I recently came across a long list of behavioral choices that can contribute to a healthy marriage. There were five that jumped off the page at me that I would consider essential.
- Reserve time for each other at all costs. With the demands of work, kids, parents, friends, and so on, it easy to push the relationship to a place of “when I get around to it.” Don’t do it. Reserving time is critical.
- Spend only what you have because financial stress can seriously damage a relationship. Spending what you can’t afford, and going into debt for what you don’t need to have, creates tension and stress that wears on a relationship.
- Bring your expectations in line with reality. There is no perfect spouse. As I have mentioned previously, being married to the ideal person, only exists in our heads. We will do much better if we instead embrace the person standing in front of us.
- Build reasonable boundaries for the purpose of building trust. Jealousy and trust rarely co-exist. Consider healthy boundaries around such things as use of social media, friendships, and so on.
- Marriage is a marathon not a sprint. Build a foundation with patience and faith that will stand the test of time.
While I’m sure that you could think of other items to add to this list, these five are a good place to begin. I encourage you to consider them and perhaps even discuss them with your spouse today. But let me know if there are others that you think should be added. I would enjoy hearing about them.