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Valentine’s Day is a time where we celebrate love. We give our partner’s gifts and show them affection because we want to show them how special they are to us.

As the holiday approaches, you may be thinking about the status of your marriage. While this is a day where we revel in all the things we love about our spouse, it is also a time where we may reflect. There may not be much concern when things are looking up, but what if you suspect your relationship might need some help?

It’s important that you’re aware of what’s working and what’s not so that you can have the healthiest relationship ever. Here are four small but significant things your marriage needs this Valentine’s Day. Doing these things will keep your relationship on track.

Open up the Lines of Communication

Constant arguing breaks down communication, a key element to any healthy marriage. Most problems in relationships are a result of poor communication, or a lack thereof. Many arguments come up again and again for couples because the underlying issues are left unresolved.

The more arguing that takes place, the less attractive both parties become, opening the door for other issues to enter into the marriage. When an issue arises, instead of immediately getting defensive or jumping on your partner’s case, take time to listen to what they have to say, and then offer your suggestion. Sometimes, after a long and stressful day, all your partner wants to have is a listening ear.

While your concerns are important, it’s also important they know that you care enough to step back and understand where they’re coming from and what they’re going through. Remember, it’s not always about being right, or winning.

Be Vulnerable With Your Partner and Honest About Weaknesses

Opening up to a spouse can make us feel vulnerable and exposed, but it is the most important ingredient of a trusting, healthy relationship. For a relationship to be balanced, partners must be able to depend on one another and feel that they are needed and appreciated for the support they give.

While vulnerability is often seen as a weakness, it’s actually a strength. On top of being vulnerable, it’s important that you’re honest with yourself about your weaknesses. When you play off your weakness as just harmless things that happen, you’re more likely to easily write off excuses for further indiscretions.

Nobody says that relationships are easy. They take a lot of work but if you push through all the hardships and turmoil, then you can find ways to emotionally communicate better with your partner.

Spend More Quality Time Together

When you’re in a struggling marriage, the last thing on your mind is spending quality time with your significant other but this is crucial if you are committed to restoring your relationship. Spending time with your partner is extremely important.

Life can get pretty hectic. Our daily schedule is filled with tasks to complete, places to go and things to do. It’s OK to clear the calendar and do nothing for a change. Create a list of fun and romantic things to do for the day or simply spend time at home together, relaxing and watching your favorite movies. Your significant other will value the fact that you are making time in your hectic schedule to spend time with them.

Also, consider visiting one of the first places you and your partner ever went on a date to or step outside the box, and do something you’ve never done before. Then, stay committed to making quality time a regular thing. This may not only reignite lost passion but remind you what things attracted you to them in the first place.

Practice Forgiveness

When we hold on to issues from the past, whether big or small, it creates a space for toxic and unhealthy relationships. It’s really hard to let go of pain from the past, especially a pain that has resulted from an issue with the one you love.

Many times we hold on to the hurt to protect ourselves from being hurt again, but learning to forgive is the only way to move your marriage forward. One reason we know forgiveness is so important is because God commands us to forgive.

Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” If you’re not in a place to practice forgiveness with your partner and know you can never get there with him/her, the relationship cannot be saved.

Relationships can be complicated and difficult, that’s for sure. Yet, few people recognize that there are some pretty clear signals to know if your relationship needs work. On a day like Valentine’s Day where love is the focus, it makes sense to focus on strengthening your relationship. These are four good places to start.

 

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