When Colby and I first got married we had this idea that the hard part was over. We had come through a bit of a difficult time and finally got married. Now it was going to be smooth sailing right? Oh no! That's not how it happened at all. We went through a lot of pain and really awful times over the next two years but we did work through things. We worked really hard and actually built a great marriage.
However we had to realize that the work wasn't done there. Once we had worked through some of the really hard things and made some big changes to ourselves and our marriage we entered into maintenance mode. So here are a few ways to maintain your marriage relationship.
1. Have a solid friendship.
I have a few very close friends but I have to say, Colby is my very best friend. The definition of the word friend is "A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts. A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade." Do you like your spouse? Do you know your spouse? Are you constantly learning new things about your spouse? You both are allied in the same cause, the cause of completing your marriage. Never forget that your spouse is supposed to be your best friend!
2. Meet each others needs-find out what their needs are and talk about your needs.
As i've said before, your spouse is not a mind reader, if you need something you have to tell them exactly what you need. Also, if your spouse tells you something that they need you have to do everything you can to actually meet that need.
3. Embrace who your spouse is.
This goes back to not trying to change your spouse. Learn who they are and embrace that. I love to have people over for dinner and my husband is much more of a home/family body. But he has completely embraced who I am and doesn't struggle with me when I ask to have friends over. Learn to love and embrace your spouse for who they are and don't try to make them into who you want them to be.
4. Set specific goals together.
You have to daily keep your marriage on your mind and constantly be planning together where you want your family to go. Dream together. Plan together. Be on the same page about your marriage, goals and dreams at all times.
5. Get back to the basics.
Whatever your definition of a successful relationship is, that is who you need to become.Learn to do the things for your spouse that you'd like them to do. You really do reap what you sow.
6. Ask only what you are willing to give.
It is simply not right to expect more from your spouse than you are willing to give. In your marriage you are supposed to give more than you are asking for, not the other way around.
7. Take responsibility for a successful marriage.
It takes two people to make a marriage work, and in your marriage you are one of those people. You absolutely can not throw everything off onto your spouse. Take responsibility for the success you see in your marriage and also for the flaws and failures you see in your marriage. You can't just throw it all off onto your spouse.
8. Commit to your marriage.
This is probably the most important one! More than any other tips or advice you could ever get in regards to your marriage, this will always be the most important thing. Without commitment to your marriage it will never last. You have to dig your heals in, hunker down and fully commit at all times to your marriage.
The fact of the matter is, when it comes to a good marriage, it's not just going to happen. You will have to constantly learn, love, change and grow together. Marriage will never be a "Get it, got it, good" situation. You constantly have to maintain it. But if you can keep yourself and your marriage in maintenance mode, and always be working on building your marriage you can see some great things come from it!