7 Simple Ways to Improve Your Marriage

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This season of small children is especially trying on a marriage. Here are 7 practical ways to improve your marriage.

Marriage is hard.

You have two sinners who have their agenda, with their expectations. That's a disaster waiting to happen.

But with God, all things are possible.

There is a reason God ordained marriage. It's a perfect picture of Christ and the Church. Two becoming one flesh. There is a sacrifice that has to happen for both the husband and the wife. It's work. Hard work. Constant work.

In marriage, you are never stagnant. There is a constant ebb and flow in marriage. Either you are drawing closer to each other, or you are moving away from each other. The stress of life can definitely draw you apart. This season of small children is especially trying on a marriage.

7 ways to improve your marriage - couple sitting in rocking chairs not close to each other

Improve Your Marriage

1. Pray together.

This can be hard. Prayer can be a vulnerable time. I remember when we were first married, I really struggled with praying with my husband. I'm not sure if I was trying to put up a front, or if I was struggling with following the leadership of a fellow sinner.

Regardless, it was hard. But there is a marked difference between couples that pray together and those that do not.

2. Talk.

So simple but so important. Even if you and your husband are on opposite schedules, you have to make time to talk to each other.

There are occasions when this communication can be done via text or email, but for the most part, you need to talk face-to-face. I would also suggest doing it with the lights on. Does that sound silly? It might.

But I know for me there have been times when I brought up topics that needed to be discussed right before we fell asleep. It was just easier to bring it up in the darkness of the room. I don't suggest that.

3. Listen

Do you remember learning how to actively listen in school? Sometimes it can be harder than you think!

  • Be present.
  • Make eye content and show interest in what they are saying.
  • Listen without judgment.
  • Ask open-ended questions.
  • Paraphrase what they are saying to make sure you are hearing them correctly.
  • Respond appropriately by either advising if they ask or just listening as they vent.

4. Date.

It doesn't have to be anything fancy. Maybe you need to change your expectations of a date. You don't always need a babysitter. Dating can be frugal. Make a list of date ideas together. Cut them into strips and place them in a jar. Then you already have the answer to, “So, what should we do tonight?”. Start here.

5. Turn off the television.

It is so easy to just veg on the couch together watching the television mindlessly. But this does nothing to improve your marriage. Yes, you are technically spending time together. But are you talking to each other? Maybe you are.

Maybe this really does work for you.

Instead, you could turn off the television and play UNO together.

Start a new hobby together. Put a puzzle together with your spouse. Do anything. Together.

6. Hold hands.

Simple, but important. Touch is key in a marriage. Even when you are angry at each other. There is just something about a touch that can break down walls.

7. Ask for forgiveness.

We're not perfect. We will mess up. I've learned that I can usually say, “I'm sorry” but not really mean it. But there is something different about me going to my husband, acknowledging that I messed up, and asking him to forgive me.

7 ways to improve your marriage - couple sitting apart from each other needing to improve their marriage

Remember Who Is Watching

One of the things I've been struck with recently is that my husband and I are modeling marriage to our children. I wish I could say that we model Christ in our marriage all the time, but we don't. But we can model forgiveness and reconciliation.

We can model putting our relationship first. It is so easy to put our children first. Especially when they are little and need us so much. But that can be detrimental to our marriage.

If our focus is on our children, and they are the center of our relationship, what happens when they grow up and leave the nest? We must make our spouse our top priority {second to God of course}.

What are practical ways you can do today to improve your marriage?

Love these ideas from The Gottman Institute!

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  1. Great post! I have been married for 15 years now and a good marriage really is a lot of work but so worth the time you invest.

    1. Very nice post. I like it very much. I am Muslim but pray together is a good point. Although remaining 6 are also very helpful. Thanks.

  2. #1 is so, so important. For couples who aren’t used to praying together it can feel really awkward and vulnerable, but connecting with both God and your spouse simultaneously is so powerful for any marriage.

  3. I love your 7 tips! Of course my favorite is the first one, although being honest hubby and I don’t do this as much as we should just the two of us. We pray a bunch as a family though. Thanks for the reminders.

  4. Great tips. Some we do well with, others we need to work on. I would also add to put each other first, only after God, even before the kids. A lot of parents miss this one these days.

  5. Such great advice! The d word has come up in our marriage before, I’m ashamed to say. We’ve had our share of ups and downs, and some of them have been extreme, but we have both agreed that we won’t bring up the d word again. It should not be an option in most cases.I think our marriage has been better since we asked the Lord to be a part of our daily lives again. I’d like to share your last on my blog, bailesforbetterliving.blogspot.com, If you don’t mind! Thanks for such a wonderful reminder of what a healthy marriage looks like!

  6. This is such a great post Whitney! I would add that we sometimes do connect while watching our favorite tv show, but there are also times when we just have to turn off the tv and talk.

    1. I completely agree, Misty. Couples can definitely connect over television shows and movies. We can also use it as a way to avoid hard conversations, hoping they will go away. Thanks for stopping by!

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