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What do you do to keep your marriage strong?

Posted by on Aug. 27, 2013 at 10:02 AM
  • 30 Replies
3 moms liked this

Divorced Man's Rules for a Happy Marriage Could Help You Before It's Too Late

by Kiri Blakeley

Divorce is always sad. It's saying good-bye not only to a person you once loved (and perhaps still do), but a dream that you had. A life that you thought you'd live. But if you're really lucky, you can come away from it wiser than before. You can learn lessons about not only who you are -- but who you want to be with someone else who isn't your spouse. A recently divorced man named Gerald Rogers posted a touching essay on Facebook dissecting everything he'd learned from his failed marriage -- and what he could do over if he could. We could all take away some lessons from his divorce experience.

1. Never take your spouse for granted. It's one we hear all of the time, but that we're nevertheless prone to fall into, given our often-exhausting lives. Too often work and kids and other family members and everything in between comes before your spouse. After all, you expect your spouse to understand. To be there no matter what. To put up with it. And, sadly, by the time you figure out that may not be the case, it's too late. Says Rogers:

NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.

2. Don't start looking outside your marriage for the feelings you should get inside of it. Rogers phrases this as, "Protect your own heart." He describes that as:

Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.

I think with social media, this has become the new threat to marriages -- letting people in where you shouldn't. It's so easy to sit there on your computer and, with a few keystrokes, begin flirting, flattering, sharing, and otherwise beginning the slow process of opening yourself up romantically to someone else. And, of course, because this person isn't really "real" (even if he or she does exist), he or she seems so much BETTER. By the time you realize your fantasy isn't all it's cracked up to be, your spouse may have cracked into your email and your marriage is kaput.

3. Court her every day. Rogers admits we all change, and therefore we must keep choosing our partner over and over again, which means courting and fighting for the love of our spouse over and over. Again, something that's very easy to forget with the long, slow slog of time. While I think it's just impossible (and impractical) to court with the fervor you used at the very beginning every day for decades, there's no reason you can't continue to remind yourself that nothing is forcing your partner to stay with you. And that you owe her the interest, love, and affection you gave her/him in the early days.

These are some valuable words for people who are married and may be finding their dedication flagging a bit. But I wonder what his ex thinks of them? While on the one hand, it's nice that he seems to have learned his lesson. On the other, it would have been nice if he'd learned it earlier.

What do you do to keep your marriage strong? If you were married before, did you learn anything from your divorce?

by on Aug. 27, 2013 at 10:02 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Trica on Aug. 27, 2013 at 10:11 AM
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We take time for one another!

by on Aug. 27, 2013 at 10:13 AM

we put our marriage before all else, make time for each other, make sure to do little things, and hugging and kissing all the time helps keep the connection.

after 10 years i'm more in love with my husband now than when we first met :)

by on Aug. 27, 2013 at 10:24 AM

 We are great at all these things. Sometimes we just have to force ourselves to go on a date though. Sometimes that date has been changed from some big night out to a bottle of wine and a movie at home while someone watches the kids for us. Sometimes those dates have ended in horrid fights and sometimes we just stare at each other in silence over dinner. Still, we persevere. That's probably what I would say makes your marriage great. We are 2 people who are way too stubborn to ever give up trying and working on our marriage.

by on Aug. 27, 2013 at 10:33 AM
We find time for eachother. Date nights. We find a sitter and just forget we are parents for the night and focus on us as a couple. We also very open and honest with eachother We have good sex too that always helps. I think we spoil eachother too. Right now I'm more spoiled but I'm pregnant so that's just how he is.
by Michelle on Aug. 27, 2013 at 11:36 AM

We put our marriage above everything and spend as much time together as possible.

Mom to 8
Emily, Jordan, Sara, Jason, Aiden, Chloe, Nick and Cody 

by on Aug. 27, 2013 at 11:44 AM

We talk to each other. If I see him upset, I ask him what's wrong. When he comes home I ask how his day was. We also tend to goof off and have fun a lot. We hit a time where everything was very serious, we didn't see each other much, hardly talked. It was hard on our marriage. I realized how negative we had become to everything. When I finally figured out to try to put a positive spin on things, things got better. He still can be a little negative at times, but I let him know when he is, he is trying to be more aware of it.

by on Aug. 27, 2013 at 12:53 PM
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I tell my husband every day how greatful I am for him and giving me 3 children, I tell him how much I love him, we have a strong communication and we find strenght in each other, our marraige is strong, we never go to bed /anywhere without saying I love you always ...

by on Aug. 27, 2013 at 1:03 PM
We communicate about everything, I think that's key to for a strong marriage. Making each other feel good. Do small special things for one another.
by on Aug. 27, 2013 at 1:23 PM
1 mom liked this
We always put the other first
We are always constantly hugging kissing and loving on each other
We let one another know how we truly feel about them, verbally also
We always are building the other person up
We respect each others opinions always
by on Aug. 27, 2013 at 1:32 PM
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1) have a sense of humor

2) Pick your battles

3) Marry someone you really like a lot.  Someone that isn't only your lover, but your friend - SO IMPORTANT!

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