5 Keys to Have a Strong Marriage — Even During the Storms of Life

How to Have a Strong Marriage

Since we’ve moved to Tennessee and restructured the way we do life, I will be honest and tell you that it’s been a challenge for our marriage. It’s brought a lot of new issues to the surface and we’ve had many long, hard talks (and yes, some out-and-out arguments) as a result.

As we’ve struggled through together, our marriage has grown and it’s been good. Not easy, mind you, but good. And I know our marriage is going to come out stronger as a result.

Working through these things and not giving up until we find resolution and oneness has made me appreciate our marriage even more. Some days, we might be at odds and frustrated with each other, but because we are both committed to our marriage “till death do us part”, these storms are making us stronger instead of ripping us apart.

If you’re going through a tough time in your lives right now, I wanted to share five keys that have helped us to have a strong marriage — even during the recent storms of life:

1. Stop Coasting

A good marriage doesn’t just happen; it requires a LOT of work and time and effort. Just like you couldn’t expect to build a muscular body without putting in a lot of time weight-lifting, so you can’t expect to have a strong marriage if you’re not constantly building it up.

Make time for your spouse. Go throughout your day looking for ways to build up your spouse, encourage your spouse, and love your spouse. If you’re too busy to invest in your marriage, you’re just plain too busy.

2. Don’t Keep It G-Rated

Seriously, people. You are supposed to be lovers, not roommates. Act like it. :)

Look for ways to keep the spark alive. Flirt with your spouse. Whisper sweet-nothings. Think about what you used to do when you were dating, engaged, and newlyweds and bring some of that romance back into your marriage.

Truly, what happens in the bedroom will affect just about every other area of your life. In most cases, if you make romance a priority, it will clear up a host of other problems and issues.

Need some encouragement and practical advice in this area? I highly recommend reading Sheet Music, Red Hot Monogamy, and Rekindling the Romance.

How to Have Strong Marriage

3. Find the Good and Praise It

There are always a host of things we can point out, pick at, nag, and criticize. If we spend all our time focused on that, we’ll be frustrated with how far short our spouse is falling from where we want them to be.

On the flip side, there are always, always, always good things to praise. Become a noticer of the good.

Go throughout your day looking for things to be thankful for about your spouse. These could be little, everyday things or big, major things. The more you focus on the good, the more good you’ll probably see.

4. Ask Forgiveness Often

A good marriage is built around a lot of humility and the ability to say, “I was wrong, will you forgive me?” Those are hard words to say, but they are necessary.

We all make mistakes. We all say words we shouldn’t say. We all respond in anger at times. When that happens, be willing to admit you are wrong.

Don’t stuff things and just try to be extra nice to make up for your short-comings. In addition, don’t blame your spouse. Owning our own mistakes and apologizing for them is the first step in restoration.

5. Learn Their Love Language

While I don’t like to box people into specific categories, every person has a unique love language — the way they feel most loved.

If you’re unfamiliar with the five love languages, they are: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. In many cases, you’ll be a mix of a few of these, but you’ll almost always have one that is dominant. If you’re not sure what you love language is, you can take this quiz here (and be sure to have your spouse take it, too!)

Once you know what someone else’s love language is, it really helps you to be able to demonstrate love in a manner that means the most to them. For instance, my dominant love language is Words of Affirmation. It means the world to me when Jesse tells me how much he appreciates me and how proud he is of me. This speaks love to me much more than buying something for me does.

Jesse’s love language is quality time. It’s very important to him that we spend time together and just be together — without me acting rushed or like I’m busy. As a Type A person who does not have the love language of quality time, it’s been a learning experience for me to figure out that just being with him is extremely meaningful to him.

It’s taken us years to figure these things out about each other, but as we’ve put forth effort to learn each other’s love language and to be intentional about expressing it, our marriage has grown much stronger. And it’s been every bit worth the effort!

How to Have a Strong Marriage

What are some ways that you have found help keep your marriage strong?

Note: This post was written for couples who are in healthy relationships where both parties love each other and want to work on issues together and personally. If your spouse is abusive, please, please, please don’t hide the abuse out of fear or let your spouse convince you it’s your fault. Get help immediately.

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Weekend Giveaway: Custom Canvas from EasyCanvasPrints.com (2 Winners)

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Who wants to win a FREE Photo Canvas from Easy Canvas Prints??

I LOVE custom photo canvasses! They are such a fun way to capture a beautiful picture and have it hanging on your wall as a constant reminder of a special memory.

Easy Canvas Prints offered me the opportunity to have a photo made into a canvas. I chose this one of my husband and me. I’m so happy with how it turned out and also am very impressed with the quality of the canvas.

Photo CanvassesEasy Canvas Prints also offers the option to turn your Instagram photos into a custom canvas, too.

Would you like to win a free custom canvas? Just click on the graphic below and type in your name and email address. Two winners will be chosen and posted next week. This giveaway ends Sunday, August 3, at 11:59 pm, CST.

Enter the Giveaway

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Brigette’s $27 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 6

We are going to be traveling some over the next couple of weeks, so my grocery spending was lower this week because we won’t be eating every meal at home. This gives us some wiggle room to eat out when we’re on the road.

