When it comes to marriage, you have to be proactive in terms of keeping it strong, healthy and thriving. You have to nurture it as you would a plant or child in order to keep it alive. You have to feed your marriage if you want it to survive a world that’s surrounded by people always telling you how many marriages fail as opposed to how many succeed.
I honestly believe my marriage grows stronger each year; and going into year 11 has been a real testament of this.
This year, what would drive most marriages further apart (extra long hours at work, more travel apart, etc.), has actually brought our marriage closer together. And when I think about how this could be possible, I have no doubt it’s because my husband and I have found and learned how to sustain these three critical S’s in our marriage.
And before you get excited (while yes, it’s good) SEX is not one of the S‘s. But I assure you that when you have these other 3 S’s in place, that fourth S will fall right into place (*wink*).
Here are the 3 S’s your marriage must have to sustain a lifetime:
Your marriage must have established security. When you think about a home alarm system, it’s only activated when there is trouble brewing. In order to successfully deactivate it, you must know the code. What is the code you have to protect the invaluableness of your marriage?
That means that when feelings, emotions and insecurities arise, each spouse in the relationship knows and understands the code to protecting and disarming those alarms.
Early on in our marriage, my husband and I didn’t have a security system armed and ready to go. This meant that we were quick to fuss and fight as opposed to having a discussion. We were quick to jump to conclusions, as opposed to really listening to what and how the other person was feeling.
Once we learned to better communicate, we were able to create a security fence around our marriage. I now know there is nothing I can’t take to my husband and not feel secure in his reaction or his ability to disarm the alarm (and vice versa).
There are few things more hurtful or damaging than lack of support from your spouse. And you don’t always have to agree with your spouse in order to support them. If they feel strongly enough about something, understand that having your support will boost their confidence that much more.
I remember when my husband came to me with a goal he had in the beginning of the year. But in order to reach that goal, we would have to sacrifice time with each other and time as a family unit. While I didn’t initially agree with his decision, I supported him because his ultimate vision would impact our family for the better. Had I been bitter about his decision, we would’ve spent the little bit of time we’ve had together arguing about the little bit of time we had together, as opposed to enjoying the little bit of time we have together. Mutual support is critical to sustaining a happy marriage.
People put together systems for their jobs at work, their businesses and even sometimes at home when it comes to meal prep, chores, laundry, etc. But what systems have you put into place for your marriage? What do you do to de-escalate a potential argument? How do you handle a disagreement in front of the kids or other people? What systems do you have in place for your marriage to ensure the No. 1 goal: you always stay on the same team?
Even now, one of the ways we demonstrate to our children that we are on the same team and we come first to each other, is that when we go out to eat, occasionally, we will sit next to each other, as opposed to across from each other. We’ll have the kids sit across from us, so they can see the importance of our system as mom and dad, husband and wife.
Having a sense of security, support, and systems in place for your marriage is critical to combating the everyday challenges one can face as a result of not nurturing your marriage.
If you feed your marriage these 3 S’s regularly and are sure to have ongoing checkups, I guarantee your marriage will continue to thrive. Even when times should be stressful, your marriage will soar beyond measure.
BMWK: How does your marriage handle any of these 3 S’s?