Having a better marriage simply means that whatever state your relationship is in right now…it can be better. So, if your relationship sucks, it can get better. And, if your relationship is good, then it also can be better. Last week, Lamar and I attended a marriage conference called Better Marriages. We were not there to speak or to sell our marriage products. We were simply there for the marriage education and to obtain skills that would enrich our own marriage.
We made a promise to each other that we would attend at least one marriage event (a conference, retreat, seminar) each year. Let’s just call it our yearly marriage tune-up. Like a car, if you want it to run smoothly and efficiently, then you will have periodic maintenance work done. And most of us are not out there changing our own oil and spark plugs, and rotating tires ourselves. No, we are going to the professionals that have the right tools for the job.
And we believe that if you want a thriving marriage (not just a surviving marriage) then you are going to want to obtain the right tools to keep your marriage running smoothly.
Check out these important lessons that I learned during the conference.
Marriages Get Better or Worse, They Never Stand Still
Marriage guru and author of the Five Love Languages, Dr. Gary Chapman, said this very profound statement: “Marriages get better or worse, they never stand still.” Your marriage is going to go down a path whether you like it or not. But, you have the power to choose the path that your marriage will take. If you are intentional and you invest energy into your marriage it will grow.
Don’t Forget to Focus on Your Strengths
Oftentimes, the main focus in your marriage is on the issues. And of course they need to be addressed. But one concept that was repeated several times throughout the conference was to also focus on your strengths. All marriages have strengths (some more than others.) It’s good to identify the strengths in your marriage as it will give you something to build upon.
It is OK to Have Conflicts…as Long as You Have the Skills to Address Them
Every marriage will have conflicts…but the difference between those that survive and those that don’t, is their ability to handle their failures and conflicts.
Remember…You are not an Island
You don’t have to figure out this marriage thing all by yourself. There are other couples out there that are going through the same things that you are experiencing. Find a mentor couple, a marriage group, or another couple that also that has similar marriage goals and connect with them.
Individuals in the Relationship Must Feel Love and Appreciation.
Dr. Gary Chapman says one essential to a healthy marriage is that both individuals feel loved and appreciated. This means that you must find out how your spouse needs to be loved and love them in that way…i.e – you need to discover your spouse’s love language and speak it.
If you want a better marriage, then you must invest energy in it so that it can grow. Let me know below what you do to keep your marriage running smoothly. What great marriage events have you attended lately?
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