Recently, my oldest nephew got married and we had a get together in celebration. I come from a pretty big family. I have 5 brothers and a sister. Between all of us, there are 13 grandchildren.
Even if all of us can’t get together, we make up a large crowd- a very loud, large crowd.
My dad gathered those of us that were there to gather around and celebrate my nephew and his new wife. Dad led us off with talking about how we were all here for them no matter what the days look like.
Dad started a chain reaction in our ability to share marriage advice with them. There’s not a single one of my brothers or I that haven’t faced difficulty in our marriages. Here’s the 3 pieces of advice that we gave them.
1. There Will Be Days When You Will Fight- But Always Be a Team
It is so important that new couples know that they are going to fight. No marriage is immune to arguments and frustration. In fact, if you aren’t fighting in your marriage, it actually shows a lack of intimacy. If you aren’t addressing issues in your relationship, it’s because you have given up on it.
We wanted them to know it is normal to fight, but we also encouraged them to be a team. It is so easy to fight against one another rather than fighting side by side.
Have the argument, but use it as a vehicle to get the problem solved. It is ok to passionately express your feelings, as long as you aren’t trying to damage the other person. When you keep a team mindset, then you won’t destroy the other person in a fight.
2. Put Your Phones Down And Connect With Each Other
I was actually shocked that one of my brothers brought this up. Mainly because it wasn’t the first thing on my mind. Since he has a teenage daughter that is close to my nephew’s age, I think he has seen how distracting cell phones can be for this generation.
Shoot…phones are distracting to all generations now. However, unlike my nieces and nephews, Austin and I were able to build a relationship with each other before there was texting and social media.
The upcoming generation has never known life and relationships without phones. I’ve personally witness all of them sitting around looking at their screens instead of actually engaging with each other.
3. Make Dating a Priority
Again, my brother chimed in on this one and shared that even if there is very little in your bank account, you should figure out something you can do together for a date. Austin and I are huge proponents of at home date nights, and date nights in general.
I made the statement to my nephew that he could either find time and money for marriage counseling or time and money for dating. I’d go with dating, because it’s a whole lot more fun.
I’ve talked to several couples that have ended up in counseling, and they have told me that their counselors advised them to make date nights a priority.
There really is something to spending focused time on one another. I’m not talking about going out on a date, or doing something at home, where you both stare at a screen. This could be the television, a movie screen, phones, whatever…
Real quality time is when you stop talking about work, kids, obligations, and life in general. You don’t get distracted by notifications on your phone. You aren’t checking the time every 5 seconds. What you are doing is looking in your spouse’s eyes and having conversations that mold your hearts together.
Austin and I use conversation starters on a regular basis for this reason. (These are our favorite conversation starters.) We also like to make a big deal of at home date nights so that we don’t get distracted by the things going on at home.
These are the top marriage tips that we gave my nephew. What would you add to the list? Leave a message in the comments. I’d love to hear what you have to say.