6 Keys To A Rockin’ Marriage

June 6, 2012

I often hear a topic that stirs my heart. It is a topic that seems to become especially revalent when trying to embark on change or a new entrepreneurial adventure.

The topic is disunity in marriage. I see it in all forms and have experienced it in my own marriage.

In fact, I can honestly tell you that for years Michael and I plodded along in our marriage and got along reasonably well, but we were by no means thriving in unity.

There were certain topics that just weren’t discussed. As long as we steered clear of those things, we got along great! For many years, we settled with a mediocre marriage that was dull, uneventful, and disappointing.

I hear so many stories like our’s where two people are on two different pages. It is real and very painful. It can suck the life and dreams and hopes right out of a person like a vacuum.

We are living proof it doesn’t have to be this way. With a few changes, we have now found our marriage to be the catalyst behind the exciting journey which we are presently on. It refreshes us, excites us, and is a safe place from which to spring forward into a thriving and fulfilling life.

Here are 6 keys we have found to bring unity into our marriage enabling us to pursue life like never before:

1. Find a common interest. For us, it started by separately listening to podcasts and then discussing them later. This became a safe, common ground and the new found knowledge opened our eyes to changes we needed to make.

2. Don’t be afraid to seek counsel. You can’t embark on a journey together when one member is injured or hurting. I was deeply depressed and hurting in our first years of marriage. Michael helped me seek counseling as a way to bring about healing in these areas. It changed my life and, in turn, our marriage.

3. Talk about hurts and misunderstandings right away. Don’t wait! This one we learned the hard way and are still learning. I know people who have had the same arguments for 30 years and there is still no resolution. That absolutely kills any relationship.

4. Listen unbiasedly, openly, and completely. This one was huge for us. One person would talk and the other would jump in with, “Well, if you didn’t do this than I wouldn’t be doing that…” That got us nowhere.

Learn how to listen and empathize. It is a skill which is rarely used but carries huge payoffs. If you listen to people, they feel heard. When they feel heard, they feel a deeper connection with you. It is a win-win.

5. Be the bigger person and say, “I am sorry” with no strings attached. That’s it in a nutshell. Learn how to simply say, “I’m sorry” and that’s it.

6. Embark on creating a better story with your lives, together. Find something that drives you both and dive deep into it. Get dirty in it together and revel in the unity it will bring. For us, it was starting this blog and starting our own business.

The impact of doing these few things was huge. It changed our marriage and we will never go back!

Question: Do you have any keys for unity to add to the list?

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  • Cindy Hirch June 6, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Something that greatly helped me was for my husband to take the DISC assessment. Reading his profile results gave me a much better understanding into his personality and how I can effectively communicate with him. I know the assessment cost $$, but being in a relatively new marriage it really helped.

    • Claudia Good June 6, 2012 at 9:54 am

      Right there with you! That was huge for us too, and well worth the money!
      How long have you been married?

  • Joe Lalonde June 6, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Great points Claudia. I know I struggle with number 3. When I’m frustrated and hurt, I don’t want to talk. I’d rather think it out and let it go. But after a talk Pam and I had the other night, I know it’s an area that frustrates her and I need to fix how I respond.

    • Claudia Good June 6, 2012 at 10:04 am

      Joe, that is really awesome that you are rethinking your approach after talking to your wife. I’m sure that will make a lasting impression on her and your marriage!

      I was the worst with #3 in the past, except I never quite got the hang of the letting it go part 😉 so it would resurface later like 100x worse than if we had just talked it through right away. Embracing that one was a huge hurdle for me because it was scary… but it has been amazing in staying right on top of issues rather than letting them build up and fester than explode later, ugly and rotten… (eww that was a gross mental picture!)

  • Donna Yates June 6, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Very insightly Claudia. I’m in a relationship with a man that I love dearly but we do have communication issues. I like to talk things out and he keeps things to himself. We work on it constantly as we are aware that the problem is there. I didn’t have this issue with my husband but of course we had other issues as all marriages do. I do think effective communication is the key to any healthy relationship. It’s also something that has to be worked on purposefully everyday.

    • Claudia Good June 6, 2012 at 10:09 am

      You are right when you say it needs to be worked on purposefully everyday. Seems like it is easy to believe a good marriage just happens… like in the fairy tales (or maybe that’s just what I thought) but it doesn’t. It takes purposeful constant tending and the reward then is better than ever. 🙂
      I always picture a garden. The more tending and planting it gets the more it will yield!

      Blessings as you continue this journey in your new relationship.

