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Apr 18

5/4 12 Ways to Keep your Relationships Fresh and Alive!

Daniel 2  The following is our first Guest post in the category.  I have asked my husband Daniel to share some of his wisdom from his mentoring and coaching with couples.  Some of what he has shared can be applied to friends in general.  Here’s what he wanted to share about Marriage.

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  Everyone is looking for a quick way to get things done and onto other events in our busy world. Yet, often we need to stop and think, reflect and give ourselves time to change our habits. This is especially true in the early years of marriage. If we can get it ‘right’ during this time, the next years will flow more smoothly.

Here are 12 Ways to Keep your Marriage Fresh and Alive:

1. Get to know your spouse at the deepest level.

Concentrate on seeing this person as though you have found a ‘new species’ of humans. Investigate how turns them on, what shuts them down, what their interests really are, how they show pleasure, pain or any responses. What about their childhood – do you know their childhood friend’s stories, their adventures and mistakes, their pains and pleasures?

2. Learn their ‘Love Language’ and practice it!

(We have a post coming that explains this concept!) What ways do they show their love for you? What gives them the most pleasure and says “I love you” that they can hear? What love language have they picked up from their family of Origin? Is that their real love language? Study your spouse!

3. Make a deep commitment to each other ’till death us do part’, to go through the tough times and share the great times!

male female diffPlan and look forward to things together. Be loyal to each other at all costs, especially in front of in-laws and friends. Care more about what your spouse thinks of you than anyone else – except God.

4. Want what is the best for your spouse.

Focus on what you love about them more than on what you want to change in them. Learn to work as a team, to enrich each other’s live. Find their strengths and learn to fit your weaknesses around that so the two of you compliment each other. If finances are her strength and that’s the husband’s weakness, what’s wrong with delegating that to her?

5. Commit to a common sense of spiritual growth.

What do you mean when you talk about spiritual or personal growth? Is your spouse in the pictures on this or is it ‘independence day’ for you? Talk about your hopes of ‘freedom’ and growth like you would a best friend, even if your husband isn’t clued in on your commitment. Don’t leave him out because you think ‘he isn’t interested’. Share with your wife your goals, mistakes and what you got out of the message from church or a moving movie.

6. Make friends with someone who has been in a happy marriage for 10 to 20 years.

Draw their wisdom and discussions on how to make your marriage be ‘bullet proof’. Watch and study how they do conflict issues. Yes, maybe you can do better but that’s part of learning.

7. Treat each other as your very special best friends.

You would never yell or tear strips off a very special best friend so why would you from your living partner? Treasure your moments together, whether doing something special or just sitting and sharing life. Always try and talk in the way as you would with your other friends that are special.

8. Make special times to talk about things.

Events pile up and some of those things need discussing. Listen to your wife’s emotions without stepping in as ‘Mr Fix-all-things’. Sometimes she just needs to vent her feelings. Communicate with your heart. Listen to each other, clarify what you don’t understand with problem solving tools.

9. Understand that you haven’t found a ‘perfect person’ but one that can make mistakes.

Give grace to allow the other person to be different, to see things differently than you do. Watch unreal expectations, mind reading or manipulation to make your partner satisfy your needs. Be careful of judging each other when being gracious and accepting is needed. Talk through your disappointments without letting them build into a big explosion.

10. Develop common interests and other times to give each other space.

D&S2You don’t have to ‘live in each other’s pockets’ to be intimate and close. Remember males interests are different than female interests; 4 wheel driving might not be your thing but he loves it!

11. Learn some basic conflict resolution skills.

Find a book, other groups or some place that teaches you how to resolve conflicts because conflicts will happen. Conflicts need not be negative, marriage blowing situations. Agree on a list of do’s and don’ts about handling conflict. Type it out and put it somewhere you both can see – the frig door or the toilet door is handy.

12. Learn to keep romance in your relationship.

Romance is different than being sexy or doing sexy things. Women especially need romance to continue to know they are precious and special to their man. Romance need not be expensive when you learn each other’s love language. Some women love a thoughtful card; others wouldn’t value it but would love an unexpected drive in the country.

These tips have helped my marriage to grow and thrive some 37 years.

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Thank You Daniel for your wisdom and insight.

Susanne Fengler, Blog Author

www.conflictsolutions.mentorsnotebook.com

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