25 Nov Marriage Health & Fitness
What does physical health and fitness have to do with marriage health?
It was almost five years ago, in 2011, that I (Carrie) had a ruptured brain aneurysm and massive brain haemorrhage. Going through that crisis, the corrective surgery, and the recovery time was a major wake up call for Jim and I. Up to that point, we took our health for granted and weren’t being intentional about staying healthy. After my brain surgery, though, we took time for regular exercise, we made sleep and rest a higher priority, and we made healthier food choices. It’s troubling that it took a medical crisis for us to start working on getting physically healthy and fit.
In the same way, many couples take the health of their relationship for granted. There is no evaluation of their marriage until they reach a crisis! This is our recommendation to you and your spouse: use the three strategies we’ve listed below and you’ll keep your marriage healthy and fit!
Just as a doctor checks blood pressure, heart rate, and performs blood tests to determine his patient’s health, a husband and wife can regularly check in with each other to monitor marriage health. Here are a few suggestions of ways to help monitor your relationship:
A. Ask each other questions. Take some time, perhaps during a weekly date night, to pause from life’s busyness, remove distractions, and focus on each other. Ask your spouse questions like…
- Do you feel loved by me and how?
- Are you satisfied with our physical intimacy?
- Where would you most like to see change or improvement in our marriage?
- Was there a time this past week where I caused you pain or disappointment? (If yes, take time to ask for forgiveness.)
B. Take the Intimacy Survey offered on the Intimate Couple website
After each of you have completed the survey, discuss your answers. Look for areas in your relationship that need attention.
C. Meet with a marriage counsellor
A trained counsellor can ask questions, observe you and your spouse, listen to your conversation, and help pinpoint areas that need improvement or blind spots that you and your spouse need to be aware of.
D. Find another couple to be your marriage mentors
Meeting regularly with a couple who are committed to coming alongside you is so beneficial! Marriage mentors are helpful in giving advice and challenging you to move ahead in your relationship… most of all, they are your cheerleaders and friends!
2. Avoid Unhealthy Actions
When a patient’s blood pressure readings are higher than average, the dietician will teach her how avoiding certain foods will help lower the blood pressure. In the same way, there are habits and actions you need to avoid in order to have a healthy marriage.
Review these examples of what to avoid:
- Get distracted by phone or TV when listening to your spouse
- Use an angry tone of voice
- Make family decisions without consulting each other
- Disrespect spouse (in public or private)
- Use electronics in the bedroom
- One of you stays up while the other has gone to bed
- Take your spouse for granted and rarely say “thank you”
3. Raise Love Levels
Has your medical doctor ever recommended you supplement your diet with vitamins and minerals? In our marriages, there may be times we need to use good habits to increase our levels of love and affection.
Here are examples of “daily marriage supplements” for you and your spouse to use:
- display expressions of kindness
- say “I love you!”
- pray for each other
- call or text in the middle of the day to connect
- kiss good morning and goodnight
- express gratefulness and appreciation for your spouse
- smile at one another
Strategies to Increase Marriage Health
Again, let us encourage you! Don’t wait for a marriage crisis before working on keeping your marriage healthy. Instead, start today to… monitor your relationship, avoid unhealthy actions, and raise love levels. We’d also recommend that you do the 7 Day Sex Challenge! Being intentional with these strategies will help you and your spouse experience a vibrant, healthy, and fit marriage!