Stengthening Your Marriage

People dream of finding the perfect partner and of living happily ever after. But having a happy marriage is hard work.

There are lots of things you and your partner can do to enrich your marriage. We hope the information you find here will help.

What makes a strong marriage?
10 ideas for strengthening your marriage


What Makes a Strong Marriage?

  • Finding constructive ways of managing conflicts so that you work towards a situation where both of you are satisfied with the outcome.

  • Being able to laugh together, rather than at each other.

  • Coming to value your differences as strengths rather than irritants.

  • Creating happy memories together.

  • Giving both of you a safe place to talk about your ideas, your feelings, your hopes and your fears.

  • Being able to offer and ask for forgiveness.

  • Solving problems quickly by negotiating the best solution for both of you.

  • Learning all you can about how to build a strong marriage.

  • Making your marriage a high priority, so that you avoid taking on responsibilities and jobs that will have a negative impact on your relationship.

  • Having a couple who can mentor you through the ups and downs of married life.

  • Valuing each other's strengths, and appreciating each other.

  • Discovering what you can do to help your husband or wife to feel really loved.

  • Understanding how much God loves you and what His love really means. It will help you better love your spouse.

  • Praying together and finding creative ways to worship and study the Bible together.

By Karen and Bernie Holford, Family Life directors, Seventh-day Adventist Church in South England. Published in "Messenger" Journal of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the United Kingdom and Ireland, 13 February 2004, Volume 109 - 3/4. Reprinted with permission.

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Questions to enrich your marriage   
  1. What similarities do we bring into our marriage?

  2. What interpersonal skills do we have to enhance and enrich our sense of marital satisfaction?

  3. Do we support each other's personal growth and achievements?

  4. Do we take the time to ensure sensitivity to each other's sexual needs?

  5. Do we look for ways we can build new areas of shared interest?

  6. Are we positively seeking out new ways of understanding our relationship, and discovering further relationship skills that will help us grow together?


Ten ideas for strengthening your marriage

  1. Celebrate your marriage every day in small, but thoughtful and creative ways. Tell each other how glad you are to be married. Delight in each other and find ways to show each other kindness, appreciation, affection and support.

  2. Plan to attend a marriage retreat every year. Contact the Family Ministries to find a marriage seminar or retreat near you.

  3. Find a good book about marriage and buy two copies. Read a chapter each week on your own, and then think of three questions you would like to ask your husband or wife about what you have read. Meet weekly to discuss your ideas. Pass the books on to other couples when you have finished with them. Or start a book circle to pass pairs of books around a group of married couples.

  4. Try out lots of unusual ways to have fun! Laugh, share happy memories, and just enjoy being together. Try 40 Unforgettable Dates with your Mate by Dr Gary and Barbara Rosberg (ISBN 0-8423-6106-5). Buy a Simply Romantic Nights kit from www.familylife.com. This site also has creative ways to romance your partner.

  5. Subscribe to a magazine that strengthens marriage. View sample articles and archives at www.marriagepartnership.com. Give gift subscriptions to the magazine as wedding presents. Forward useful articles from the website to your friends.

  6. Have regular weekly meetings to coordinate diaries, make financial plans and organise family schedules. It is important to take care of the important details of married life.

  7. Discover how each of you prefers to be loved. Write a list for each other of the times when you felt loved by your husband or wife, and look for themes. Talk about other things that would help you to feel special and loved, and listen to the ways in which you could share your love in the future. Keep on talking about your preferences and needs, as they may change from time to time. Don't expect your husband or wife to guess what you need.

  8. Talk together about your hopes for your marriage. Make plans to turn hopes into realities.

  9. Run a small group seminar for couples in your own home. Invite two or three couples and use ready-made videos and materials to make it easy for you. Small group resources are available from www.2-in-2-1.co.uk, or download the HomeBuilders Couples Series from www.familylife.com.

  10. Pray for your own marriage and each other every day. Consider how much God loves you both, and find ways to show your husband or wife how much they are loved by God. Sign up for email devotionals for couples from www.familylife.com

By Karen and Bernie Holford, Family Life directors, Seventh-day Adventist Church in South England. Published in the "Messenger" Journal of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the United Kingdom and Ireland, 13 February 2004, Volume 109 - 3/4. We have reprinted it with permission.

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