6 ways to keep your marriage healthy

I want you to think of your marriage as being like the human body.

Sometimes we feel healthy and at our peak, sometimes we feel worn down and tired, sometimes we get hurt, and sometimes we get sick.

Sometimes we die.

But every day we are doing our best to keep ourselves alive and healthy, and prevent sickness and pain. Because we want to be able to live our lives to the full.

And how we look after our bodies is not so different to what we need to do to maintain a healthy marriage.
Do YOU want to keep your marriage alive?

Recognising when your marriage is functioning well

There are many things that indicate to us that our bodies are in good condition.

We have energy, we are generally happy and positive about life, and we can do most of the physical things we want to do.

How do you recognise when things are going well in your marriage?

How are you feeling? What are you doing? What are you not doing?

Physically, many indicators may be the same. For example, both having energy and being generally happy and positive about life.

Other indicators may be that you are having a satisfying sex life, you are feeling loved and valued by your spouse, you are spending regular quality time together, and you are able to communicate and solve problems effectively.

All marriages are different, and therefore it’s no use comparing your marriage to others. But it is really important to know how it feels when YOUR marriage is healthy, and to be always be aiming to get back to this point if it gets off track.

Nurturing your marriage

Think of all the things we do to nurture our bodies every day.

We eat food to give us strength, drink water to hydrate, sleep to revitalize, and exercise to maintain our fitness. We will all have many other specific things we do to maintain our appearance and health.

And sometimes in order to do this, we have to make small sacrifices. For example, trading ice cream for an apple as dessert, a night out for a good nights sleep, a sleep in for a workout at the gym.

Other times, we give in to these temptations, and our health suffers as a result.

Just like the body, your marriage needs to be nurtured in order to stay healthy. Except what your marriage needs is to be fed with is love, trust, communication, and commitment.

Like the body, this also sometimes involves making sacrifices.

For example, going to your spouse’s boring work do instead of having a night with your friends, looking after the children so your spouse can get work done, choosing not to buy that thing you really want because you’re saving for a house deposit.

As soon as we stop doing these things to nurture our marriage, our marital health starts to decline.

Looking out for signs of illness

We can usually tell pretty quickly when something is not right with our body.

We might have a sore throat, no energy, a headache, and blocked sinuses. This would be a pretty good indication that we have a cold or flu.

In your marriage, there are also signs that things might be getting unhealthy. It might take a bit longer to pick up on the signs, especially when you’re caught up in day-to-day life, but they are definitely there.

Perhaps you’ve been fighting more than usual lately, have been spending more time apart, and your sex life has declined.

Maybe you just never really feel truly happy these days.

These are all signs of illness in your marriage.

Treating symptoms

When we have a bad cold, we don’t just ignore it and keep going. We give our body what it needs to get better. Throat medicine, lemon and honey drinks, rest, sleep, and Tylenol.

When there are signs of illness in our marriage, we also need to treat these so that we can rebuild the connection with our spouse.

Perhaps you might look at the way you have been fighting lately and decide to actively try to approach issues in a calmer, more positive way, to reduce feelings of negativity and get problems resolved more effectively.

You might organise a babysitting so that you and your spouse can have a night of quality time together, to try and reconnect.

Or you might decide to make sex more of a priority, and try to spice things up a bit add if things have been a bit flat for a while.

Taking sick days

When we are ill, we often need to take time off work to recover.

Just like the body needs rest, you also need the occasional break from your spouse and family to have quality time to yourself. So you can come back refreshed, calmer and with a clearer head.

When we’re tired, stressed and burnt out, are interactions tend to get more negative and we have less control over our emotional reactions.

We’re not superhuman.

Perhaps you really just some time off from family life right now. Try communicating this with your spouse in a positive way, and organise to go away for a day or weekend either alone or with friends, when it suits. Allow your spouse the same opportunity.

Allowing each other this time apart is a special gift which will only bring you closer.

Please note that by suggesting taking time apart, we are not recommending that either you or your spouse move out of your home for an extended period of time.

Even if you are having serious troubles, having one of you move out is only going to reduce the chances of reconciliation. If you want to keep working on your marriage, take a short period of time away, but make it clear that you will be coming home at the end of this.

Making a doctor’s appointment

You’ve tried everything to make the cold go away, but it’s a week down the track and nothing has worked. Your next step is to call the doctor to make an appointment, so that they can help.

The same principle applies to your marriage - you just may be calling a different type of doctor.

If you and your spouse have tried to work through your problems but still seem to be getting nowhere, it’s time to get some outside help.

Counselling will be able to give you a fresh perspective on your marriage issues, and allow you to work through these in a safe and nurturing environment.

Like antibiotics, it may take a while before progress shows. But if you do give it time and effort, counselling will really help your marriage. What is needed her is willingness from both yourself and your spouse to try.

I hope this has helped to give you a fresh perspective on what your marriage needs in order to stay healthy.

Brooke Ryan,

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One comment on “6 ways to keep your marriage healthy”

  1. *smells like hotel room soap*won't let you touch his cell phone*shreads the cell phone bill or gets online bill only*all of a sudedn he has to run to the hardware store, or just loves to pick up milk for you at the supermarket*buys new underwear*keeps nice and trim down there*dosen't let you go down on him, cause of the smell*jumps in the shower as soon as he walks in*is actually happy around the house*Dosen't care what you do anymore

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