And… to be perfectly honest, I am guessing there will be at least one impromptu grocery shopping trip made by my husband and children at some point before we leave to buy “necessities” for our vacation. That kind of grocery trip is funded straight from the “splurge” fund, and my husband has strict instructions to put the receipt somewhere that I will never, EVER see it. :) 

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Fresh Produce from a Friend’s Garden — Free!

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Harris Teeter

1 gallon milk – $2.97

2 16-oz packages Mueller’s Pot-Sized Spaghetti (B1G1 @ $1.75) – $1.75, used 2 $0.75/1 printable (doubled) - FREE after coupons (I actually got overage, making these a $1.25 MM, but that was because the coupons beeped and my cashier manually entered them in!)

2 Head & Shoulders Shampoo (@$5.00 each) – $10.00, used $5/2 Head & Shoulders Full Size Product, exp. 8/10/14 (P&G 07/27/14), plus $5/2 Harris Teeter evic - FREE after coupons

2 16-oz Kraft Salad Dressings (@$2.00 each) – $4.00, used 2 $0.75/1 printable (doubled), plus $1.00/2 Harris Teeter evic - FREE after coupons

2 boxes Kelloggs Rice Krispies cereal (@$1.99 each) – $3.98, used 2 $0.75/1 printable (doubled) from Kellogg’s Family Rewards – $0.49 each after coupons

4 cans Ortega Green Chilies (@4/$3.00) – $3.00, used 2 $1.00/2 printable - $0.25 each after coupons

9 cans Chicken of the Sea Light Tuna (B1G1 @ $1.29) – $5.80, used 3 $0.75/3 printables (doubled) from here and here - $1.30/9 cans after coupons

2 8-oz containers Land O’ Lakes Butter with Canola Oil (@$1.50 each) – $3.00, used 2 $0.50/1 printable (doubled) – $0.50 each after coupons

Total after Sales, Tax and Coupons: $6.70

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Aldi

2 bags Carrots (@$0.69/each) – $1.38

1 pint Blueberries -$1.49

I package Sweet Mini Peppers -$2.29

2 packages Mushrooms (@$0.79/each) – $1.58

1 package Romaine Hearts – $1.99

1 head Cabbage – $1.29

1 package Zucchini – $1.29

1 carton Egg Whites – $1.99

1 bunch Bananas (@$0.49/lb) – $1.63

1 package (32-oz) Brown Rice – $1.29

Total: $16.22

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CVS

1 Dawn Dish Detergent – $0.99, used a $1.00 off any 9-oz Dawn CVS email I received - FREE after coupon

3 jars Ragu Spaghetti Sauce (@3/$5.00) – $5.00, used $0.40/2 Ragu Product, exp. 8/24/14 (RP 07/27/14 #2) – $4.60/3, plus receive $3 ECB

2 bottles Seltzer Water (@$1.00 each) – $2.00

used $3 ECB from a previous shopping trip, plus $3 complimentary ECB sent to me from CVS Beauty Rewards Club for my birthday

Total after Sales, Tax and Coupons: $0.60, plus receive $3 ECB back

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Farm Market

1 head Reduced Cauliflower – $0.99

Fresh Local Peaches (@$0.99/lb) – $3.14

Total: $4.13

Weekly Total: $27.65

Menu Plan for This Week

Breakfasts

Cereal, Oatmeal, Eggs and Toast, Smoothies (using frozen fruit), Veggie Omelettes

Lunches

Tuna Sandwiches/Bananas/Carrot Sticks; Cheese Quesadillas/Cucumber Slices/Cantaloupe; Macaroni and Cheese/Peaches; Build-Your-Own-Salad Bar; Stir-Fry Veggies and Rice; PB&J Sandwiches/Blueberries/Pepper Slices

Dinners

Burritos (using homemade tortillas and ground venison for the taco meat), Green Rice, Sliced Peaches

Venison Roast in the Crockpot, Baked Potatoes, Steamed Carrots, Easy Whole Wheat Muffins

Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole, Sauteed Zucchini, Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Breakfast for Dinner: Best Ever Blueberry Muffins, Scrambled Eggs with Cheese, Hashbrowns

Spaghetti, Dill Bread, Tossed Salad, Green Beans

Leftovers

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6-packs of Ladies’ Bras for as low as only $14.99 ($2.50 each!)

bras

I don’t know about you, but shopping for underthings is one of my least. favorite. things. ever. So I was excited about this deal from Tanga!

Right now, you can get 6-packs of Ladies’ Bras for as low as only $14.99! (That works out to only $2.50 per bra!) They are offering a wide variety of styles and sizes, and shipping is only $1.99!

Not only is this a fantastic price, but you don’t have to leave your home to get this deal. Total score in my book!

(Note: The link in this post is my referral link. Read my disclosure policy here.)

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Men’s Rings starting at only $3.99

Summer Ring Blowout

Right now, Tanga is having a HUGE blowout on all men’s rings, with rings starting as low as only $3.99 shipped! Choose from Stainless Steel, Titanium or Light Tungsten rings at the lowest prices of the year!

Tanga Ring Sale

Go here to see the large selection, and remember that shipping is FREE!

(Note: The link in this post is my referral link. Read my disclosure policy here.)

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