Posted August 4, 2008
Tips for a Happy Marriage
Courtesy of Susan Vogt, MA, CFLE
Have a "plastic party for two." If you can't keep track of your expenses, or are spending too much, spend an evening cutting up all but one (or two) of your credit cards. Keep the one with the lowest interest rate.
Whose marriage do you admire? It's good to have healthy models of marriage. Hang around with other couples who value their marriage.
Noting that his grandparents have been married 50 years, Charlie Brown observes, "Grampa says it isn't luck; it's skill" (Classic Peanuts, 9-26-01). Marriage starts with love but skills can make it work. Consider taking a communication class.
Some spouses need to hold (bite) their tongues more; others need to loosen their tongues and talk more about their feelings or thoughts. Which best fits you?
"How blessed is the husband of a really good wife; the number of his days will be doubled" (Sirach 26:1). Recent medical research confirms that married men live longer than single men. Sharing life's stresses makes them more bearable.
"Everyone has part of the wisdom. Everyone has a different part" (Mary Benet McKinney, OSB, Sharing Wisdom). When arguing with your spouse, look for your spouse's part of the wisdom.
Weekly Date Idea: Do something silly that reminds you of your childhood, such as catching lightning bugs or feeding ducks.
Have you ever made a Marriage Encounter weekend (wwme.org) or attended another marriage enrichment event? These are not for troubled marriages but for couples who want to deepen their relationship.
Asking your spouse "Why?" can sound accusatory. Avoid questions such as "Why did you do that?" Instead, try "Honey, I would feel safer if you drove more slowly."
What mood is your spouse in today? It shows empathy and increases intimacy to recognize your spouse's mood. Name the mood and ask your spouse if you're right.