7 Ways We Keep Our Marriage Strong

Cheryl and I are in a good season of life and marriage. We’ve been empty-nesters for a few years now — we’ve adjusted — it was hard missing our boys at first — but now life is good. Really good.

This weekend we had a destination wedding (I love those) and added a few days for time just the two of us. We needed it. As great as a season as we are in it’s a busy season. We’ve been running hard for several months.

The good thing — we can’t think of anyone we’d rather be with when we are off from work.

Isn’t that a great feeling?

Cheryl and I intentionally strive to keep our marriage strong. It’s a work in progress. We know that if we ever let up the enemy will win. The Scripture is clear — Satan crawls around like a roaring lion, waiting to devour.

So, how do we keep our marriage strong? I’ve been asked that so many times.

Here are 7 ways we keep our marriage strong:

We walk. Cheryl and I walk together almost every day. When weather and time permits, we walk hours and miles together. This may sound strange unless you’ve experienced it, but as an introvert, I talk more — and am more comfortable doing so — when I am being physically active at the same time. When my boys were home, I engaged more when we were throwing a ball together. For Cheryl and me, it’s walking. And, here’s the key: Our communication is strengthened when we have an activity we do together regularly. So — we walk.

We talk. And, that’s so incredibly important. Every day we talk about our days. We debrief our life. There are always moments of the day we would have to explain to understand them. We explain. It cuts down the surprise factors in our life. I’m a part of every aspect of Cheryl’s life — and she is of mine. Our work. Our friends. Our families. Our hobbies. Our thoughts. Our fears. Our dreams.

We question. Cheryl and I have been known to ask some strange questions of each other. More than, “What are you thinking?”. Cheryl or I might ask something such as, “If you had one prayer — and only one prayer — for our boys, or for me, what would it be?” Questions that may seem silly to some, but to us they make perfect sense, because it keeps us thinking deeper about our life and each other.

We dream. Everyone has them. Some of us hide them better than others. Cheryl and I have a consistent habit of dreaming together. No dream is too small or too large. It’s a dream. It may or may not become reality, but that’s okay. It’s fun and energizing of our relationship to dream together.

We laugh. A lot. We don’t have the same sense of humor, but it doesn’t matter. We enjoy laughing together about whatever there is to laugh about at the time. It would probably be silly and not funny to anyone else, but that’s okay. Our mutual humor keeps us close at heart.

We cry. Okay, I’ve got to be honest on this one. I’m not a big crier. I cry, but very selectively and very privately. But, Cheryl and I share something with each other. We are vulnerable to each other. Very vulnerable. I’m not afraid to tell her I’m afraid. That I’m hurt. That I wish life was different than it is — even if I have to say it with tears in my eyes. Our lives are open books with one another. It builds a closeness that is hard to destroy.

We love. Deeply. I’ve heard it said I’d rather be deeply loved than widely loved. Cheryl and I deeply love each other. It’s the kind of love that can overlook the flaws we bring to the relationship. And, we bring a lot. Mostly me. But, love is ultimately a choice we make — a deep, committed, loyal kind of choice. I choose Cheryl. She chooses me.

That’s our seven. Do you have more to share?

What keeps your marriage strong?

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8 thoughts on “7 Ways We Keep Our Marriage Strong

  1. Thank you for your blog: I read it every day. Something I do to help keep our marriage strong is write a daily love letter to my wife. Sometimes it is only one page, at other times it can be as much as six pages. I tell her about my love for her, how she blesses me, what a great woman she is, how I have been impacted by something she has said or done and sometimes about my day. I share with her things I would not normally talk about but are somehow significant. Sometimes I write a poem, sometimes something very simple. My beautiful bride says she loves reading my words of love.

  2. We own each other's giftedness! I am a God gifted exhorter. It is a great gift to have been given. The downside of the gift is that I "feel" deeply, my emotions run on high speed! In our marriage we have adjusted ourselves to the giftedness God has given us by creating a safe relationship for our God-Given gifts. My husband has the gift of evangelism, so I accept unconditionally everything that goes along with that gift. For me, I need a safe place to vent my emotions and feelings, I need for my emotions to be owned, but not judged, by that I mean, my feelings are not right or wrong until I act on them. My husband provides that safe place, He embraces my emotions, he owns them. My husband will talk to everyone and anyone about Jesus. He will stop on the street corner and talk to a complete stranger. I had to let go of my discomfort and let HIM be used by God in His giftedness. We have recognized each others giftedness, we have counted the cost of them and we make a "safe" relationship where they can be expressed and experienced… unconditionally so!
    Twitter: kmac4him

  3. Love this post. The simplicity of this advice makes it so applicable to everyday life. If I could add an 8th, I would add "we fight." Sounds crazy, but so many marriages love to fight — they simply fight the wrong opponent. Your spouse is not the enemy. Fight FOR your spouse instead of waging war AGAINST them. Be vigilant for their sake. Be their advocate & their most loyal ally.

    My wife and I write a blog about the road to recovery from infidelity, check it out: http://www.themeaningofrepentance.com