How to Have a Great Marriage Do's and Don'ts
Let's face it, we could all use some guidelines for how to help our marriages succeed, and to have great marriages. The divorce rate is incredibly high, and the fact is that you can do things to make your marriage stronger so you avoid becoming a part of the divorce statistic. When you start thinking about what is in the best interest of your marriage instead of yourself, then your marriage succeeds. Try the following Do's and Don'ts:
Do: Think about your spouse first and foremost. Show gratitude, and love daily.
Don't: Do not talk about divorce. It is a bad idea to put ideas and insecurities in your spouse's head. It is like an invitation for them to be discontent. No matter how mad you are or get, threatening divorce means having to rebuild a lot. Not worth it!
Do: Be quick to listen and slow to speak. This is an old adage, but it is very true for great marriages. Think of it this way, we all need to be listened to, and not getting listened to makes the other person seek someone else to listen. You have twice as many ears as you have mouths, so listen twice as much as you talk.
Don't: Don't always have to be right. Always having to be right means never compromising, working things out, etc. that is like a recipe for divorce, there is a saying that goes, and "You cannot be right and be married." So, what is in the best interest of your marriage? It might feel good to be right, but it probably feels better to have a happy marriage.
Do: Say, "I'm sorry" quickly and with sincerity.
Don't: Don't try and force your spouse to be someone. Instead accept them as they are, and respect and love the differences they have with you. That is the spice of life.
Do: Make your spouse feel great about them. It is stupid to have someone you love have low self esteem, and there is plenty you can do about it. You can build your spouse up. Give encouragement and praise. If you want to have a great marriage, a great place to start is by having a great spouse. Make your spouse reach greater heights by expecting it of them, and encouraging it in them.
Don't: Don't make your spouse the brunt of any jokes. They should not be your punch line, they should be your love. So, never make a joke at their expense.
Do: Do side with your spouse in disputes outside of the marriage. It does not matter if they are right or wrong, you should side with them for the sheer fact that they are your spouse. They need to be able to count on you, you can help them understand later, in privacy, why they were wrong if they were.
Don't: Don't go to bed mad. If you want a great marriage then make up before turning in, or at least agree to talk about it later when you have had a chance to calm down.
Do: Tell your spouse you love them often. Also when you say it, use body language too. They have to feel it, not just hear it. They need to see it in your eyes, feel it in your voice etc. Yelling "I love you" in anger is not going to have much impact for the positive.