1. Listen to Your Spouse:
What are you doing to show your spouse that he/she is the most important person in your life. Do you give your spouse undivided attention? Sadly many spouses are often more respectful to strangers than they are to their spouses. If your spouse is trying to talk to you, whether it’s to ask a simple question, to tell you how their day went, or to discuss an issue in your marriage, give them the same attention & courtesy you would give a complete stranger. Stop whatever you are doing, look them in the eye, listen & don’t finish their sentences even if you think you know what they are going to say. Often your spouse is not looking for a solution to their problems; they just want a listening ear.
2. No Marriage is Perfect:
Even the most compatible couples disagree. Marital disagreements aren’t a sign of a troubled marriage. It just means that your marriage is made up of two normal & healthy minds. While disagreements are inevitable, arguments can be minimized or avoided. The key is to establish rules of conflict resolution before conflicts arise & agreeing to give each other room to freely express feelings & frustrations before they buildup into stressors. Ideally you should sit down & calmly discuss matters. But, if tempers flare & emotions erupt; avoid name-calling, finger-pointing or saying anything you’d later regret.
3. Date till Death:
Before you got married, you got excited when you anticipated a date. You would squeal with joy! You would clean up, dress up & smell good? What happened now? Remember you got married because you dated; to stay married you need to keep dating. Rekindle the spark, spice up & keep the fire burning. Date your spouse again & recreate the good days. The return on investment will surprise you.
4. You Can’t Change Your Spouse:
Often spouses genuinely ask “How do I get my spouse to change?” The sad reality is that changing your spouse is an impossible task. Not because your spouse doesn’t want a great marriage. It’s just human nature that people resist change that is imposed upon them. No spouse has a problem with change they initiate. No spouse will ever resist self-paced change that happens on their terms. But it is when a spouse feels compelled or manipulated to change, that they will resist even the change they desire. Husbands are often notorious for wanting the change to be their idea. No amount of spousal pushing, nudging, screaming & begging is likely to yield the desired spousal change. First be the change you want to see in your spouse. Secondly create a positive change-conducive environment in your marriage. Then pray & wait on the Holy Spirit to convict & initiate the change in your spouse. Only God has the power to change your spouse’s
5. Demote & downgrade:
It’s improper for a married person to have a closer friend than a spouse. Your spouse is your best friend. All other friends & all members of the opposite sex should be downgraded to acquaintances. Don’t jeopardize your spouse’s trust by being alone with someone of the opposite sex without your spouse’s approval, even if it’s as innocent as a lunch date.
6. Divorce is not the solution & should never be an option:
God designed marriage to be a permanent holy union of two who become one. None, not even God promises a trouble-free marriage. Therefore those who enter this sacred union should mean it when they say “for better for worse, for richer & for poorer, in sickness & in health, to love & cherish, till death us do part.” God, the designer of marriage doesn’t change like product designers who produce new & improved models of cars, computers & smart phones yearly. God’s intent for marriage is to be a long-lasting & happy commitment to one person for life. Marriage is so divinely mystery that those who choose to follow God’s design often end up physically resembling each other. You made holy vow before God & God is still committed to help you to keep it as such. Let it be together forever!
7. Say No to Financial Singleness in Marriage:
When God said “they shall become one flesh” He wasn’t talking in physical terms only but in 100% of everything including money. Keeping finances separate is a major cause of separation. In marriage, there shouldn’t be “my money” or “your money;” but only “our money.” No marriage can survive a 50/50 relationship because it is contrary to God’s 100/100 principle. Reluctance to merge finances often signals unresolved trust issues within marriage. God needs 100% of each spouse in order to bond them into one. The marriage oneness mystery cannot be attained by couples that separate their lives by separating their finances. There is no greater way to express the marriage bond than merging your finances.