It seems that boot camps are all the rage these days. I mean, there’s probably a Bootcamp for just about anything. Whether it’s learning a new language or whipping your body into shape, it’s as easy as a google search and a click to find someone willing to sell their knowledge. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for earning a living by parting with some of one’s hard-earned expertise. Particularly when it comes to challenging times in your marriage, it’s important to get as much expert help as possible. However, if you’re struggling to reconcile your bank account and your need for professional assistance, you might need to settle for a relationship boot camp DIY. If you’ve ever been to a marriage boot camp or even a couples’ retreat, you’re already ahead of the game. If not, here are three boot camp lessons you can start practicing today to fortify your marriage and give it a fighting chance.
3 Marriage Bootcamp Lessons You Should Practice Every Day
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The idea behind a boot camp is to institute some hard-hitting lessons into the psyche to achieve maximum results in record time. Boot camps usually don’t last too long as the intensity they bring isn’t sustainable for the long haul. Depending on the branch, military boot camp training can last anywhere from six to thirteen weeks. However, the idea is that once the intensive training is over, the lessons are so heavily ingrained that participants continue the pattern of behavior naturally. Marriage boot camps, though they differ in delivery, teach a few common principles worthy of daily practice. So, rather than wait for things to start souring in your marriage, allow these principles to be a part of your weekly, if not daily, marriage routine.
Set aside distraction-free time with each other
Distraction-free time? What is that? When you’re a newlywed, this seems like a no-brainer. You can’t get enough of each other. Your spouse is your world and you are all wrapped up in it. But as life moves forward, work, children, and other challenges eat away at your alone time with your spouse minute by minute. The ease with which you spent time with each other at the beginning of your relationship has faded. Now, you struggle just to see each other more than an hour each day.
In marriage boot camp, you are forced to spend time with each other without distraction. That’s one reason these camps work so well. Now, whether it’s been intentional or not, you can’t avoid each other. You must face your problems and deal with them head-on. Practice this method on a weekly basis in your relationship and watch your relationship blossom rather than wither. What this looks like is different for every relationship. For some, it might be date night. For others, it might be a weekend get-away. Whatever works for your marriage, you must be intentional in making it happen.
Without a doubt, communication is one of the most difficult lessons to learn, even during a marriage boot camp. In fact, there’s usually a trained professional who sits with each couple and help them navigate conversations effectively. However, one thing that can’t be manufactured is sincerity as you communicate. Your partner can sniff out nonsense when it’s being delivered. During boot camp, any attempt at forging sincerity is challenged until the “real” or the truth comes to light.
Though this takes practice to get it just right, it is possible to find your sweet spot of communication with your partner. Communication is a two-way street. It involves both listening and speaking. If you do both with sincerity, you won’t go wrong.
Make intimacy a priority
Probably one of the more fun parts of boot camp is breaking away from the intensity of the day and enjoying the comfort of the night. As you set aside distraction-free time in order to sincerely communicate, your heart opens up to feelings of romance once again. Holding hands, kissing, cuddling and making love are all back on the table. In your day to day life, intimate behavior is a must in order to keep your love for each other alive and growing. By making it a priority, you will continue to water the roots of your relationship making it even more invulnerable to any attack.
Take care of your marriage. Don’t let days and weeks go by without spending one on one time together, communicating sincerely with each other, or being intimate in the ways that make your love grow. By practicing these marriage boot camp principles, you minimize your need for the heavy-duty stuff. Instead, use the money to go on a cruise…which I imagine would be a lot more fun!
BMWK: What marriage boot camp lessons do you practice daily?