It’s Friday and that means my friend Shawn Snyder, from The Odd Couple Blog, and I are teaming up on our weekly marriage blog. Shawn will share her thoughts (in green) on the topic through the eyes of a woman/wife, and I’ll share mine (in blue) through the eyes of a man/husband. This week’s topic is a healthy marriage. Enjoy!
Do you have a healthy marriage? Before answering that, what makes a healthy marriage? If you were to have a marriage checkup what would the physician prescribe? Just like our bodies can be in good or bad health, our marriages can be as well. Having a healthy marriage isn’t much different than having a healthy body.
When we address our physical health we typically focus on three areas: nutrition, cardio, and strength training. When these areas are addressed, the result is a healthy body. So how does that relate to a healthy marriage?
When it comes to nutrition, there are things that are good for our body and things that aren’t, and the same applies to our marriage. There are just some things that we cannot allow in. In our marriage there are three main boundaries that we set up: 1) never use the “D” word (divorce) or the threat of leaving the relationship, 2) never let an outside influence cause an internal problem, and 3) never walk out in the middle of an argument. Just like sugar, refined foods, and caffeine can be toxic to our bodies, there are certain things that can be toxic to our marriage. Don’t allow them in.
Just as important, is putting good things in our bodies. Our marriages work the same way. We have always tried to include God’s word and prayer in our marriage. We have surrounded ourselves with positive relationships that support our marriage and share like-minded beliefs in regard to marriage. This provides the fuel that our marriage runs on. It is vital in creating and keeping a healthy marriage.
It is suggested that 30 minutes of physical activity every day will help create a healthy body. In the marriage, communication is your cardiovascular exercise. It functions just the same as running, or bike riding, or aerobics. It is challenging initially, but when we regularly practice it, our endurance builds and we are able to handle longer distances and longer time intervals. The same suggestion should be made for our marriages. Devote 30 minutes per day to talk (and listen) to one another. This should be done without kids or anyone else, just you and your spouse. Over time this will do wonders and build the health of your marriage. And it will help your marriage with the next part…
Trust (Strength Training)
When you speak with a fitness expert you will learn that strength training is actually the breaking down of our muscles. So does that mean we should break down our marriage? No, but we should break down barriers so we can be more transparent and vulnerable with our spouse. Our bodies have been created in a wonderful way, such that when we physically break down our muscles, they repair themselves and get stronger. That is the same way trust functions in our marriage.
When we are transparent, when we are mentally and emotionally intimate, barriers are broken down and trust grows stronger. We have to be careful in this area because if trust is broken, it is just like an injury to our muscles. We can’t lift even the weight which use to be easy, and we have to go through a healing process. This healing process effects the way our body functions. The same for goes for our marriages when trust is broken. Do everything necessary to not break the trust in your marriage.
Begin Your Marital Training Program Today!
Many people begin to address their health after a negative report from the doctor. I encourage you to not do this in your marriage. Begin the process today, of building and maintaining a healthy marriage. By addressing the three areas listed above your marriage can function, thrive, and enjoy optimal health!
I’m just an old fashioned girl. It doesn’t take much to impress me and to keep me happy. Sometimes my husband might disagree with that statement but for the most part I think he agrees. We have based our marriage on a couple of key components of what we believe make a healthy marriage, respect, trust and honor. As boring as that might sound in this techno charged world those three old fashioned and seldom used words have served us for the last 27 years, it will be 28 years in a month.
Early in our relationship to keep our marriage happy and healthy we decided to show respect for each other. We did that with making decisions about what we would or would not say to each other and how we would say it. For example we have never said “shut up” to each other not even in a playful situation. Once you pass a certain spot in a relationship where saying “shut up” is ok then you can go some place lower and pretty soon there is no respect left for the other person.
Another way how to keep a healthy marriage is to have trust. Trusting in your partner will mean different things for all of us. For me I have trust in Ron that he will protect me, not to lie to me and be true to me. Those are big issues to me and I need to know that I can trust him with those issues.
Honor leads us back to the other components that we use of respect and honesty. The definition of honor is to give high regard or great respect. We give that person the honor because of the personal integrity they have. A healthy marriage will have two people in it that have lived with personal integrity and given the other respect and trust.
I hope this has given you a look at what a healthy marriage looks like and helps you when it comes to your own marriage. Let me know how you have given respect, trust and honor to your spouse.
Question: How have you used any of the above healthy marriage habits in your marriage? Please share in the comment section below.