Rules of Engagement for a Healthy Marriage
Far fewer couples would have marriage problems they created a healthy marriage code. A code is a set of rules/principles/behaviors that you are determined to follow regardless of your situation or circumstances.
Having rules reinforces the structural integrity of the marriage and keeps external forces from tearing your marriage apart. It puts you and your partner in the driver’s seat.
Don’t assume, guess or rely on hearsay when it comes to your marriage.
You must talk with each other about stuff. Always be polite and courteous. And, most of all, strive to understand your spouse. In fact, communication ONLY happens when you finally understand each other.
Research demonstrates that praying families prey less on one another and are healthier, happier and have greater life satisfaction.
That said, religion is a explosive issue and continues to be one of the most common sources of chronic disagreement among couples.
So be proactive and discuss religion. Share why religion is important/unimportant to you, and how you would like for your spouse to support you in this matter.
Please be loving and gracious. Be willing to compromise, too. Whatever you do, do not nag, coerce put pressure one another.
Lastly, if you have children, or plan to, then discuss the role of religion in their lives.
The Bible teaches that we should trust God and our spouse. Is your husband or wife your best friend?
He or she should be your confidant, safe haven, and partner with whom you enjoy all life offers. Your spouse should be a source of unconditional love and acceptance, too.
This doesn’t mean your spouse should be your only friend. But it does mean that out of all your friends, he or she is your best friend.
So do life with your spouse. Life isn’t something that you’re waiting for. Life is happening right now. So go on walks, do fun things, plan adventures, create memories; live!
4) Dollars & Cents
Who would ever guess that coins and paper could create so many arguments in marriage?
Couples fight about how to earn money, spend it, save it, invest it, etc, – you get the idea.
It would be helpful if you and your spouse discussed the kind of lifestyle you really want. Then figure out money’s role in creating that lifestyle. You might discover that in order to earn the kind of money you need to finance your preferred lifestyle, you will have to spend much less time together as a family and much more time at work. This awareness might influence you to make different choices.
Don’t be afraid to talk about money because if you don’t then it will take charge of you – and not in a good way.
If one spouse has a high desire to have kids and the other a low desire, then there will be problems. In fact, this is the kind of thing that ruins marriages. You and your spouse must discuss whether or not you will have children, and, if so, how many.
Another thing to discuss is this: If you have trouble conceiving, is adoption an option? What about IVF? And if IVF is an option, then how much are you willing to spend if repeated attempts are necessary? These are issues you need to discuss so you can have a plan – a code – that moves you forward in a direction you want your marriage to go.
Another critical issue with regards to children that causes conflict in homes, is who will be the primary disciplinarian, the mother or father? And what disciplinary style will be used?
Additionally, when kids come along, what career choices will be made? Will one parent stay home? Will both parents continue to work but seek outside help with raising the children?
(Please don’t be afraid of having children. I know it might sound complicated, but virtually every parent will say that having kids is so totally worth it!)
Having a marital code, even if it only includes the five things we’ve discussed, will help protect your marriage from unnecessary conflict and work to create a more satisfying relationship with your spouse – and keep you going in the right direction.
It isn’t good enough for you and your spouse to simply know things will happen. Successful couples anticipate issues by dealing with them ahead of time in a manner similar to what we’ve discussed here.
The choice is yours, you can either drift along and be mad at each other or create a code and be madly in love!