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.

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