According to Dr. Greg Smalley, good relationships and marriages don’t happen by accident. Here are three things you can do to strengthen your relationship in the new year.
“Part of the challenge of good relationships is to make resolutions and goals for your marriage,” Dr. Smalley explains. “We must be doing something proactively every day to help our relationships. Something powerful happens when a couple dreams and makes goals together.”
- Resolution #1: The Daily Delay. Be intentional about what you want for your relationship. “What are some of the challenges and barriers, such as cell phones, email and Facebook that rob your relationship of time and energy?” he asks. “Every couple needs a ‘daily delay’ every day. “ Dr. Smalley explains that most couples spend ony four minutes a day in positive communication, so make a resolution to protect time for your marriage. “Tuning in and focusing on each other is often the difference between happy, satisfied couples and unsatisfied couples,” he says.
- Resolution #2: The Weekly Withdrawal. Set a goal to designate time each week for each other. Whether you go on a date night or take a long walk, make sure this time is not about administering your marriage or discussing household logistics. It needs to be about fun and enjoying each other’s company.
- Resolution #3: The Annual Abandon. Once per year, Dr. Smalley advises that you get out of town as a couple—even if it is just for one night. “Be creative within your budget.,” he suggests. “When couples do something new and exciting together, it activates the feeling you first had when you started to date. Even just take the kids to grandparents and spend the weekend at home alone together.“
Dr. Smalley says that couples have to be intentional in their planning and actions to keep relationships strong. “If you are doing these things, if you can learn how to manage conflict well and invest in your marriage, you will have a happy and strong marriage,” he encourages.
Want to learn more? Dr. Smalley and his wife Erin will present a marriage conference at Metropolitan Baptist Church (7201 West Britton Road) based on his book “The Wholehearted Marriage” on January 17 &18. This conference is free and open to the public and child care is provided for attendeees on January 17. For more information, visit www.bettermarriageokc.com.