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10 Tips for Building a Great Marriage

April 13, 2010 | by Laya Saul

Small marriage tips that make a huge difference.

Change one small thing for the good in your marriage and you’ll change the entire course of the relationship. Here are some simple tips you can use starting right now.

1. Absolutely no sarcasm. Ever. The word “sarcastic” comes from Greek and means “to tear flesh.” Don’t do it.

2. Silence is powerful. It can either hurt or it can heal depending on how you use it.If your spouse says something that hurts you, “zip-the-lip” and do not reply in kind. You can gently walk away if it doesn’t stop. Do not let anger escalate, either one of you can make this change.

Do not use silence as a punishment or as a weapon.

Silence used positively is a loving intention to listen. Just listen when your spouse has something to say and wants to be heard.

3. Don't speak from anger. Recognize that anger comes from hurt. If someone is in pain, what that soul really needs is kindness and understanding. If you are the angry one, let go the anger and ask for help and understanding.

4. Forgive mistakes. Being human means you will fall on your face – as a friend, child, parent, spouse, or any other role you’ll take on in life. The key to success in anything we do is standing up one more time than we fall. Forgive your own mistakes and imperfections, and your spouse’s too.

5. Communicate to build. If something hurts your feelings, you can say, “That hurt.” If your partner tells you that you said something that hurt, stop and say what you need to say so that it does not feel like an attack. We send out daggers when we feel like we need to defend. We are not making war; we are making peace in the home. Take baby steps!

6. Ask and listen. Ask what your spouse needs to feel loved. Listen to the answer. Repeat it back to make sure you understand. Now you have powerful information to nourish your marriage.

7. Don’t do defensive. So often we feel accused, blamed, and guilty, and then turn it around by blaming and accusing. When your spouse is upset about something, keep your mind open to finding a win/win solution. If one of you has to be “right” and the other is “wrong,” you both lose. The goal is to for both of you to feel loved and valued.

8. Look for solutions, not problems. If you were 100% responsible for creating this relationship, what would you do differently? (How would you give, receive, ask, listen, share, serve, or communicate?)

9. “The grass is greenest where you water it.” Compliment, spend time together, give gifts, do nice things for each other, be generous with affection, and lavish appreciation. Cut each other slack when needed – apply forgiveness liberally. Stay open to humor.

10. Pray. Prayer opens the channels of the Creator’s power and blessing. Nothing is too big, and nothing is too small or insignificant to talk about with God. In your own words, in any language, from the heart. Here are the key elements of prayer:

  1. Praise – Recognize Who you are speaking with
  2. Ask – Ask for what you want, you can’t bother the Creator of the World!
  3. Thank – Expressing gratitude opens you up to receive more

You build a house one brick at a time. You build a marriage, one kind word, one kind deed, one moment at a time, and then another and another. Consistently. Over time. Your marriage is worth every drop of love and effort you put into it.

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