Q: My husband and I agree that overall, our marriage is in good shape. But we know we can probably do even better. What are some simple things we can try?
A: We like the analogy presented by author Kim Wier about “spring cleaning” around the house. It’s a concept that applies to marriage, as well.
Kim understands that cleaning the house is necessary due to her allergic reaction to the pollen in the air. She also realises that marriages can often be, in her words, “plagued by irritants.” Pressures at work, raising children, and financial stress all lead to petty annoyances that, over time, can grow into serious relational problems. To keep things fresh, Kim offers three simple suggestions:
- First, de-clutter. Agree on at least one thing you can cut out of your schedules to minimise stress. Also, work on eliminating grudges (toward each other or someone else). If you need to work through deeper hurts, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Second, polish. As Kim says, care for yourselves “like you did when you longed to catch each other’s eye.” Commit to focused communication, as well –- face to face, with no distractions.
- Third, make room. Take time for just the two of you — even if it means squeezing in a five-minute walk here and there. If one of you is traveling, talk by phone or video call.
Every relationship could use a good spring cleaning from time to time. Taking a few moments to sweep away the dust and cobwebs can leave you breathing easier — and your marriage stronger.
© 2018 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. Used by permission.