A happy and fulfilling marriage requires work to happen. It will not happen on its own. Unfortunately, many married couples neglect their marriages and allow the cares of the world and the daily grind to come between them. They do not purposely work on the relationship; they work on their careers, church activities, children, and more. The marriage is typically neglected.
The situation worsens when only one partner works at the marriage, and the other takes it for granted by not working on it with them. They spend time caring for the children, their work assignments, etc., but neglect to make time for their spouse and the relationship.
You must invest in your marriage if you want it to be fulfilling and happy. The fact that two people are married for decades does not mean they are both pleased with and fulfilled by the marriage. One or both of them may, in fact, be miserable.
Investing in your marriage effectively establishes and maintains a healthy, happy, and fulfilling relationship. I will present ways for you to invest in your marriage based on over 35 years of marriage and marriage education studies.
Before You Invest
Realize that a happy and fulfilling marriage requires work. It will not come automatically regardless of how you feel about your spouse now or the current condition of the marriage. The husband and wife must work at their marriage to make it work well.
The situation where only one spouse is actively working on the relationship may very well create an environment of resentment because they do not see their spouse working on it to make it better. Therefore, investing in your marriage and making it a happy and fulfilling one requires you to work on it together.
Prioritize the Marriage
It is easy for the daily grind, caring for the children, qualifying for advancement in your job, your business needs, or church activities to become priorities above your marriage. That should not be so. Your marriage should have a higher priority than all those things.
Many husbands know their wives will abandon them when their children are born. Their priority will be caring for the children, and hubby must fend for himself. Men sometimes joke about it, but it is a hard reality. It is an emotional gut shot when a man realizes his wife is into the children, not him.
Therefore, prioritize your marriage. Make time to nurture it together.
Educate Yourself About Marriage
You work hard to get the necessary education if you want a promotion on the job or to accomplish a personal goal. You will learn what is required to do many things except for our marriages. What was the last book you read, video you watched, or article you consumed dealing with marriage? Most people wouldn’t have an answer because they have done little to nothing to educate themselves about marriage and how to make it work.
How do you expect to have a happy marriage if you don’t know how to do it? It’s not going to happen just because you want it to. Your spouse will not magically be the perfect wife or husband for you. You must work together to make it work, and the first step is to educate yourself about marriage and how to make it successful.
In addition to educating yourself about marriage, learn skills that will help the marriage too. For example, you might learn how to budget or invest money, time management, etc. Make your life more efficient so that you would have more time for each other.
Meet Each Other’s Needs
I have read several articles over the years where it is said that couples should meet each other’s needs in the marriage. That is somewhat true, in my opinion. Yes. We should ensure we meet each other’s needs but not at the expense of expecting our needs to be met. Meet your spouse’s needs as they are meeting yours. That’s a better way.
Resentment may germinate if you work at meeting your spouse’s needs, but they don’t meet yours. You’ll begin to believe that you are doing all the work for the relationship and your spouse is only enjoying the benefits with no effort. You’ll start to think they don’t care.
Therefore, meet each other’s needs. Remember, a happy and successful marriage requires working together to make it happen.
Work on Developing the Marriage Together
I’ve already stated this crucial point. Husband and wife should work on the marriage together. Each does their part to make it work. Purpose to work together for the sake of the marriage and make it work.
A lopsided marriage is when only one works to make the relationship work, and the other takes the relationship and their spouse for granted. A significant mistake people make is assuming that their spouse will always be standing there after years or decades of neglect. That spouse often leaves the relationship to find happiness and fulfillment elsewhere, leaving the neglecting spouse wondering what happened.
Therefore, ensure that the husband and wife work together on the marriage to make it happy and fulfilling.
Pray with and Minister to Each Other
There is more to life than physical and intellectual things. You should consider the spiritual side of things, including your marriage. Study the Bible together. Pray with and minister to each other. You don’t do enough of that anyway.
When sickness or injuries come, you look to the doctors and medical professionals to guide you. You ensure your spouse does what the doctors say to ensure a speedy recovery. However, you tend to neglect the spiritual side of things up close. You don’t pray with your spouse, read Scripture with them, lay hands on them as Jesus taught his disciples, or encourage them. You neglect to allow the power of God into the situation. You operate strictly functionally or mechanically as if your spouse was a broken tool that needed attention.
