8 Things That Great Marriages Always Do - Part 3

8 Tips to Have a Thriving Marriage

You are committed to having a great marriage!  And, that takes an intentional effort to foster.  So, here are 8 things that people that have great marriages always do.

#5 Forgive Each Other

Pride is an enemy we all face.  And one of the biggest challenges that causes many marriages to be hindered is not fully dealing with issues that come up.  Conflict is guaranteed in any relationship...especially one as close as marriage.  But, conflict doesn't have to result in a slow deterioration of your relationship.  So, are you fully resolving conflicts in your marriage?  Many couples get into bad habits of sinning against each other, but never fully resolving these things.  One person might hurt the other, or both might say things that are harmful in a conversation.  But, ignoring the issue is so dangerous.  Sweeping an issue under the rug instead of humbling yourself and asking for forgiveness is sure to foster bitterness in your relationship.  Taking some time after a conflict can be helpful and healthy.  Just make sure after you've had time to process through the situation on your own you come back and seek forgiveness and full reconciliation of the relationship.  The best thing you can do when you find yourself in the aftermath of a conflict is to carefully assess what part you need to own in the situation.  Usually there is sin on both sides.  Don't worry about the other person.  Don't allow yourself to focus on what they should have done differently or how they hurt you.  Instead, fully own your part of the problem.  Even if you only think it is a small sliver of the pie, own that part fully (and once you do that at a heart level, you'll probably realize your piece of the pie was a lot bigger than it seemed at first).

#6 Communicate Transparently and Respectfully

Open, clear communication in a marriage is crucial.  But, it also has to be done in a way that respects and honors the other person.  Speaking the truth in a harsh way is not healthy communication. Speaking the truth in love is something that builds up intimacy and strengthens a marriage.  Communication is a very complex issue and there can be lots of factors that lead to strained communication.  But, ensuring that you are communicating transparently and respectfully will be the foundation that sets you on the right trajectory for growth.  Let's break down each of these a bit:
Transparency - Are you holding things back from your spouse?  This doesn't just mean in a negative way (keeping something from them because you don't think they'll approve or because you know you are doing something wrong).  That kind of hiding is obviously wrong and will cause great damage to a marriage.  But, have you considered that holding things back on the other end of the spectrum can be harmful as well?  For example, sometimes couples find themselves in a situation where one person doesn't share honestly about frustrations or disappointments or grievances they have against their spouse.  Usually their rationalization is that this is a good thing for the relationship.  They can believe they are protecting the other person or trying to be a peacemaker by not saying how they really feel.  But, over time, this kind of holding back & hiding can be very harmful to the trust in a relationship.  There can become doubt about whether what is being expressed is really true or not.  So, make sure you are speaking the whole truth to your spouse.
Respectfully - This one is important to consider in conjunction with transparency.  Just sharing the whole truth with your spouse could be hurtful if it is done in a way that lacks respect and care.  You want the goal of your communication to be edifying and building up to the other person, even when you have to say disappointing or hard things.  This one doesn't need a huge amount of explanation, but we would challenge you to really evaluate how your tone is?  If you are willing to go out on a limb, ask your spouse if your communication to them is respectful.  Ask them if they feel dishonored or disrespected in the way your tone, attitude, timing or words are coming across.  Then, seek to make small changes each day in a better direction.

Mark & Amy - Founders
Married is Great Clothing Co.

Missed Part 1 & 2?
8 Things That Great Marriages Always Do - Part 1
8 Things That Great Marriages Always Do - Part 2

Continue Reading Part 4
8 Things That Great Marriages Always Do - Part 4

I've you've already subscribed to our "Thriving Marriage Newsletter" keep an eye on your inbox for the rest of these important 8 things you need to be doing.  And, make sure you are putting them into practice today!

If you haven't joined yet, go take our 3 Minute Marriage Quiz to find out how you are doing and to subscribe to our "Thriving Marriage Newsletter".