With the divorce rate as high as it is, you must do everything possible to strengthen and protect your marriage. You can’t always have your way or give in to your feelings. You have to discipline yourself to do the right thing. You must do what is in the best interest of your marriage. Here are some fundamental guidelines that can make a huge difference.
1. Be quick to listen and slow to speak. I like to remember that God gave us two ears and one mouth. Use them in this ratio. Listening is truly an art form and it takes practice and commitment. If you don’t listen to each other, someone else will.
2. Don’t always try to be right. You cannot be right and be married. It is always better to do the right thing than to be right. Trying to always be right will doom the future of your bond. The powerful chemistry that you once felt will be diluted.
3. Never threaten to leave or divorce. Things change between you once you speak these words and it’s hard to correct. Even if you’re angry, don’t threaten divorce.
4. Be quick to say, “I’m sorry”. It amazes me how rapidly a couple is strengthened in love by sincerely saying they are sorry.
5. Don’t expect your spouse to believe all the same principles you do. Respect their differences and them. Love them unconditionally.
6. Build your spouse up. Freely give encouragement and praise. Remember, it is better to give than to receive. Most people are starving for kind and uplifting words. Don’t let the person you love fall into this category.
7. Always side with your spouse in disputes outside of the marriage, even when they are wrong. Respect the bond of your marriage. Give your spouse the message that “You can always count on me. I’m here for you.”
8. Learn to appreciate the things your spouse does and verbalize these often. Don’t take your spouse for granted. Thank them for the things they do for the marriage. Cooking, cleaning and bringing home a paycheck are worthy of frequent appreciation.
9. Try to never go to bed angry with your spouse. At the very least, learn to allow a truce between you until you can figure things out. Your marriage is more important than the conflict.
10. Start and end each day by telling your spouse that you love them. Let your eyes and your embrace convey the same message.