Sheila Wray Gregoire on 10 Ways to Spice Up Your Marriage

What marriage goals do you have for this new year?

The big thing I talk about here at To Love, Honor and Vacuum is marriage, and with the new year upon us, it makes sense to look at some ways you can improve your marriage over the next year.

So have you made any marriage goals? I asked on Facebook for marriage goals that people had made this year, and got some great answers!

But remember–if you want to meet those goals, you need to develop new habits that will get you there! And today, for Top 10 Tuesday, I thought I’d list 10 marriage habits that can help you reach some new goals!

As you’re reading this, here’s what I’d suggest: Before you start, think of the big goal or big change you’d like to see in your marriage this year. Have that in your mind first. Then, as you read, what ONE habit resonates the most with you? What ONE habit will get you where you feel God is calling you?

Then start that ONE thing! (Please don’t try to start all 10. Pretty please. Make one small change! It’s much easier to do, and then you’ll see better results.)

Okay, let’s go:

Marriage Habits to Help You Feel Emotionally Closer

1. Start a daily check-in

One of the biggest threats to oneness in marriage is simply drifting apart–or feeling like you don’t know each other anymore. That’s so common, especially if you work separate shifts or if one of you spends a lot of time out of town. Even if you’re just busy with kids, and you’re in the same house at night, you can still feel like you’re drifting.

So start this one great marriage habit: every night, share your high and low–the time during the day when you felt most energized and “in the groove”, and the time when you felt the most drained.

Here’s why this is especially powerful: Introverts can be extra awkward with the question, “what did you do today?” It makes it sound like you have to recount your whole day and talk for hours! But if you simply have to share two moments, it’s easier to do. And you both still feel emotionally connected, because you’ve shared the times when your emotions were strongest.

2. Go to bed at the same time

Adults need bedtimes, too! In fact, adults need SLEEP. And with screens, often we stay up far too late. If you go to bed at the same time, though, you’re more likely to feel rested, and you’re more likely to experience real intimacy as you drift off together. That’s your time to chat, to pray, and even to make love!

3. Add some non-screen time to your day

Start a new hobby together. Play some board games as a couple! Find some things to do that don’t involve a screen.

My husband and I have recently decided that every night we’re going to play a board game BEFORE we watch Netflix or bring a screen into our marriage. It challenges the brain. It lets you laugh together. And it lets you talk and create memories. Screen times are passive times when the brain isn’t really engaged. Game times are active times. So that’s when you can create memories!

I have a great post on 2 player board games that I update all the time with new games. Here’s our game cupboard shelf with all our games that work with just two people. So fun!

4. Have a weekly date night

Many women on Facebook wrote about wanting to stress a weekly date night this year! But date night doesn’t have to mean dinner and a movie. It can just mean planning one night a week that’s especially for you. Maybe you put the kids to bed first and then you eat later, and do something together (like that board game). Or maybe you do ballroom dancing online classes in your living room! (That’s one of our favourite romantic things to do!)

One woman on Facebook wrote this:

[Our goal is] weekly date night! Even if they are staying in dates (we have three small children and a puppy haha!)

5. Catch him doing something right

Here’s a different habit that can make all the difference! One woman on Facebook wrote this:

[My goal is] to keep “catching him doing things right!” Looking for opportunities daily to thank him, affirm him, compliment him, both privately and in front of others. And to talk to God daily in deep prayer about areas he needs to grow and change, for at least a month, before I try talking to him about it.

She got that “catch him doing things right” from my book 9 Thoughts That Can Change a Marriage. So often we’re looking and thinking about the things that he’s doing wrong. But when you make it a habit, everyday, to find one thing to call out and compliment that he’s doing right, then you start looking for those things. And when you look for them, you notice them more. It changes your whole outlook! You become more grateful and more loving. And, perhaps ironically, as you do that, it’s actually easier to talk about the things that are problematic in your marriage, because your attitude primarily is not a critical one. It’s a great habit to break the negative cycle!

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Source: Christian Post