Valentine's day will soon be here again, and while my wife would tell you that I'm not exactly a romantic, we at least do have some experience in the love department. We will have been married for 15 years this year, and I think we've learned a thing or two in that time.
One thing that I've learned for sure is that I'm constantly failing, and that I need to continuously work on our relationship to make things better. Thankfully I have a wonderful wife who is very loving, forgiving and giving and it's a joy being married to her.
So here are some ways to improve your relationship on Valentine's Day, and throughout the year.
10 Ways To Have A Better Relationship
Having a good relationship isn't easy, and you'll have your ups and downs. The key in my opinion is to have an attitude of giving and putting the other person first. With that in mind here are some ways to improve your relationship this year.
- Try to only think good thoughts of your significant other: I think this one is sometimes easier said than done, but it really can work wonders in your relationship. If you consistenly think good thoughts of the other person you won't have time to sit and stew about something they've done that upsets you. Instead you'll be filled with warm fuzzies! “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phillipians 4:8“
- Forgive easily and without thinking twice: In marriage and other relationships it is easy to find things to be upset about. People let us down all the time, and they always say you hurt the ones you love the most. Instead of holding something against your partner, know that you're not perfect, and be ready to forgive without conditions. “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13 “
- Listen, listen, listen to your significant other: The longer I'm married, the more I realize how important it is to listen and be empathetic with your spouse or partner. So often my wife doesn't really want me to solve her problems or talk with her about them, but just wants to talk and vent about the things going on in her life. Listen and be empathetic with the things they're relating to you. “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, James 1:19“
- Honor and appreciate your spouse: It can be so easy to just let a simple Valentine's card do the talking. Instead, let the words come from your own lips. Honor them with your words, and the more you do – the more they'll live up to it! “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:9-10“
- Write hard things down on paper: Sometimes when you talk about hard subjects arguments can escalate out of control. Instead try to write down hard to talk about topics on paper to avoid hurt feelings, misunderstood looks and words.
- Acknowledge when you're wrong: It can be a powerful thing when you admit that you're wrong and ask forgiveness from your spouse. I know I've had to do it countless times, and I can still remember times when my wife did it and how much it made our love grow. “Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame,but whoever heeds correction is honored. Proverbs 13:18“
- Smile and be a positive light in their world: It's amazing how powerful a simple smile can be, or the light of a positive person when a person is having a down day. Smile and make their day! “When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them Job 29:24 “
- Go out on dates together regularly: Try to get away from the day to day pressures of life by going on regular dates to re-connect. Spend that extra money for the babysitter!
- Work on making things better in the here and now: Try to avoid thinking about missed opportunities or how things could have been – and instead focus on making things better in your relationship in the here and now.
- Have compassion and understanding: Know that your spouse isn't always going to have a good day. Have compassion and understanding for their situation when they're going through rough times, and do your best to help them through.
So there you go, 10 ways you can improve your relationship this year. Want a bonus idea for Valentine's Day?
- Be giving: This is especially important for you guys reading this. Be giving to your spouse. We can often be more giving to others outside our relationship than we are to our own spouse. Try your best to be as giving as possible this year and not take for granted the one you love most. Be generous in all things – love, gifts, compassion, understanding, forgiveness and more!
Have your own tips for forging a better relationship? Tell us in the comments!
Want some more tips for a healthy marriage?