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Wednesday, 08 November 2017 10:34

Keeping Your Marriage Healthy

Written by  Debbie Cowell
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A vital component in keeping your marriage healthy is to start making healthy changes in you.

 

A healthy marriage is like a finger print in that no two are exactly alike.

 

For most people, healthy marriage relationship skills do not come naturally. We usually default to the model of our primary caregivers. Over time we add, through trial and error, what works and what doesn’t. Still others gain insight by attending marriage conferences, reading books, or attending other organized classes.

 

The marriage relationship is constantly changing as couples move together through the seasons of life. Balance has to be maintained and priorities re-evaluated with each normal transition. It’s wise to evaluate your marriage relationship frequently for subtle changes that are creating negative feelings in either you or your spouse.

 

We are taught as Christians that we are unique creations. 1Thessalonians 5:23 describes us as having a body, soul, and spirit. If one of these areas is not healthy, we will become off balance. This can have a negative impact on your marriage. Understanding who we are and how these areas can impact your spouse is a great place to start for either repairing or improving your marriage.

 

 The mind is very complex. How we perceive our world can be drastically different between couples living in the same environment.  Miscommunication seems to be a universal roadblock.  Here are just a few of the more frequent communication obstacles and solutions that can help.

 

 

Wrong Assumptions– Some people are quick to assume that a comment has a negative meaning. Constant clarification is crucial whenever a comment generates a negative emotion in the listener. Simply repeat what you thought you heard and give your spouse a chance to either verify or restate their comment before the negative feeling takes root.

 

 

Not Actively Listening– A common trigger for anger in a person is feeling as though no one is listening. Active listening involves a few simple steps. Frequent eye contact, stopping other tasks, and turning your body toward the speaker sends nonverbal messages to your spouse. It is telling them that you are interested in what they have to say. Also occasionally reflecting back what the person just said lets them know you are following the conversation.

 

 

Not Validating Feelings– Minimizing the feelings of another can result in several negative outcomes.  A confrontation may be triggered.  The person whose feelings were minimized may withdraw from further communication. In some cases the withdrawal results in looking to others who do value their feelings, opinions, and ideas.

 

It is crucial that you put as much value to the feelings of your spouse as you give to your own feelings. Couples frequently disagree. Validating feelings does not mean changing your position. It just puts value to all feelings in the relationship.

 

Most couples are at different levels of spiritual maturity. If both are Christians, it is vital that each spouse accept the other where they are spiritually. Wanting your spouse to spiritually grow is reasonable. Pushing them to be where you think they should be is not.

 

A powerful tool spouses can use to encourage each other spiritually is daily prayer. There are two books I frequently recommend that couples have found extremely helpful, The Power of the Praying Wife and The Power of the Praying Husband.  They were written by the popular author Stormie Omartian.

 

Poor physical health can put great strain on a marriage. Some Illnesses are out of our control. Many health issues are the result of putting other life responsibilities before our personal health.  Making your health a top priority can energize and improve intimacy. Spouses working together to stay healthy and active can create a close and rewarding bond.

 

When personal reflection and attempts to improve your marriage relationship are ineffective, marital counseling can be a helpful solution. All will agree marriage is hard work. When couples face that hard work together, the journey becomes a unique and rewarding experience.

 

 

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