Marriage is supposed to be a sacred space between two people. At the best of times, this can be a tall order to create as you learn to embrace each other’s diverse personalities and unique life views. But what about when life gets tough and your days become a rodeo of complications? Uncertain times can […]
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Marriage is supposed to be a sacred space between two people. At the best of times, this can be a tall order to create as you learn to embrace each other’s diverse personalities and unique life views.
But what about when life gets tough and your days become a rodeo of complications?
Uncertain times can help strengthen your marriage. It is an opportunity for growth and recommitment.
Building Better Bonds
Marriage is considered a lifelong friendship, and we all strive for it. Yet, we are often confused about just what a successful marriage is.
We crave better relationship bonds, but we often fall very short of the marker when the going gets tough.
In knowing why things go wrong, we can discover how to make them go right.
One of the worst things to enter a marriage with is an unrealistic expectation. You are not perfect, so why expect your partner to be perfect?
Letting go of the romanticized ideal of marriage helps you to build real foundations that will carry you and help you stand tall when times get difficult.
A marriage is not a conflict-free zone. It is not about avoiding fights; rather, it is about moving through them with grace, dignity, and respect for yourself and your partner.
Prioritize Your Marriage
You should prioritize your marriage. Your partnership of “us” needs to be placed above all other challenges and needs.
Whether you are having a tough day at work or easing home with take-aways, ice-cream, and a big smile, you have to prioritize your relationship with your spouse.
Even if you are worried about your stability in an uncertain world, you should not exclude your partner from this; instead use your partnership and marriage as a springboard to rise above challenges.
Relationships take work. A marriage doesn’t just happen when you say “I do.” Instead, you need to show up every day, even when that particular day is insanely difficult.
You need to be there, putting in the relationship work. Best of all, you can learn how to strengthen your marriage.
These three skills are essential to building a better relationship that works no matter what:
1. Communication Skills
Communication is a skill most of us are not born with. We learn to do it. You need to learn to talk to your partner, ask them how they are doing, give compliments, and assure them of your availability and trust.
In a world of uncertainty, you need to use communication to create certainty in your marriage, so it offers safety and security from the confusion of the world.
Talk, don’t shout. Make your feelings heard and listen to your partner when they open up. Cultivate an understanding of each other. Listen to more than just the words. Hear your partner’s feelings, respect them, and open up about yours.
Care and think before you speak. Stick to the current facts and don’t dwell on the past. Your partner needs you present in this moment, which has enough of its own traumas. Don’t add to the strain by digging up the past or arguing about the future.
This creates a shared community within your marriage. To evolve your relationship, you should include apologizing and confiding in your partner.
While they may also have their own uncertain burdens to carry, you should open up and help them understand your concerns and worries.
When in trying times, you may find arguments cropping up with your partner, but this is an ideal opportunity to learn, forgive, build, and recommit to your marriage if you communicate effectively.
2. Creating Marriage Ties
We do team building at companies when there are signs of division, so why not do the same in your marriage? When times get tough, when the world becomes uncertain, you should also create ties that bind you and create unity.
Travel together, trying new things and new places, instead of turning away from each other and trying new people. Focus inward and learn about each other. Do chores together, dance together to the music playing in your hearts, and schedule some fun time together.
Be responsible towards each other with money, time, and effort. When times are uncertain, you both need to be at the wheel of your marriage bus. Don’t expect one partner to carry the load or steer you on. Learn (and yearn) how to strengthen your marriage.
A marriage needs rituals or ties to help it weave together into the proverbial love knot. Team-build this relationship to get the best out of each other and maintain each other when the world’s uncertainties threaten your bond. This is how you make your marriage into that soft place to fall.
Meet each other’s needs as much as possible. This includes needs like being heard, being seen, being touched or held, and being cherished.
You matter, your partner matters, and only then can you decide together how much the outside world really matters. This creates perspective.
3. Consistently Maintain Values
Values sustain you during hard times. Being able to compromise for your partner is what helps you glue together in the long run. When you value your relationship, you will be more willing to compromise for each other’s needs.
You will consistently commit to your partner when you know they will do the same for you. Even in tough times, when money is tight, and when you face individual or joint challenges, you need to be able to rely on each other.
Maintain a high value of each other, not allowing any disrespect or hurtful behavior to creep into your relationship, no matter what is going on outside your marriage. When you value each other’s input in your marriage, you create an equally satisfying relationship.
Decide together on what you are doing, where you are going, or who you are seeing. Value decisions include conversations about money. It’s not his money or her money, it’s “our” money. Use communication to facilitate these vital discussions.
Use Uncertain Times to Strengthen Your Marriage
We all move through uncertain times, and your relationships can be placed under strain by sudden unemployment, cutting your income stream, lockdowns unexpectedly forcing you and your partner together, changes in employment increasing the distances you need to travel, and a whole host of other challenges.
Yet, you can use these challenges to your advantage, build your marriage up, and improve your relationship with yourself and your spouse. With the right priorities, real expectations, strong and consistent communication, and involvement in each other’s lives, you and your spouse can discover how to strengthen your marriage.
A Final “I Do”
While it’s easy to say you have a great marriage when the good times are rolling, it is much more of an accomplishment and meaningful achievement to be able to truthfully say your marriage is great while navigating difficult times.
When you say “I do,” you are not setting limits on that. The expression is “for better or worse,” and trying times are just there to prove how well your marriage is working, show where you need to do repairs, and to give you an opportunity for marital growth.
You can strengthen your marriage every day by communicating, having realistic expectations, making your marriage a priority, and building rituals and bonding activities that will help you grow together into an even stronger “us.”