Whether you like to make New Year’s Resolutions or not, now is as good a time as any to take stock of your marriage, assess how things went this past year for you and your spouse and set marriage goals for the upcoming year. For a better marriage, you should determine what are the strengths in your marriage and what areas need improvements? What actions are you going to implement in order to make those improvements happen?
10 Principles For a Better Marriage in 2019
In this article:
- Don’t sweat the small stuff.
- Great sex is more than just physical.
- A good compromise means putting each other first.
- Marriage wasn’t designed to make you happy.
- Date night should foster communication.
- Marriage requires a financial commitment.
- You have to be in it for the long haul.
- Learn to let go.
- Marriages don’t stand still.
- Constant confrontation drains the relationship.
To assist you in your goal setting, here are 10 Principles for a Better Marriage from our BMWK team that will help you focus on strengthening your marriage in the areas of communication, intimacy, finance and more.
Principle #1. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
You miss out on the joys of marriage when you focus too much on the small issues. In article 4 Ways to Break the Nitpicking and Complaining Curse in Your Marriage, author and relationship coach Tiya Cunningham Sumter says this: “some people look for what’s not working and aren’t sure how to be happy. Of course, the majority of us have areas in our marriage we wish were better, but we miss our marriage blessings when we focus on small issues.”
Principle #2. Great Sex Requires More than the Physical
If you want to have great sex, then you need to put first things F.U.RS.T. (Forgiveness. Unselfishness. Respect. Surrender. Trust.) Author and Pastor Edward C. Lee says in the article Elevate Your Marriage: 7 Practices of Highly Intimate Couples:
“The five attributes that makeup F.U.R.S.T. are revelations that far exceed what mere physical action can bear. Building a mutually enjoyable sex life takes more than showing up at night; it is the emotional and spiritual connections that abide throughout our relationship. When sex is merely physical, it is temporal and limited in its ability to bring us emotionally closer…”
Principle #3. A Good Compromise Means Putting Each Other First
“The key to a good compromise is the same as the key for a good marriage: each person putting the other person first,” says relationship coach Rahaman “Kil” Kilpatrick. In the article I Did It My Way: How to Compromise in Your Marriage, he says: “More couples have to learn to be supportive of each other. We have to remember to provide our spouses a loving environment when they want to come to talk to us. No one wants to discuss something with a spouse who’s just gonna shut you down from the door without even listening to what you have to say.”
Principle #4. Marriage is Not Designed to Make You Happy
If you want a happy marriage, then you must first be happy as an individual. In the article Being a Happy Wife is Essential to Your Marriage, author Christine St. Vil. says: “Being happy with yourself allows you to grow closer to your husband, whereas being unhappy allows for a wedge to grow between you. It allows for problems and pride to escalate. When you’re happy, people are naturally drawn to you including your husband.”
Principle #5. Date Night Should Foster Communication
Date night should be deeper than the activity. In the article Top 10 Date Ideas to Improve Communication in Your Relationship, author Jackie Bledsoe, Jr. says: “Many of the dates we have do not foster a good environment for communication. There may be activities, but not really the opportunity to have an intimate conversation.”
Principle #6. Marriage Requires a Financial Commitment
“Marriage is not only an emotional commitment, but it is also a financial one,” says Kara Stevens in 5 Questions You Must Answer To Build Financial Intimacy in Your Marriage. She says: “Whether you are recently married, recently engaged, or are a seasoned married couple, make sure that your shared financial goals will safeguard your family’s fiscal peace of mind and sanctity.”
Principle #7. You Have to be in It for the Long Haul
Though you may be tempted, you can’t break up at the first sign of distress; Your mindset should be that you have to be there through thick and thin. In 4 Ways to Tell If You’re a Ride Or Die Wife author Latoya Irving states: “Marriage is a ride for two. There will be smooth roads where you can close your eyes and relax and there will be bumpy roads where you have to hold on a little tighter and work with your husband to get over the humps. Don’t be so quick to jump off the ride when it gets scary, hold on and ride that ride.”
Principle #8. You Have to Learn to Let Go
Forgiveness is essential in all marriages. In Is Your Marriage Suffering Because You Won’t Let Go? author Martine Foreman says: “When you are unwilling to let go, it causes just as much damage as an unwillingness to work through your issues in the first place. They go hand in hand because you really haven’t worked through anything if you are having any lingering emotions that cause you to relive what went wrong. Put in the work, choose to forgive, and let it go. It’s the only way to strengthen your union.”
Principle #9. Marriages Don’t Stand Still
“Marriages get better or worse, they don’t stand still.” Relationship expert Dr. Gary Chapman said this in a marriage conference I attended this year. In my recap of the conference, Want a Better Marriage? Here are 5 Things You Should Know, I share: “Your marriage is going to go down a path whether you like it or not. But, you have the power to choose the path that your marriage will take. If you are intentional and you invest energy into your marriage it will grow.” A better marriage in 2019 will require movement but only you and your spouse can point it in the right direction.
Principle #10. Constant Confrontation Drains the Relationship
Effective communication is vital for the long-term survival of your relationship and a better marriage in 2019. In How Effective Communication Can Keep Your Relationship Out of Chaos, relationship coach Troy Spry says: “You shouldn’t have to argue and fuss with your mate all the time to get your point across.
Constant confrontation and arguments drain the relationship and build up resentment that ultimately causes the relationship to break down. There will always be differences in opinion and ideas in relationships, but the ability to communicate those in a mature way is the only way for two imperfect people to consistently get on the same page.”
The BMWK staff is wishing you a Happy New Year and that your marriage and family will be blessed and prosperous in the coming year.
Editor’s Note: BMWK originally published this post on January 1, 2014. We have updated it for quality and relevancy.