A Stronger Marriage in 2011: 3 Simple Ways

Laughing couple.

Loving couple.

As we prepare to enter a new year, many ponder what changes can be made to make their lives better.  As we blog about marriage and sexual intimacy here at The Pure Bed’s Blog, we want to briefly review three areas where moderate investment can yield great gain.  These three areas are having date nights, exchanging gifts and learning to argue more constructively.

Date Nights are by all accounts a fabulous way to kindle passion, to renew a marital bond and to force focus exclusively on one another.  Why is this important?  It is important because, as we cover extensively in our Choices Marriage Event, the business of life drains our marital relationships of much of what makes the relationship unique.  When set on autopilot, marriage quickly becomes a relationship of convenience absent the intimate oneness it was designed to promote.  Date nights need not be expensive and should be designed to get you into a space where each becomes the other’s priority…without distraction.  Date night can be a romantic steakhouse dinner and a play.  It can also be a romantic stroll along a boardwalk with cotton candy.  And it doesn’t always have to be at night.  The key is to schedule it, plan it and keep to it!

The reality is that couples reach a particular season in their marriage when routine is almost inevitable.  Routine can promote efficiency and comfort.  However, it can also produce a rut that leaves either spouse feeling uninspired and longing for something fresh and exciting.  Unfortunately, when we think ‘fresh and exciting’, we too often envision efforts and things of moderate to great cost.  Gift giving in a healthy marriage really holds true to the mantra that it is the thought that counts!  Give gifts that communicate a sentiment and demonstrate thoughtfulness.  Create a coupon on your computer (using a graphics program, a word processing program) or search online for free romance coupons to give to your spouse.  Surprise them by planning a romantic picnic in the park where you’ve made all the arrangements and they just show up.  Give them tickets to their favorite minor league team or treat them to a night out with their friends while you attend to their chores at home.  Create a blog that exists simply as an homage to your love for your spouse.  Use free blogging services like Blogger.com or WordPress.com.  Load photos and write articles about your love for them, favorite memories, wedding stories and include testimonials by trusted friends.  The point is to be creative and sensitive to the needs and desires of your mate.

Finally, make this new year about strengthening the marriage by practicing more constructive communication techniques.  Whatever others may say, even healthy marriages experience conflict which manifests itself verbally.  We argue!  Arguing doesn’t always include shouting.  We’ve known couples whose argument style was very conversational yet obviously contentious.  This is okay.   What is important is to temper our emotions and to remember that conflict can and needs to be resolved.  Resist the urge to use absolutes.  “You always…” or “you never’…” are statements that typically produce defensiveness.  Not actively listening to our spouse results in our reacting to their statements but not responding.  Let’s voice how we feel and allow our spouse to speak to our perceptions.  Perhaps what we feel is not what they intended to communicate.  Also, rather than interrupting one another when in conflict, agree to keep statements and explanations brief and allow the other to have equal speaking time.  Repeat what you heard so as to communicate that you heard it correctly before replying.  Control your tone and look for common ground as a way to move toward resolution.  Ask yourself “Do I really have to win this one?”  Better yet, “Is there a win-win solution?

We hope for you a healthy, prosperous and blessed new year.  We are certain that God has tremendous things planned for us.  And you?

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About ThePureBed
Welcome and thanks for giving us a once over! Our blog celebrates and honors sexual intimacy in the context of marriage.

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