Are you engaged, a newlywed, or married for many years? Are you looking for some absolute marriage truths that can help make your relationship rock solid?
Well, no matter where you are on your marital journey, you must continue learning how you can be a better spouse and what you can do to make your marriage awesome.
That why I am here - to help you do that very thing. 🙂
I can tell you one thing about marriage - to be successful you AND your spouse must be committed to each other and to creating your best marriage. It takes 100% effort from both spouses. It takes work.
I think many couples don't fully understand this part about marriage.
As part of that commitment to each other, there are a few absolute truths about marriage that you and your spouse must implement early and often if you indeed are going to create the amazing marriage God intended for you.
In this post, we are going to cover three of these marriage truths that you and your spouse must know and implement now.
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Marriage Truth #1 - You Must Learn to Say "I'm Sorry"
I get it. Sometimes saying "I'm sorry" is very difficult. Saying "I'm sorry" may make you feel like you are giving up control in the relationship to your spouse or maybe even that you're being disrespected by having to apologize for something. For you, the thought of humbling yourself before your spouse and asking for their forgiveness is a bit hard to handle.
To that I say - "Get over it!" Regardless of how difficult it may be, your spouse and your marriage need you to be able to say these words.
A person's ability to acknowledge and confront mistakes says a lot about them and their level of maturity. The apostle Paule wrote in his letter to the church in Corinth:
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. - 1 Corinthians 13:11
Being able to recognize and admit mistakes is really just part of being an adult. In marriage, not only is it key that you understand and recognize when you have done something to disappoint or offend your spouse, but you must also take ownership of it.
Learning to apologize requires a sense of self-awareness. That makes sense, right? How can you apologize if you aren't aware that you did anything wrong in the first place? This one has bitten me on more than one occasion.
When you realize that you are in the wrong - own it. Look at your spouse and apologize.
The key steps for an apology include:
- Realize that you have done something wrong - you must first be aware that you said or did something to hurt or disappoint your spouse.
- Own it - After you realize what you have done, you need to own it. Don't make excuses for your behavior.
- Express your apology - The sincere use of the words "I'm sorry" can be humbling, but can also be powerful and key building blocks in your relationship. However, an insincere apology blurted out in a moment of frustration can be very damaging.
- Learn from it - Make sure your spouse knows that you understand where things got off track and how you can prevent it from happening again. Your apology loses sincerity when you are repeatedly apologizing for the same thing again and again.
So learning to use the simple phrase "I'm sorry" can be key to helping you and your spouse strengthing your marriage. Use it and your marriage will be off to a good start.
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Marriage Truth #2 - You Must Learn to Say "Thank You"
As a general rule, people don't like to be taken for granted. I suspect your spouse likely falls into this category.
Learning to say "Thank you" to your spouse will go a long way towards making sure they feel (and know) that you appreciate what they do in the relationship.
Whether it's one spouse working 60 hours a week so the other can stay home with a child or it's the other spouse putting their career on hold while they stay home with the children, both spouses are working hard to contribute to the relationship and the family. They need and deserve recognition from the other spouse.
You don't have to rent a billboard along the highway to acknowledge them or their efforts. I simple, "Honey, I appreciate that you do ...." will probably do the trick. The key is to know your spouse and what is meaningful to them.
Studies have shown that not only expressing gratitude but feeling it as well can have a significant impact on the relationship. The simple infusion of "Thank you" or "I appreciated that you did ...." can create a tone of recognizing, appreciating, and honoring each other within the relationship.
From Widian Nicola, "Gratitude has been shown to improve psychological health, physical health, reduce aggression, and increase mental strength. I would argue that the use of “thank you” (and meaning it) on a regular, consistent basis has the capacity to enhance intimacy significantly."
On the other hand, using an attitude of "It is her job to do ....", "He is supposed to do ....", or "She knows that I appreciate her." as an excuse to forget or neglect to acknowledge your partner can lead to feelings of being taken for granted or not appreciated. Obviously, this isn't a good mindset for your relationship.
In his letter to the church a Thessalonica, Paul provided us with an example of a spirit of gratitude:
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
My wife does countless things for me and she knows that I deeply appreciate her, but she still likes to hear me acknowledge her. I think It's only human to desire this type of appreciation. I tell her "Thank you" frequently for both the big and the small things she does for me and for us. Not just because I know it makes her feel good to hear, but because I am genuinely appreciative of her.
Do you acknowledge your spouse and their efforts in the marriage? Really the only way to know is to sit down with them and ask them if they feel appreciated. This action on your part will go a long way towards creating an emotional connection and strengthening your marriage.
Marriage Truth #3 - You Must Learn to Say "I Love You"
Anne knows that I love her. Is it really necessary that I say it?
Of course, it is!! Not only should I say "I love you" often, but I should say it through both my words and my actions.
A great step you can take for your marriage is to get our free action guide to help you learn to say "I love you" to your spouse.
Although Anne knows that I love her, it is my responsibility to reinforce it and make her feel it.
The absence of reinforced love in your relationship opens the door for one spouse to question the feelings for the commitment of the other.
Similar to when Paul wrote to the Ephesians about allowing anger to sit in your relationships:
and do not give the devil a foothold. - Ephesians 4:27
you must not allow the devil to gain a foothold in your relationship. Withholding expression of love and affection from your spouse create that foothold.
Dewey Wilson wrote "Research conducted in recent years actually reveals that saying the three words, “I love you,” also represents a commitment to future behavior. Meaning, when we sincerely tell our spouse “I love you,” we are committing to them that our behavior, both in their presence and when apart, will demonstrate unquestionable attitudes of love and the resolve to protect our covenant of marriage."
How to Say "I Love You"
So, how do you go about telling your spouse that you love them? It probably seems simple enough, but you need to make sure you are telling them in a manner that speaks to their heart.
I think most people enjoy hearing the words "I love you", but people also want to see or feel it as well. This is where it is important for you to understand your partner and what is important to them.
Holding hands while walking in the park, sitting on the couch and just asking them about their day, or washing their car can all be gestures that really convey your love and commitment to your spouse.
You, as their spouse, must have the desire and put in the effort to get to know what is meaningful to your spouse and how you can express your love to them.
Final Thoughts on Marriage Truths
I know - implementing the marriage truths presented about may seem like a lot of effort. You are already so busy with work, kids, etc. that you feel you don't have time to think about these things.
I'd like to remind you that you are called to love your spouse and honor God with your marriage. The focus of your time should be:
I'll admit that I have often fallen short on this list of priorities. I have gotten things turned upside down. That's how I can tell you in order to create your best marriage you need to focus first on what is truly important.
Honor God and show your spouse how deeply they loved, respected, and appreciated by learning to implement the absolute truths listed above.
Until next time,
Anne and Steve
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Ryan K Biddulph
#2 and #3 have been pure gold for me! Being grateful and expressing love genuinely changed my marriage. All about spreading love, not fear.
Ryan, thanks for reading! Safe travels! Steve
I have the goal to work on my marriage and relationships more in 2019. This is a big help!
Meg, glad you enjoyed it. Happy New Year!