      If you don’t mind me asking… how was that transition? Starting over with someone else?

      • Donna Yates June 6, 2012 at 10:28 am

        Not easy. I have two children and so does he. So trying to blend our two lives, even though the kids are grown, has been a real challenge. We have dated for several years just because we wanted to give our kids plenty of time to accept the other. I don’t ever think they will totally accept us as neither is their parent. I try to understand but it still can be hurtful at times. So again, it’s not easy. I also hate that we don’t have “history” together. When you marry young and have a family and grown old together, you have history. Unfortunately, I lost mine when my husband died, but on a lighter note, we are trying to build our own history going forward! Not the same but ok.

        • Claudia Good June 7, 2012 at 1:27 pm

          Michael’s Dad has embarked on a similar journey as yours, and there have definitely been some bumps in the road, but they are doing really well pursuing unity in the family.
          It is a hard transition for all involved I am sure!

          Is he from NC? 😉

          • Donna Yates June 7, 2012 at 2:24 pm

            No, we both live in the same town, but he shares the same desire to move to NC as I do.

  • Ann Musico June 6, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Very great post and lots of insight in the comments as well. Communication is definitely key and being on the same page is too. I think one of the keys for my husband and me is thinking the best of each other. I learned that the hard way – he seems to have just been good at it! We had just closed our restaurant and he was applying to school districts since he was a teacher and wanted to get back into that. Our kids were very early teens so they were involved in school activities. I saw he’d addressed an envelope to his old principal in Tennessee (we were here in NY then). For a lot of reasons I was really upset that he would be considering going back there. I got all worked up in my mind about him not even discussing it with me. Then days later he came to me and said he was thinking about contacting his old district but he didn’t send the letter and he was going to talk to me first. I should’ve known he would – but I let my fears and frustrations get the best of me. I try and remember that now and think the best of him from the get-go!

    • Claudia Good June 7, 2012 at 1:29 pm

      mmmmm Ann,
      That is great advice. I think that helps the other person be a better person as well! If there are high expectations for us to do the right thing we are so much more likely to do it! Thanks for sharing that.

  • Kent Julian June 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Great post, Claudia! #3, #4, and #5 have all been huge in my relationships with Kathy. The more we practice those principles, the stronger our marriage becomes!

    • Claudia Good June 7, 2012 at 1:32 pm

      Thanks Kent!

      yup, yup same for us… hahaa I guess that goes without saying since I wrote the post about them!

      How long have you and Kathy been married Kent?

  • Michael Wright June 6, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Very wise list you have there! A big thing we both still work on is trying to be patient and understand where each other are coming from when there is even a slight disagreement. We come from totally different types of upbrings so there have been clashes through the years, but it’s the things we agree on (our faith, our love for each other and dedication to stick thing out no matter what) that keep us strong. My pastor says the keep to a happy marriage is to give you spouse the bigger half of the bagel – you know if you split a bagel in half, there is no equal half. Just seek to out-serve and you won’t go wrong.!

    • Claudia Good June 7, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      hahaha Michael that is wise advice from your pastor! I know being served by Michael has been so healing for me, and makes me want to do so in return for him.

  • Dan Black June 7, 2012 at 12:28 am

    These are such important points to know and apply. I have found dream building has allowed myself and wife to connect even more. Great post.

    • Claudia Good June 7, 2012 at 1:35 pm

      Thanks Dan!
      Oh wow, I agree… that one has been huge here as well!!!

  • Rob Clinton June 7, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Thanks for sharing those powerful keys to unity…. One thing that I’m sure gets overlooked by many couples is never forgetting to look your spouse in the eyes and say, “I love you”, and do this “ALOT”… I’m very intentional about doing this, but as small and as simple as those words are they are extremely powerful and for us it will ground us right back to the beauty of every moment we share together.

    • Donna Yates June 8, 2012 at 7:58 am

      Amen Rob!

    • Michael Good June 8, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      Yeah Rob, it’s one thing to get into the habit of saying I love you, and anther to say it and mean it.
      Thanks for the input!

      • Rob Clinton June 8, 2012 at 5:23 pm

        Absolutely, Michael! Empty words don’t count for anything. However, I find it hard to look someone in the eyes and say I love you but not mean it… But that’s just me; I have the weakest poker face on this planet! 🙂

        • Michael Good June 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm

          Haha, but that’s a good things, Rob!

          • Rob Clinton June 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm

            Yeah, it sure is! LOL, Well, at least my nose doesn’t grow 🙂