Instead, it would help to minister to your spouse when they are broken (injured or sick) and when things are well. Be spiritual with your spouse and build a spiritual bond in addition to a physical and emotional one.
Understand Love Languages
Gary Chapman wrote a well-known book, “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts.” The book describes the five primary love languages.
- Words of affirmation
- Quality time
- Receiving gifts
- Acts of service
- Physical touch
I highly recommend getting that book, reading it, understanding the love languages, and practicing them in your marriage. That, of course, means that you need to determine what your spouse’s love language is. You can discover that as you get to know them more intimately.
Once you have determined their love language, use it. If your wife’s love language is receiving gifts, give her gifts now and then. The gifts don’t need to be significant because it is the thought that is meaningful to her. The fact that you were thinking of her to give her a gift means that you love her in her mind. So, understand the love languages and practice them in your marriage.
Nurture the Emotional Connection Through Sex
Sex is vital in marriage, especially for the husband. A wife who wants to have sex with her husband is perceived as one who loves him. That is how men view sex. It is the primary way that we are emotionally connected to our wives.
Wives who consistently reject having sex with their husband is telling him she does not love him, which is bad for the marriage. Likewise, husbands who neglect an intimate connection with their wives tell them they are unloved.
Therefore, ensure you consider the emotional connection with your spouse, in which sex is significant. Make time for it. It may seem mechanical or anti-spontaneous. However, we can still enjoy it even if not initiated spontaneously. We are accustomed to doing that with so many other things. Why do we make exceptions for our marriage?
Nurture the emotional connection through sex with your spouse.
Talk to each other frequently about the relationship, money, God, etc. Communication is an essential part of any successful relationship, especially marriage. You need to tell your spouse about the marriage.
Talk about money, children, your needs, vacations, etc. Have intimate conversations with each other to help guide you towards a happier relationship. Have open, respectful, considerate, and intimate discussions regularly.
Make Plans Together
Make plans and work together to accomplish them. Working on a common objective is an effective way to build a bond between you and your spouse. Projects can include where you want to live in the future, vacation destinations, the business you’d like to start, and so much more.
Have fun and do Things Together
The daily grind can quickly suck the life out of your marriage. You become so focused on your job, the church, finances, children, and more that you neglect to make the time to have fun and enjoy life together.
There may be projects you might do together, which turn household responsibilities into an opportunity to bond more. For example, you could start a painting or home remodeling project you decide to tackle together. Whatever it is, just make sure to have fun and enjoy life together.
Work on Building a Better You.
A better you will make a better husband or wife. Work to improve yourself constantly. Be well groomed even at home. Don’t let yourself go just because no one can see you. Your spouse can see you. Think about what you did when you were dating. Did you stop doing those things?
You might easily take your marriage and your spouse for granted by assuming you don’t need to put your best foot forward in presenting yourself at home in only their company. Do you walk around the house in dirty, ragged clothing? Do you look like a bag lady or bum when you go to bed at night? Never stop improving yourself and being the best you can be for you and your spouse.
Spend Time Together
Make time to spend with each other. You do it for everything else. Why neglect your marriage? Schedule a regular date night where you can get away from the kids and everyone else to spend intimate time with each other.
That time together could be a significant vacation or a trip to a restaurant. The point is to ensure you spend time together to nurture the relationship. Not doing so will cause you and your spouse to become roommates functioning well together but emotionally lightyears apart. Make time to spend with each other.
A happy and fulfilling marriage requires work from the husband and the wife. You can easily neglect your marriage as you prioritize your job, business, children, and other things above it.
Purpose to work on your marriage together with your spouse. Follow the insights above to help you achieve a happy and fulfilling marriage.
Watch the Youtube video.
Free Ebook: What Happens to Love In Marriage
Get your free copy of "What Happens to Love in Marriage?" Learn the path that love takes in a marriage and how you can nurture it to produce the loving, happy, and fulfilling marriage that you desire to have.