, tell your spouse how fun it was to share what you did! (Danny does this all-the-time when he is sharing our story with coworkers or people he meets throughout the day. It is the sweetest thing in the world to me & makes me feel like a million bucks.)
• Do not EVER speak negatively about your spouse or complain about them to others. Ever, ever, ever. Just don't bring that kind of negativity into your marriage.
• Exercise & stay fit! Makes for a positive outlook, healthy body, and great sexy time. :) Speaking of...
• Have SEX AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE :) :) :) Make that a major, major priority! Just start thinking about your spouse (naked) often. And pretty soon you won't have to "make" anything happen. It just will happen. And maybe lots of you are saying, "Yeah, sure...you don't have kids...." But on those nights that sex just simply may not be happening due to late nights or kids or work schedules or whatever.... well, I think that being intimate in ANY way counts for something. So, make sure to always do SOMETHING each day........i.e. let's see... crawling into bed naked or taking a shower together. That would do it. :)
• Say thanks to each other - a bunch - for all the little things your spouse does for you.
• Learn how to handle trials in a healthy way. All the little ones...AND the big ones. When you learn how to do this, you don't drag your spouse and family into your drama/dysfunction.
• Forgive for everything. EVERYTHING. I know this may take another post on what forgiveness is and how to do that, but no matter what, you've got to find a way to let go and remove anger, pain, and grudges from your heart.
• Praise your spouse often.
• Do not blame ANYONE for your unhappiness, especially your spouse of all people! Make sure your peace and happiness is not based on your spouse. Tricky to think that way... But it is the greatest advice I could give you. It allows you to love your spouse/kids better when you do this.
• Pray together... EVERY DAY! When done sincerely and lovingly, it is the most beautiful thing to do together!!!!! This can feel as intimate as sex. hahaha. I am telling you........DO IT and see what I am talking about! You don't want to miss out on this!!!!!!!!! Even if you are not religious, meditate together, share some meaningful words of gratitude & hope.
• Stay committed to God or to whatever gives you the greatest strength. When you do this, your daily life will be aligned with good things and everything else above falls into to place so easily.
Does anyone have any other ideas to add here? We would be so happy to hear them! I am sure other people would, too.
MK + DK
p.s. Here is a short little video about marriage that I think is so sweet. I think I had a teeny tear when I saw this.