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8 simple ways to instantly improve your marriage.

I stepped on a scale in the doctor’s office last week, and I assumed their scale must be broken because the number was way too high! I was slapped in the face with a reality I had been avoiding. I had gained weight. I had slipped into an autopilot of overeating and the results were obvious.

When we have any area in our life where we want to make an improvement, if you’re like me, you want to see that improvement immediately. I’d like to get back on the scale the next day and see twenty pounds gone, but that’s not how it works. I didn’t gain the weight overnight and and I won’t lose it overnight. I can, however, make some immediate changes which will create some immediate improvement and lead to positive, longterm results.

It’s the same in your marriage.

The overall health of your marriage will be determined by what you do consistently over a long period of time, but you can get started right away. There are some adjustments you can make which will have an immediate, positive impact on your relationship. Below are 8 simple ways to instantly improve your marriage.

(In no particular order.)

1. Stop “keeping score.”

Married couples offend each other every day. We step on each other’s toes. We hurt each other’s feelings. Imagine how much your marriage could improve if neither spouse kept score of every little offense, and instead, chose to see the best in their spouse and extend grace and compassion. I know it’s tough, but give it a try. It could revolutionize your relationship.

2. Prioritize what happens in the bedroom.

It takes more than sex to build a strong marriage, but it’s nearly impossible to build a strong marriage without it. Improving your sexual intimacy will always improve your marriage as a result. For more on this, check out our new video series on sex, intimacy and communication in marriage.

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3. Submit to your spouse’s preferences.

We’re all pretty selfish by nature, and we like to have our way, eat what we like, watch what we like on TV, and basically have life revolve around us. The strongest marriages are those where each spouse submits to the preferences of the other. Be willing to go first! Regardless of how your spouse instantly responds, serve him or her by prioritizing his or her preferences ahead of your own.

4. Communicate about everything.

I’ve always been bad about sharing details. It’s part of being a stereotypical male, I suppose. Still, I’m learning the value of opening up about the details of my day, my feelings and my struggles. It brings a new level of intimacy to our marriage. Better communication creates a better marriage.

5. Invest in shared experiences.

We’re in the crazy years of raising a young family, so we’ve got to work extra hard to prioritize time together alone. Make a regular date night a priority. Find ways to serve together and make a difference together. Look for ways to create new memories and new adventures together. Your marriage will be largely built on those shared experiences.

6. Learn something new.

I write and teach about marriage, but I’m still the first to admit I’ve got a LOT to learn! Keep learning about your spouse, but also keep learning about life and marriage. Read books. Check out our books and resources as a starting point, but even if you don’t read our stuff, get your hands on some good books and connect with some mentors who could help you keep learning and growing.

7. Get rid of the clutter.

When life is overly hectic, messy and busy, that chaos inevitably spills over into your marriage. I’m not very organized, but I’m learning the freedom that comes with de-cluttering. Stop adding stuff to your schedules. Stop packing more junk into your house. Start having conversations about what you should quit doing or quit buying. Simplify your life and you’ll improve your marriage.

8. Celebrate the wins.

I’m usually better at pointing out the stuff that needs to be fixed than I am about celebrating when something positive happens. I’m learning not to always focus on what still needs to be improved, because it takes my eyes off all the blessings happening right in front of me. Take time to celebrate the positives in your life and your marriage and that attitude of gratitude will help you deal with the negative stuff in a healthy, productive way.

For more tools to build a rock-solid marriage, please connect with me on twitter, subscribe to our email list at the top of this page and watch our free video below on “The 4 Pillars of a Strong Marriage”

The Sex Talk

Below is a guest post from my friend Craig Gross who is an author and the founder of XXXchurch.com which is a web-based ministry focused on pornography addiction recovery, marriage-building resources and creative outreach. I had the privilege of partnering with Craig on a new video series for married couples called, “Best Sex Life Now.” He’s also the founder of a new family-building resource called iParent.tv. His post below could revolutionize how you talk about sex in your home. He’s also sponsoring a FREE webinar for married couples you can access by clicking here.

“Silent Night” Should Not Be The Way We Talk About Sex 

By: Craig Gross

A short time ago, I was in the car with my mom, my kids, and my wife Jeanette, and we started talking about sex. My kids are 9 and 11, and the only uncomfortable one in the car was my mother. I understand she’s from a different generation, but it still made me wonder why she had never told me that she and my dad had waited until their wedding night to have sex. That would have been great information to know growing up! But then again most parents never talked to their kids about sex back then. And it’s still a challenge even today.

What I have also learned is that most husbands and wives don’t talk about sex with each other, either. I have also noticed we tend not to talk about our married-life sex with our friends or anyone else.

SILENCE.

Why?

Because we are Christians and we are embarrassed?

Because we feel some sort of shame?

Because we don’t have sex worth talking about?

Because sex is a private thing?

Because it makes us uncomfortable?

Look, I believe married folks should be having the best sex out of anyone and unfortunately, what I have seen is that people having casual sex prior to marriage or outside of marriage seem to be having all the good sex! Or at least they’re the ones talking about it.

Jeanette and I shot a 12-part video series last month with our friends Dave and Ashley Willis called “Best Sex Life Now”, and the whole topic was, obviously, SEX. MY wife doesn’t speak publicly and has only done one other video for XXXchurch in 12 years, so for her to do this was a big deal. So I asked her why she agreed to do this series:

“Being around a ministry where we constantly deal with the breakdown of marriages, I have gotten to see firsthand that a lot of it boils down to sex. There are a lot of individuals in this world that have a distorted view of sex because of pornography, church, how they were brought up, or their past, and there are also a lot of women who just don’t put much effort into having sex with their husbands. Because I am constantly surrounded by these reminders, I’ve tried harder and made sex a priority, and it’s paid off for both of us. Even so, I wish I could have watched a video series on this topic when we were first married. I hope that people can watch it and walk away feeling like they have some things to process and to reach for. Trust me, ladies: a great sex life can be obtained.”

I believe this could be the greatest gift you give your spouse this Christmas. Or this could be the greatest gift you give to a close friend or married family member. Yes, it might be a bit uncomfortable, and someone might ask you, “Why do you think I need this?” That’s okay. This stuff is important, and a little awkwardness doesn’t make it any less important.

We are selling the Best Sex Life Now course for $97. It is an online course, where you can watch it as you go and come back to it at any point, and we’ve also created a downloadable workbook which helps you have follow-up conversations and work through some things after you watch each 10 minute video. You can check it out at BestSexLifeNow.com.

Now here’s the deal: the course is full-price all Christmas season. We put it on sale earlier for Black Friday, but you missed out. However, if you click the SEND AS A GIFT LINK, you can give the course as a gift to someone this Christmas for only 49 bucks. Consider sending it as a gift to your spouse. You’ll both enjoy it! There’s a 100% money-back guarantee if you don’t.

We’re serious about making marriages better, and we’re even more serious about helping you help others do just that. The offer’s only good until Christmas, so now’s the time to act and help change someone’s marriage for the better this holiday season.

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