Counselors Give Advice for Healthy Marriages

[[{"fid":"1351","view_mode":"media_original","fields":{"format":"media_original","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"media_original","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"attributes":{"style":"border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; width: 218.688px; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; float: right;","class":"media-element file-media-original","data-delta":"1"},"link_text":false}]]We asked Xenos counselors for their advice on how to keep marriages strong.

Learn to laugh at yourselves and practice the 'one another commands' at home and in ministry,” Bev DeLashmutt suggests.

Connie Rue likes the idea from The Relationship Cure by John Gottman - you learn to recognize when your spouse is bidding to be connected to you (hint: it may not always be something that you immediately recognize). Once you notice their bids, you can practice turning towards those bids to connect with each other.

Ben Foust reminds husbands and wives to have the phrase “I was wrong” in your marriage toolbox and to use those words to repair when you’ve messed up.

Practice gratitude for your spouse. Even their weaknesses are God’s blessing to you and part of his plan for your continued maturity,” Chris Risley reminds. She also suggests turning off the TV or closing the laptop/tablet to spend time relating to each other.

And John Cleary adds, “Read as much good material as you can, ask mature people lots of questions and pray your head off.”

What books are helpful? Chris Risley recommends the book The Couples Checkup, which she feels like includes lots of great practical advice. Find more great book ideas in the Counseling section of the Xenos website.

Want ideas for building strong friendships or developing listening skills? See the previous articles in this series.