Small Actions That Make a Big Difference in Marriage

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Our marriage motto is “Together or not at all”, meaning as individuals we try to always do what is best for the good of us as a couple and we’re committed to staying united with each other above all else, even when it means laying down our personal desires for the common good of our union. Unity and togetherness have always been the underlying focus of what we do as a couple, over time, this has created a solid foundation that has helped us weather many of the storms life has thrown at us over the years. I fully accredit all of this relational success to my husband, the self-proclaimed “family culture guy” in our house, who keeps us focused and connected. Togetherness is something that doesn’t just happen on its own, it is built over time, by intentional decisions and sacrifice from each person.

We do this a thousand different ways, some big and some small, but one of the most unique ways we choose each other that people are often surprised by is that my husband and I go to bed together every night. (Please don’t hear me saying you need to implement this, lest you stop reading now, the point isn’t the particular action, the point is the overall heart involved and the intentional choice to set aside our own personal desires for the overall benefit of our relationship.) My husband gets up at 4:15 am everyday, so he gets tired early in the evenings. It would be easy for me to stay up after he goes to bed and do my own thing. I’d probably accomplish more projects and read more books with a few extra hours of time each evening, but I’d miss out of the impact our routine has built. This decision isn’t as much about the actual act of going to bed together, although we do feel getting in bed at the same time in the evening and snuggling as we go to sleep strengthens our bond, but it’s more about finding as many ways as we can to have shared routines and habits together, because so much of our days we’re doing our own thing and apart from each other. Having special shared things (even if they seem super small or insignificant) that you two do together helps strengthen your relationship.

As I mentioned earlier, my point isn’t for you to take our relationship rules and implement them in your own marriage (unless they sound life-giving for you), my point is to give you an example of what works for us in our marriage and help you to find your sweet spot of ways you can stay connected to your partner.

Other things we do that protect our unity as a couple are;

  • Don’t say negative things about each other to other people.
  • Eat dinner together almost every night.
  • Have a show we watch together.
  • Go on monthly dates.

More ideas of small acts that can make a big difference in the overall unity and connection in your marriage;

  • Wake up together each day.
  • Do a morning routine together.
  • Workout together.
  • Spend your first five minutes together each evening sitting on the couch re-connecting and catching up after being apart all day.
  • Have a regular evening cocktail together while you chat about your day.
  • Have a Saturday morning routine you both enjoy.
  • Have a certain show you always watch together.
  • Play a certain game together regularly.
  • Cook together.
  • Have device-free time. (Possibly during dinner or from dinner until bedtime.)
  • Eat dinner together, looking in each other’s eyes and talking.
  • Read a book together and discuss.
  • Have a regular weekly date night.

If none of these suit your particular marriage then brainstorm small things you can do regularly to help keep you bonded as a couple, the possibilities are endless and can be as unique as each combination of individuals. Find what works for you and continue to adapt over time finding new and fresh ways to stay connected.

These small actions may seem insignificant, but I can assure you that small actions, added up over time, amount to something much bigger than it seemed along the way. Think of it like making small deposits of money in the bank, your account doesn’t grow much with each small deposit, but over years of making lots of small deposits you build up a good balance. Think of each small act toward togetherness as making a deposit in the account of your relationship.

What small habits keep you connected to your partner?

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Shannon recently moved to Columbus with her husband, Jeremy, and three sons, Noah, Eli and Zeke. She left a career in Human Resources to take on her dream of being a stay-at-home mom. During this time, she and her husband founded a non-profit called Bastion Resources with the purpose of inspiring others to live a life of intimacy with God. Shannon is passionate about creating community and engaging in meaningful conversation around the dinner table. Recently, she created The Intentional Daily Journal to help people live with more purpose and clarity, which is available for purchase on Amazon. In her free time, Shannon enjoys all types of fitness, trying new restaurants, reading books, coffee dates with friends and hanging at the park with her family. Shannon is constantly creating new healthy recipes and sharing them on her blog shannonmangerchine.com.

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