When I was younger I worked as a life guard at a community pool.
One day, a disgruntled older man decided he would give me some advice. He said, “Don’t ever get married. You’ll be miserable.”
I remember telling him, “Just because you have a bad marriage doesn’t mean I have to have a bad marriage.” It was a sad thing to see someone so negative against marriage. It doesn’t have to be that way, though.
No one sets out on their honeymoon with the goal of getting a divorce, but sadly many people end up there.
For the 50% of couples that don’t end up divorced, there is a percentage of those that feel their marriage is just not what they thought it would be.
But I believe a large percentage of that 50% have a good marriage, but feel it could be better.
Whether you are married and looking for ways to make your marriage better or you are currently single and desire be married;
Here are 3 Ways To Make a Good Marriage Great.
1) Consider Your Spouse’s Interests.
My hunch is that when you were first dating you did lots of things that typically “weren’t your thing”. It doesn’t mean that men need to flock to the mall with their wives every weekend or that women need to go out and buy a set of the latest Duck Dynasty camo. It does mean that marriage isn’t all about us.
How can you create a connection with your spouse with the things he/she is interested in? It may be as simple as a conversation asking them about their interest that shows you care.
My wife, Jacque has a love for helping orphans in Mexico. She oversees a mission trip there with a group of about 100 people. I know she cares about that deeply and I know it means a lot to her when I ask how things are going with the planning.
2) Apologize When Necessary.
The two words, “I’m sorry” tend to be some of the hardest to say when you are married. No one likes to admit they are wrong. If you have offended your spouse, be quick to apologize. Easier said than done, but sincere apologies create relational equity. It goes a long way and shows your spouse your relationship is more important than being right.
On a similar note, when your spouse apologizes be quick to forgive. Unforgiveness and holding grudges create a wedge in your marriage. It’s impossible to create a great marriage if a spouse is holding onto a grudge. Drop the rock of unforgiveness and your relationship will move forward.
3) Be a Good Listener.
Listening shows value. Genuine listening. Waiting for your turn to talk is not listening. Your spouse knows you care when you listen.
A word to the men. We have a tendency to try to “fix things”. Sometimes our wives need to just be heard and understood. Ask them if there is anything we can do to help, but many times they will just want to be heard.
Also, a word to the women. Men have shorter attention spans when it comes to listening. Men want to serve by listening, but it can be difficult to stay with a long story. It’s just the way many of us are wired.
If husbands and wives can understand their differences, communication in the relationship can flourish.
These are not the only ways to make a good marriage great, but they certainly are things every couple can put into practice and see results.
A great marriage is possible. One great decision at a time.
Which of these do you feel is the most important?