By Susan Diamond, Prayables
Some people have a stupendous, fireworks on the Fourth of July marriage. Others have a miserable, cry me a river marriage that really stinks. The rest, fit not-so-neatly in-between. How to have a better marriage? It’s not as hard as you’d think when you take 5 days to work on your marriage.
Day 1 to a Better Marriage: Surround Yourself With Happy Married People
Make an “Influencer List.” Think about the people in your life who are happy in their marriage. You know how to spot the ones who are truly happy. They don’t belittle their spouse with sarcasm; embarrass them by pointing out flaws in public. They’re the ones who laugh at their spouse’s jokes, and have a hard time restraining a kiss or a caress for no good reason. When your list is complete, call the one on top just to say hello. As best as possible, avoid anyone not on the Influencer List for the next five days. Surround yourself with the people in your life who have a better marriage.
Happy married people now surround you.
Day 2 to a Better Marriage: New Attitude
Now that you’ve made your outside influences marriage-friendly it’s time to work on your inner influences. Negative thoughts, sensitivity, (the bad kind) and personal irritations have no place in your new attitude toward your spouse. Only think positive thoughts. Shrug off any “shoulda-couldas” before they take hold, and brush away irritation like you would a pesky fly. There is no place in your head for anything but good and happy thoughts about your spouse.
Happy married people now surround you, and you have a new positive attitude towards your spouse.
Day 3 to a Better Marriage: Nothing But Kindness
Treat your spouse with the same level of customer service you get from your favorite Barrista at Starbucks. Imagine your marriage is a business deal, and your spouse is a million-dollar client. Borrow a corporate mission statement and make it work to improve your marriage: Exceed expectations. Be polite, cheerful, and considerate. Throw in some perks. The “customer” is always right when you’re spending five days to a better marriage.
Happy married people surround you, you have a positive attitude, and you’re providing your spouse with nothing but kindness.
Day 4 to a Better Marriage: Talk it Up
Brag about your spouse to someone who cares. Find something nice to say about your spouse and tell it to a good friend, parent, or child. You’ll have a better marriage when the right people are talking about the right things when it comes to your spouse. Chances are your words of admiration will get back to your spouse and create ripples of good feelings.
Happy married people surround you, you have a positive attitude, you’re extra kind, and today you’ve bragged to someone who loves your spouse.
Look at your marriage from the outside in. Studies show that looking at problems and situations objectively through the eyes of a third person brings clarity. On the final day of your “Better Marriage Plan” you’re ready to make an assessment.
- How would a neutral observer rate your relationship in the following areas: love, trust, intimacy, passion, and commitment?
- Write down a factual summary of your last disagreement. No emotions, no opinions – just the facts.
- Take an overall look at your marital happiness. Remember, this is an outsider looking in.
Result: A Better Marriage
Happy married people surround you, you have a positive attitude, you’re extra kind, today you’ve bragged to someone who loves your spouse, you’ve made an honest assessment of your marriage, and you have a better marriage in just 5 days!
Refresh and Renew
When you’re intentional about having positive influences in your life and a positive attitude, your marriage is healthier and happier. Be generous with your love and attention. And remember; be realistic about what it means to have a good marriage. Even the very best married couples get “marriage fatigue.” Refresh your married life by regularly committing 5 days to a better marriage. Enjoy the results!
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