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The use of techniques are found in our everyday activities; at your job, in your hobbies, cleaning your house, cooking, or driving a car. Each one of these requires the use of a skill or ability that you have learned that has helped you perform better in these various activities. Guess what? This idea can also be applied to your personal roles, such as being a spouse.

It’s naive to think that knowing how to be married should come naturally. It’s naive to think that the way you’ve been doing things for years will also work for the next 10 years, through different life stages. Because being a great spouse isn’t an instant easy thing to do, and because life’s chapters changes your dynamic as a couple, it’s important to be open to learning new ideas and techniques that can help you improve your relationship!

This blog is FULL of ideas and techniques for improving your marriage, and I’ll share some of those at the end of the article. But for now, I want to talk about the importance of learning new techniques and being willing to apply them in your marriage TOGETHER, but how to do it even if your spouse won’t participate with you.


Success depends on the user

When we think about techniques, we typically envision a method that we can learn easily, it works quickly, and that it will work every time. Well, that’s not always the case because the success is all determined by the user! When it comes to marriage, it’s even more difficult because the success is dependent on BOTH users.

The big goal is to apply a new helpful technique or approach to your marriage TOGETHER, because  these work most effectively when both spouses are participating or at least trying.

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I’m sure some of you might be feeling some disappointment and hopelessness because you feel like the effort in your marriage is very one-sided. You may also think your spouse won’t be willing to try any new technique or idea for improving your marriage. Maybe you feel awkward even bringing it up to them because you think it’s a 90% chance they will shoot you down and say, “We don’t need to try that, we’re doing fine.” Maybe you are worried they’ll even put the blame on you saying: “It’s not me that is the problem, it’s you.” If you fall into this category, I have some words of encouragement:

  • PLEASE DON’T GIVE UP YET!
  • No matter how uncomfortable it can be to bring up a concern, your spouse has to know that it’s something on your mind, and they have to be given the chance to make things better. If they don’t know, how will you see a change from their end?
  • Try it anyway. They will notice it’s a different approach than normal and they might respond differently. (maybe your approach was the problem in the first place, so changing can’t hurt.)
  • It might take a few times applying the technique for them to respond differently.
  • Sometimes they have to see it working first.
  • If the new approach got a different result than normal (hopefully a better result) than they might be more likely to try the technique with you.
  • Some spouses see it as a very negative thing because they don’t like knowing their marriage needs help, or sometimes they think it’s criticism towards just them.

Two is better than one

Some experts say that a plane can still fly if there is suddenly only one working engine left. While it’s possible to fly and land safely in this scenario, it’s incredibly scary and risky.  Two is better than one, so don’t put your marriage at risk by not trying. Don’t be the engine that suddenly stops working, leaving your spouse to keep your relationship flying.

It can be scary to put so much effort and hope into a new idea that has the possibility to not work in your marriage. I know the feeling; we all do. Maybe a new technique doesn’t work for your marriage. It’s OK because 1) AT LEAST YOU TRIED IT! and 2) you can always try a new technique because some marriages work differently than others.

Whether you are the spouse that doesn’t realize you need to put in more effort, the spouse that is yearning for more effort from the other, or the couple who is ready and willing to try, I’m leaving you with this quote that is hopefully motivational in trying new approaches to your marital problems. :)

 

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For all Freshly Married articles that share techniques you can use in your marriage, check out the main techniques category. But just know these are a few of my favorite techniques:

The 5 to 1 Ratio

The ABC Formula

How To Be Your Spouse’s First Responder

Keepin' marriage fresh,
Amy

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