Every marriage has understood rules that are followed that can either make or break a relationship.
In looking back on the past 15 years of our marriage, there are some simple things we’ve done that I think can be credited to our marital success. These are things that have been seemingly unspoken rules that we follow in our relationship.
However, although we’ve never verbally established these practices, I believe that they are well worth every couple taking the time to discuss together and establish if they’re lacking in their relationship.
Here are four areas you and your wife should be on the same page:
1. Touching throughout the day
I suppose it started when we first got married, that every time we drove together in the car, prayed together at the dinner table, or walked together through a store, we would hold hands. Since that time, we continue to make it a regular practice that when we’re together, we make physical touch a frequent and familiar part of our daily routine.
2. Spending money wisely
Although one of us is naturally the “spender” and the other the “saver”, we’ve had very few fights over the years about money. Much of this is due to the fact that we’ve both understood the importance of spending our money frugally and practicing delayed gratification. We never have to worry about each other spending frivolously or racking up debt by spending money we don’t have. Living within our means has always been an underlying, hidden rule.
If this type of understanding isn’t present in your marriage, why not roll up your sleeves together and do whatever it takes to establish some common ground financially?
3. Making big decisions together
In our relationship, we don’t make big decisions without talking to each other first, whether it be something obvious like buying a house or something less obvious like booking a vacation. However, we take it a step further by including some of these other big decisions:
- Scheduling times we’ll be out of town
- Making large purchases (a vehicle, etc.)
- Saying yes to something in the evenings or other scheduled family times
We’ve understood the principle that as a married couple, we are now one, and what one of us does has an effect on the other. So we’ve always tried to talk about things that will impact both of us prior to making those decisions.
4. Having an Open-Heart policy.
One of the keys to our marriage has been an understanding that there is nothing off limits for us to talk about, ask about, or hold each other accountable for. We each have the right to speak into each other’s lives at any time we deem necessary, by simply saying, “Hey, we need to talk”. And when those times come, we know to take each other seriously. It’s been a good thing for our marriage.
If an open-heart policy seems like a foreign concept in your marriage, I’d encourage you to remember that you are a team, so take the initiative to establish that kind of mutual understanding between you and your spouse.
BONUS: Closing the day in prayer
One of the ways we’ve found successful to carry out a close relationship in our daily lives is by praying together to close out each day. Sometimes we do this as a family before bedtime, other times it’s just between the two of us in bed before we fall asleep. Sometimes it includes both.
Although my wife and I have never said, “Hey, this is the way things are going to be”… this is the way things have always been. I believe that they have served us well.
SOUND OFF: Which of these are already a part of your marriage, and which ones could you implement?
Andrew Linder is a husband and the father of four awesome kids. He is passionate about intentional parenting and helping other parents and leaders effectively reach the next generation.