5 Areas We Need to Grow In as a Couple

Hollywood romances might portray the wedding as the end goal of a summer or holiday blossoming of young love, its happily ever after. Perhaps this has contributed to the mistaken notion that once two people who love each other get married, everything will just automatically take care of itself.

While it’s romantic to espouse the power of love, do you know that the marriage is actually just the beginning, and there’s lots of work to be done in order to stay happily married?

When Daniel and I first got married, we found out lots of idiosyncrasies in each other. For example, there were times when I would hug him and he would push me away, or I might ask him to carry our son and he wouldn’t want to. I found out that whenever he has just put on a new shirt, he doesn’t want to do anything to crease it! So he wouldn’t even carry a bag for me if he had just put on a nice, cleanly pressed shirt!

On my end, whenever he comes home, I would never let him sit on the bed unless he has changed out of his outdoor clothes into home clothes. For me, it’s always been a habit, because I felt that outdoor clothes were full of dust and dirt, and I didn’t want it on my bed. But for Daniel, it came as a surprise at first.

These were traits and habits that may have been amusing and even endearing at first, but soon started to grate on each other’s nerves. Then, we also discovered each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and had to learn how to live and thrive together. That means we have had to grow in certain areas, and it’s been a roller-coaster ride of a journey!

Communication is important because we can’t read each other’s minds, and we need words and knowing how to use them to express what we think and feel.
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Top 5 Areas Married Couples Need to Grow in

In this post, we hope to share the top 5 areas which we believe married couples need to grow in so that we can cultivate an increasing closeness with each other:

1. Communication

We can’t stress this enough: newly-married couples really need to commit themselves to grow in communication skills, and we still recommend couples who have been married for decades to continue growing in this area. This is because we can’t read each other’s minds, and we need words and knowing how to use them to express what we think and feel.

Healthy communication is also crucial for resolving conflict—an inevitable part of every relationship.

2. Character

Have you heard the old adage common among leadership circles? “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character.” Indeed, it’s important to develop good habits and eventually good character for our own self-development and personal growth, which will also unwittingly impact our marriages.

Character is the unseen essence of who we are, and marriage is like the mirror that shows us what we are really like. Think about it: sometimes it’s easier to be patient with a client whom we only deal with once in a week, but when we’re at home alone with our spouses, we can be tempted to snap or bite. What can we do to overcome our issues and be solid in our character?

3. Humility and Forgiveness

Speaking of conflict resolution, we believe that two important traits we need to develop as married couples are humility-and-quick-to-forgive pair. Why? When we get into conflict, one of us will have to be the first to apologise, and why shouldn’t it be us? And, when you or your spouse says sorry, the other needs to be willing and quick to forgive.

And speaking of forgiveness, it’s not just saying you forgive them; it’s also important that we learn not to be “historical.” What do we mean? When we forgive, we don’t bring up the past and always stay in context!

4. Leadership

Two people who get married are equal in rights and responsibility, but we need to learn leadership and servanthood so that we can move in the same direction. When one of you has a vision for something, it takes leadership to bring two people—or eventually, a family with children—in the path you want to take.

For example, I got the desire to foster and adopt before Daniel did, so I had to learn the importance of sharing the “why behind the what” so that Daniel could also be excited and we could be on this mission together.

5. Teamwork

The commitment to work together as a team is also a necessary trait. For example, when one of you performs better than the other, it may be tempting to feel jealous or one-upped, so it’s important to understand that you are both a team and can instead celebrate with each other’s victories.

In our case, although I got the first stirrings to foster and adopt, once we both agreed to do it, it was a team effort all the way as we added two extra kids to our family of six!

Growing Together As a Couple

We encourage you to commit yourselves to keep learning and growing as a married couple. If one of you keeps improving and the other remains stagnant, it’s easy to find yourselves drifting apart.

Sign up for classes together, or read through books together once in a while. Discuss the things you learn, and practice them with each other. Have a lot of shared experiences together. Always be curious about each other’s individual learning journey. This will help ensure that you are both moving forward and growing as individuals as well as in your marriage!

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