10. Be Present – Spend More Time Together
We are always busy, and if we are honest, we are mostly busy with trivial stuff. When we marry, we forge one life from two separate lives. Building life together means taking the time to be together. It is easy to take each other for granted. Plan date nights or regularly set aside time together at home.
9. Explore Common Interests
Find a common interest that you and your spouse can enjoy together. Learning together will provide shared experiences and, hopefully fun and/or satisfaction. This could take the form of a common service for the community or as a Church ministry.
8. Forgive and Ask for Forgiveness
Be quick to ask for forgiveness and be quick to forgive your spouse to prevent your heart from hardening with bitterness. Pride is one of the cardinal sins that brought the fall of the angels and of the first couple in Eden. This year, resolve to practice humility in your relationship.
7. Work on Conflict Resolution
Marriage is not a bed of roses, and we are imperfect spouses. Thus, living a peaceful marriage requires effort and grace. Learn strategies for resolving conflict and dealing with difficult emotions that arise in your marriage. Big issues in marriage include finances, careers, infidelity, addictions, and parenting. Strive to communicate with respect and in a healthy way. There’s help via the support of others. Get some if you and your spouse are unable to resolve conflicts by yourselves.
6. Communicate Appreciation
Many people often feel under-appreciated. Take the time to communicate regularly your appreciation for your spouse. Words do not cost money or much time, but when they are sincere, they can let your spouse know they are appreciated and valued.
5.Say, “I love you” often – every day
Do not assume that your spouse knows that you love him/her. This year, don’t let a day go by without saying it. Love is expressed in words and actions, not in intentions and imagination. Determine to be ACTive in your love for your spouse.
4. Keep the Passion Alive
Sexual intimacy belongs to marriage – no where else. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that it is not only unitive and procreative but that God designed it so that this marital act is also for the enjoyment of the spouses. Sit together often, hold hands, and kiss often. To enhance your sexual intimacy, learn natural family planning (NFP) and understand God’s design of fertility. You will be surprised at the benefits NFP will provide to your marriage.
3. Build Intimacy and Trust
Share your thoughts and ideas, goals and aspirations, fears and disappointments – the stuff your life is made of. Be a good listener. A good friend is a treasure – make a choice to be a true friend to your spouse this year.
2. Set Your Spouse as the First and Most Important Person
This year, determine to put your spouse first – above every human endeavor designed to attract your attention, eat up your time, and deplete your limited resources. There is a hierarchy of values that underlies our actions – this year, after God, put your spouse and your marriage at the top of that priority ranking. You and your spouse will be thankful for this decision.
1. Seek God Together
God is love, and when God is an integral part of your marriage, it is built on a rock and it will not only withstand the inevitable storms of any marriage but will also bring abundant fruit for your family. The sacrament of marriage was never meant to be lived without GRACE. God’s love and life (grace) is the only way marriage can truly take each spouse from self-absorption to self donation and build something bigger than the two of you. Make your marriage and family Christ-centered this year. This is the best resolution not only for this year, but for the rest of your life and your marriage.