Did you know a happy marriage affects more than just your family? It’s true!
A review of research by the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center found that happily married soldiers have a leg-up! Research shows soldiers in happy marriages had better rates from their supervisors than single soldiers and they were promoted faster. The review also showed married soldiers had fewer job-related problems and fewer issues with drugs and alcohol.
(source: “Military Service and Marriage: A Review of Research” Reviewed by Emily L. Hull National Healthy Marriage Resource Center, https://www.healthymarriageinfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/review_mmilitarylife.pdf)
So how can you cultivate some healthy habits to keep your marriage happy and loving through the years? Check out our “Love List”:
Once a day
Touch. Cultivate the valuable practice of tender touch on a daily basis.
Hug for at least five seconds.
Remember the two most important minutes of your marriage: right when you meet at the end of the day.
Laugh. The more you laugh together, the more you love your spouse. Humor helps you cope.
Once a week
Do something active that lifts your spirits. This is an insurance policy against boredom.
Broaden your sphere of interest. Make a list of activities and circle those you might find pleasurable. Make time to do them.
Give your mate space to enjoy certain activities that are his/hers alone.
Boost your mate’s self-esteem. When your soul mate helps you reach your potential and boosts your self-confidence, your options seem limitless. Look for diamonds—dig through the rough to look for the good in each other.
Compliment your spouse.
Once a month
Rid yourselves of harmful residue. Explore unfinished business (unpaid bills, how long in-laws stay for Christmas, disciplining the kids). Talk about it and do your best to make decisions.
Talk about your money. Admit to any deception and set up safeguards that will keep you honest.
Talk about your emotional needs and anger. Forgive when you feel hurt.
Protect each other from over-commitment. Decide together what you and your family can handle.
Update how well you know your spouse. Check in with your spouse—what would he or she like you to know?
Fire up passion in the bedroom. Schedule a sex date at least once a month. Guard your time fiercely.
Once a year
Review your top ten highlights of the year. Decide together what constitutes a highlight. Make the review a memorable tradition.
Chart your course for the coming year. Be proactive about where you’d like to be as a couple twelve months from now. Ask God for guidance. Take time to consider what really matters most to both of you in your relationship.
Write a mission statement and revisit it yearly. Begin with “Our purpose is . . .” Use this statement to keep your marriage on track. Consider what you’d like to change.
Think of six things you wish were different and set ways to improve them in the next year. Set specific goals. Understand the power of making resolutions together. Awaken your can-do attitude and trust God in your coming year together as a couple.
*For more practical marriage advice, check out The Great Marriage Q&A Book. It's available in our online bookstore!