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11 Things That Have Strengthened My Marriage

By Michelle Petersen, The Mumsy Blog

Here on Mumsy, I talk a lot about motherhood. Marriage is a big part of motherhood, and that is something I don't talk about as much as I would like to. So I'm super excited that I get to talk about it today!

As many of you know, I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. So marriage plays a HUGE part in my life and who I am as a mom. But boy can marriage be hard sometimes! For some reason, before getting married, I always imagined marriage to be just like all the fairytale romances I saw and heard about. You know, the kind where the prince constantly stares dreamily into the eyes of his princess, is always willing to fight ogre and giant to defend his one true love, and somehow always has a great white steed at the ready to carry him and his princess off into the sunset. So you can imagine my surprise when my husband, Dave, and I had our first big trial as a couple! 

At that moment in time, I slowly came to realize that a marriage was more than just a fairytale. It was a union of two people bringing their very best and their very worst selves to the table, sifting through everything, making sacrifices, growing together, and learning how to make it all work. In our 10 years of marriage, my husband, Dave, and I have definitely had our fair share of hard times. Especially in this last month. We hit a really rough patch in our marriage and there were times when I wondered if we could pull through. But by focusing on our beliefs about marriage, becoming more selfless, focusing on the family we had created together, and reexamining and improving our roles as husband and wife, we were able to pull through.

So, for those of you who are struggling in your marriage and are looking for ways to improve your roles as husband and wife, here are some things Dave and I did to fix our marriage and make it stronger than before.

11 Things That Can Strengthen Marriage

1) Understand the Roles You Have as Husband and Wife.
One of the beautiful things about being married in today's world is that a husband and wife can more easily create the marriage they want and the roles they want to have. So whatever that may be, make sure you understand each other's roles and support them as best you can.

2) Date Your Spouse.
Being married doesn't mean you stop treating your spouse the way you did when you were dating. In fact, things you did during the dating phase of your life should increase because you and your spouse are now in it for the long haul. So never stop dating your spouse. Because if you do, you leave room for potential problems to sneak in and weaken your relationship. 

3) Intimacy Is a Must. 
Intimacy is so important for a marriage! It is one of the few, things that let you and your spouse express one of the of deepest expressions of love to each other. Allowing you to strengthen your bond as husband and wife unlike anything else can.

4) Serve
Like intimacy, service is also great act of love you can show your spouse because you are freely giving of your whole self to someone else. So find a way each day to serve your spouse and you'll be amazed at how much happier you and your spouse will be. 

5) Be Loyal.
Unless certain circumstances prevent this from being possible, be loyal to your spouse. People invest in those who invest in them. So let your spouse know you're their number one fan, and they too will be more likely to do the same for you!

6) Don't Play the Blame Game.
Nobody is perfect. Especially when it comes to marriage. So mistakes are inevitable. But if possible, be willing to face the hard times hand in hand because you will both come out stronger together.

7) Be a Safe Place.
Life is hard, and marriage can be even harder sometimes. But when you take the time to entrust your doubts, feelings, joys, and everything in between in your spouse, you'll find that you have someone you can run to and rely on when things get tough.

8) Laughter Is the Best Medicine.
When faced with a marital issue, you always have the choice to either laugh or cry about it. So choose laughter whenever you can because it can quickly remedy bad things and make many problems smaller and much easier to handle.

9) Check In.
Whether we like it or not, we change over the years. So make sure to have frequent one-on-ones with your spouse to make sure you are still on the same page as a couple. And if not, discuss how you can become more unified and work together on it.

10) Count Your Blessings.
Instead of listing all the things that are wrong with your marriage and your spouse, focus on all that is going good. And more often than not, you will most likely be amazed at how great your marriage really is!

11) Have Faith, and Get Your Hands Dirty!
Ok, I know this is two things but I feel they go hand in hand. When it comes to your marriage, you can't just sit around and think everything will work out and last. Relationships take work. And they take even more work when you're married. So, you have to fearlessly dive in and do the work required to make your marriage last. Having faith that as long as you work your hardest and do your best, things will work out. 

When it comes Down to it, Patience and Love are the Answer

I wish I could say that after doing these things, Dave and I will have a blissful marriage. But I have a feeling more trials will come. And I’m ok with that because that’s a real marriage. You have your highs and you have your lows. And if you’re willing to do the work when the hard times come, you can guarantee that you will come out stronger together with a love for each that’s greater than you ever thought possible! So when the next hardship comes for Dave and I, you can bet we will be relying on these 11 things to help pull us through. 

Here’s to this crazy ride we call marriage and all the joy it can bring!

Michelle Petersen is a born-and-raised Utah girl who has been married to her husband for 10 years. Together, she and her husband are currently raising their three boys, one daughter, and energetic labradoodle puppy in a 1920s craftsman home near the mountains in Utah County. Michelle is a huge advocate for moms and families and creates monthly content on her website, social media platforms, YouTube channel, and Utah’s KUTV 2 News “This Morning” to help empower and strengthen moms and the families they are raising. Aside from being a mom and talking about all things motherhood-related, Michelle loves the desert, hosting parties, going on family road trips, and being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.