5 Ways To Keep Your Marriage Strong

Ohh, marriage. [Sigh] Such a powerful thing. Such an amazing bond. Such a pain in the butt. Such a disaster sometimes!

I’m going to tell you 5 ways to keep your marriage strong.

But first.. I’d like to tell my love story.

My Story

My husband [Jeremy] and I first got together in July of 2011, he was 16 and I was 17 (both had birthdays coming up). I was freshly graduated and he was going to enter his senior year in September. Well, I got talking with an ex and broke up with Jeremy in November 2011 for my ex, and then left my ex again in January 2012. Jeremy and I started talking again and got together in February.

This was great. In that small amount of time we grew into very different people. We were young, and head over heels much more than we were before.

And then it happened. I was 17, Jeremy was a senior in high school and I was late for my period. Now this scare happened quite a bit. But I had a bad feeling it wasn’t a scare this time. I took the test at Wal-Mart at around 1030 at night. The test wasnt showing results and so I threw it in the bag and took it with us because I had to get Jeremy back home. On the way home he looked at the test (I was driving) and told me to pull over.

That was when our life changed. My father was strict about this so we got the huge lecture about how he was going to be raising it because we weren’t capable. And then there was his mother, a strict Christian. We went to church as well, and we had to tell our whole youth group before we went on a church trip.. kind of like a punishment.

So any way, time went on and Jeremy got to work. We even took a trip in the first trimester of pregnancy because we knew life would be different for us soon and wouldn’t be only us two ever again. So we took a road trip over an hour away to Watkins Glen, NY. This was our first time alone.. we had the time of our lives.

He worked so hard and was able to get us a trailer for our first home. It took so much adjustments for our family’s, and eventually everyone got excited!

Fast forward we got engaged eventually and then… We had a beautiful baby girl and we named her Addison Elizabeth.

And guess what? Jeremy worked so hard and we did it. He ended up a foreman at a company making $18 an hour, I stayed home and we were pretty well off! We definitely had bumps in the road, but we always worked through it.

Now as a couple living together with a baby and going to church, there was nothing but pressure to get married. And so I [willingly] pushed my big wedding plans to the side, invited our parents, siblings and grandparents, and got married in our church with the help of the pastor’s wife for my dress, and my mother and father in law for my wedding band.

Our daughter grew up so fast.

By her first birthday we were ready for number two! It didn’t take long and in November 2014, we had Grace Alivia.

Here we are today and we still go through so much. We tend to bicker a lot, but I can’t imagine my life without my husband. He’s the love of my life and I know I’m his. No one can picture us not being together. I am going to give you some tips on how we keep it going strong.

Communication: 

Ugh, my husband is seriously so bad at this. He doesn’t believe communication is key, however I was taught to never go to bed angry at your spouse.. so I tend to force him to talk.

Now this causes a lot of tension sometimes. So be patient. When you’re dealing with someone who doesn’t want to talk, it’s truly important to give them some space for a little bit.. which for me is extremely hard to do. But they need that, just like you need to talk.

Compromise

This has always been the hardest for us. My husband is a very dedicated hunter and fisher. I grew up where my parents hardly did anything on their own, where my husband’s parents did everything alone.

My husband actually believes that him not hunting every day is compromise. Well, my dear, this is far from it.

Compromise is meeting in the middle, obviously. But after years of fighting over me allowing him to go all the time, I finally have accepted it more and realized, “Is this worth the fight?

So now we’ve found times that works for us, for instance, early in the morning is a great time for my husband to go because he has a hard time sleeping in, while I NEED to be able to sleep in.

Also a great time is if his mother is willing to watch them a few hours while I’m working and he has off, OR in the evening I can go to my parents while he’s gone a few hours.

That’s compromise for us. And everyone need to find that in their main problem they have. This was always a huge problem for us, and we’ve finally found some common grounds.

Stop trying to be right!

I think a lot of couples who argue a lot, just argue to be right. You need to stop arguing to be right. You need to listen. My husband also tends to just try to be right. Literally, I will say “I feel like you are unhappy” and he will respond with, “No I’m not unhappy, you’re wrong.” And that’s all there is to that.. which leads to nothing but an argument and no solution.

It’s not about who is wrong and who is right. This is petty. This is ridiculous. If there is something on your spouse’s mind, you need to listen and respond properly. You don’t have to fully understand, but if your spouse is feeling a certain way, you should know that there is a reason why and you need to figure that out together. It’s not about who is right and wrong. It’s about keeping each other happy.

alone time:

Not only is alone time by yourselves important, but time together is so important. When my husband and I take a night out for dinner and window shopping, we have so much fun.

Shut your phone’s off if it’s that hard to stay off. Enjoy each other’s company. Play some games together! Laugh, talk, forget your financial stress for a moment!

step it up:

My husband and I are pretty stubborn. I mean, really, I’m sure no one wants to take that step to start improving your marriage. Even if just one person starts.. itll make such a difference.

I was watching Dr. Phil [love that guy] and he said something that just hit me where I needed it. He said that someone needs to be a hero in the story. You need to wake up and ask, “What can I do to make my spouse happy today?”

And really, it’s the smallest things that can show them you love them. Whether it’s making their coffee, setting out an outfit for them the next day, a massage, making their dinner plate, etc. It doesn’t have to be rocket science.

Financial stress tearing you apart? Been there. There were days we have barely talked because we were so stressed. Running out of propane and needing to come up with $1000 to pay off our back bill on top of our electricity shut off notice? Yeah been there.. in fact.. only a few months ago!

It’s so hard not to let financial stress bother you, but don’t let it interfere with your relationship. It doesn’t matter how much money you don’t have.. because even if you lose it all, you will still have each other. And you need to have each other!

And there we have it! Marriages are there for a reason. As long as both truly want it, then they will both truly work for it. Don’t give up, believe me, we’ve been through so much together so far and still have our ups and downs, but don’t forget where it all started. Remember why you fell in love in the first place.

Thank you so much!

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