10 Things that Will Make Your Marriage Last through Hard Times

10 Things that Will Make Your Marriage Last through Hard Times

I have a friend that I chat with regularly who has been married for 43 years. That’s a lifetime! I always enjoy our times together because whenever the conversation turns to anything marriage-related she smiles because she’s been through it all, and then she always reassures me. The things that come up are not earth-shattering, just things that are par for the course but that can become burdensome if our perspective is skewed. Things like dealing with adult children, or the empty nest phase, or just day-to-day stuff.

My 28 years seems like baby steps compared to hers, but it’s reassuring to speak with someone who has more life experience in this area. Oh, by the way, she’s genuinely happy – she’s not saying one thing and doing something else. She’s had her share of ups and downs just like I have, but faces life each day with determination and joy. So wherever you are in this journey, here are 10 things that will help make your marriage last through hard times:

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  • 1. Pray – Just Pray.

    1. Pray – Just Pray.

    Ask God to bless your marriage; ask for insight and wisdom when you’re puzzled by what’s happening around you; unload all your angst and aggravation to the One above. Pray for your spouse as best as you can; pray during the tough times and easy times. Pray. Pray together or separately, but pray. Because only as you are submitted in prayer first to God and then to each other will you both be able to stand and endure. Pray. When you have unloaded yourself in pray, you are better able to deal with what is in front of you, so just pray.

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  • 2. Laugh

    2. Laugh

    Neither of you may possess the best sense of humor, but the ability to laugh with each other, at each other and at your circumstances will allow you to look at each other and your circumstances differently. Things won’t seem so burdensome when you share a good laugh.

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  • 3. Reminisce

    3. Reminisce

    Remember what brought you together in the first place. Remember how your heart skipped when he walked in the room or how your face lit up whenever you saw her. Reminisce about how up to this point you have found a way to conquer anything that came your way. Reminiscing allows you to celebrate and to become hopeful. Then use those memories and build on them to get you through your current situation.

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  • 4. Get Physical

    4. Get Physical

    Sometimes everything seems so much better with a tender touch in the small of your back, a thumb that circles your hand as you hold hands or a hug. One of those all-encompassing hugs that screams love; and if these hugs lead to greater intimacy that’s fine also. Physical touch and connection let’s each other know that you’re still there and that you’re both important to each other.

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  • 5. Know that Tough Times Won’t Last Forever

    5. Know that Tough Times Won’t Last Forever

    What makes a situation change? Either the situation changes or you change your approach to the situation. For example, during our marriage, we’ve dealt with job loss. During that tough time, we adjusted the way we lived and became bigger supporters of each other. We had always planned for famine, but even with planning the reality is tougher than when it was a plan. Tempers flared, etc. but we knew it was because of the situation, not each other, so we dug in together and forged our way through.

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  • 6. Navigate Bumpy Roads Together

    6. Navigate Bumpy Roads Together

    We could pull apart, but invariably two heads tackling a problem was more resourceful. Invariably the tough situations drew us closer instead of apart. We focused our energy on tackling the problem instead of attacking each other. During job loss, I helped with resume revisions and emailing resumes. When I was emotionally overwhelmed, he organized his schedule so that I got my sacred “me” time. When you come through the other side, and you will, you recognize that because of each other you are both stronger together.

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  • 7. Take A Moment of Silence

    7. Take A Moment of Silence

    Enjoy the quiet solitude and patterns you have with each other. There’s a stereotype of an old married couple out at dinner and neither is saying anything and it’s usually portrayed negatively. Oftentimes there is silence because there’s nothing to say in the moment, but also because you speak to each other so often you both relish the silence. Reflect and be introspective with each other until you are ready to converse again; after all, the silence is simply for a moment.

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  • 8. Cherish Good Friends

    8. Cherish Good Friends

    Surround yourself with good friends; they don’t all have to be married or be similar to you but they should love you and have your best interests at heart. Sometimes outside of your spouse, you need another listening ear. We have found good friends through work and church. Good friends who have your best interest at heart energize us.

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  • 9. Create Different Experiences

    9. Create Different Experiences

    You’re a unit, but sometimes day to day living becomes draining especially when times are tough. There’s nothing wrong with giving each other space in the form of expanding individual interests. For me it was delving into exercise on a deeper level; for my husband, it was finding a Table Tennis club. The beauty of this was that it enriched both of our lives and added new dimensions to our interactions while providing a necessary distraction.

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  • 10. Be Kind

    10. Be Kind

    This might seem like the hardest thing to do during a tough time but it is the most needed, because more than likely you’re both impacted by the situation. So instead of being angry at each other, make an extra effort to speak sweetly to each other. Be considerate – do a little thing that might make a huge difference and reinforce that you’re both still there for each other. Kindness rocks and usually wins the day. One of my favorite marriage verses is Ephesians 4:32 which says “Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as you have been forgiven by God. So it’s not so hard to be kind to your life partner since your Heavenly Father already showed His kindness towards you.

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    Nylse is a Christian wife and a mother of four who loves life and inspiring others. She likes to have fun but is very clear on who she is and Whose she is. A prolific thinker, she blogs to encourage others from a Christian perspective at www.lifenotesencouragement.com. She can be found online on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest. She can also be reached via email at nylse.esahc@gmail.com.