If you want to future-proof your marriage, then this article is essential. Whether you are newly married, about to get married, or have been married for 20 years, this article is going to help you know how to stay married.
Now, there are no guarantees. But I will teach you tips today to improve your marriage and have a long-lasting relationship. How do we future-proof your marriage? As I said, there are no guarantees. But if anything works, this will work.
Be the Best Version of Yourself
Step one in future-proofing your marriage is to be the best version of yourself. When you’re the best version of yourself, it lays the foundation for a healthy relationship. So how do you do that? We suggest that you work on what we like to call the PIES, where you work on yourself physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. If you don’t know how to do that, we have a resource you can sign up for called PIES University that can give you the day-to-day steps you can take to become the best version of yourself. Remember, this is the foundational piece to future-proofing your marriage.
Another piece to being the best version of yourself is to remove what we like to call pushes. Dr. John Gottman, a marriage researcher who has years of experience, says that people don’t stay married because they don’t feel loved, liked, or respected. So how can we reduce pushes knowing this information? Gottman says there are four things that we can remove from our interaction with our spouse, or the conflict with our spouse, that can actually improve your chances of staying married by up to 80%. He says if you’re not defensive, if you don’t use contention or criticism, and you avoid stonewalling, then you already increase your chances of staying married up to 80%.
Eliminate Controlling Behaviors.
Another push that we want to eliminate is controlling behaviors. So, you have to evaluate and dig deep and be honest with yourself. If your behavior is controlling your spouse, then you must change that. People use control for different reasons. You can find out more about that by coming to our workshop. But controlling behaviors are something that will push your spouse away, regardless of the reason. So, it’s crucial that you identify the areas in which you’re doing that and stop it.
Increase Your PULLs
The next step in becoming the best version of yourself is to increase your PULLs. The very first step of that is to be a safe place for your spouse. Create an environment that your spouse wants to be in; instead of an atmosphere of strife or lack of communication, create an environment where it’s warm and friendly with your spouse.
Another way to increase PULLs is to offer acceptance for your spouse.
So often, we think that means we have to agree with their behavior or agree with what they believe; this is not necessarily true. Instead, we have to accept that they feel the way they feel. Whenever you offer acceptance, even if it’s not an agreement, it creates a situation where your spouse wants to come closer to you. Acceptance moves us into an area of intimacy that we haven’t been before, where we can share how we think and feel. They can also share that with us, and they don’t experience any judgment. They don’t experience any criticism for their thoughts, beliefs, and feelings.
So many times, when we go into relationships, we fail to express our expectations and needs in that relationship. We do that because of our fear of rejection. If we can take that step and describe how we feel, what we expect in the relationship, or what our needs are in the relationship, then we have a much better chance of future-proofing our marriage. So don’t let fear keep you from doing that. Because the truth is, you’ll still have the expectation even if you don’t communicate that with your spouse. So you’re setting yourself up for failure. To future proof your marriage, be sure that you share those expectations and needs.
Stay Married by Observing How Your Spouse Needs to be Loved.
We often love our spouses the way we want to be loved instead of watching them and learning how they need to be loved. That’s where communicating about your expectations and needs can be very helpful. Observe those things and begin to love your spouse the way they need to be loved. Learn about your spouse’s past, what’s going on in the present, and their hopes and dreams for the future. You do that by communicating with your spouse.
If you’re unsure how to do that, you start asking them questions. If you’re unsure how to do that or what questions to ask, let me give you a resource. A couple of weeks ago, our CEO Kimberly Holmes was interviewing Dr. John Gottman, and he spoke of a resource that he has called “Card Decks,” where you can ask your spouse questions and give you a list of questions to ask them. The aim is to grow together and learn more about each other. Please communicate with your spouse and find out what’s going on in their life, what happened in the past, and what they want in the future.
Invest In Your Relationship
The point in all of this is to invest in your spouse and invest in this relationship. As you invest, you will have a much better chance of future-proofing your marriage.
The next step in increasing your PULLs is to commit. And this is one of the most important steps of all. Dr. Nick Stinnett studied six components that make a healthy family. And of the six he says, commitment is an essential commitment that holds us together when life gets in the way. Because of different things that come up in our life, we can drift apart before committing. But, it’s the very thing that can hold us together, even when times get tough.
We Can Help You Stay Married if You Want to Save Your Relationship
At one of our workshops, there was a couple that wanted to divorce on day one. On day three, they were planning camping trips. The difference was that they found a common goal over the weekend. So whether you want to help the homeless or climb mountains, find a common goal and pursue that with all your heart.
Like I said at the beginning of this article, there are no guarantees in relationships. But I do want to say; you can take these steps to give you a better chance of keeping your marriage together. If you need a free resource, click this link and check out our free mini-course on how to get your spouse to fall back in love with you. We also have people here at Marriage Helper that would love to talk through your situation and find the best resource for your situation. Get in contact with us today to see how we can help.