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Renew Your Love: Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Marriage

Just like our physical surroundings, our relationships also benefit from a periodic "spring cleaning" to refresh and revitalize them. Here are some steps to spring clean your marriage:

  1. Discard Rude Assumptions: Part of Spring Cleaning is decluttering! So let's begin by letting go of rude assumptions in our marriage. Many times, our spouse says one thing and we hear another. Then we chase that thought down in our minds and before they can state their case, we have already decided they are guilty and should be punished - via stonewalling or sarcasm or some other dirty fighting tactic. What if instead, we get curious instead of making assumptions. This can look like asking your spouse questions the next time you're tempted to make an assumption and finding out more about what was said or done first. More times than not, our spouse will say or do something and it can land on us in a wrong way, but their intent and motive was pure. It's important not to jump to conclusions but to believe the best in your spouse and have healthy conversations about issues instead.

  2. Reorganize Your Thoughts: Once you’ve decided to let go of rude assumptions, you’ll have a little more room to “reorganize your thoughts”.  What do we mean by this? Glad you asked! We want you to replace those rude assumptions with thoughts of gratitude about your spouse.  If you’re choosing to see the best in them instead of the worst, that is going to make such a beautiful impact on you marriage. According to the Gottman Institute, a study following 40,000 couples showed that the 2 words that made their relationship successful were: "THANK YOU"! Here at Live the Life, we know the Power of this, so this is why we begin one of our communication tools with “Appreciations”. If you don’t know what we are talking about, you can learn more by finding a class near you here.

  3. Make Room for Joy: Okay! Now we’re getting somewhere! Now that you've decluttered and reorganized, you'll have a little more room for the good stuff in your marriage! Now is the time to schedule some time to do something together that brings you joy – find a new hobby together, or you can schedule a date night and tell funny and maybe even embarrassing stories about yourself together, or even just watch a funny movie together. Whatever you do, it’s so important to find time to laugh and be joyful in your marriage. Life can get so heavy so making room for joy can help alleviate some of the pressures in marriage and life and create a sweet bonding experience as well.

  4. Fix What Seems Hopelessly Broken: This step takes a little more work but is so worth it! Let’s face it: some things have been broken for many years and look like they should be discarded, but you’re marriage is not one of those things. It can be fixed! We have seen it done time and time again. One of the many ways to do this is to begin to learn how to communicate in a safe space - to really hear and understand one another.  If your marriage feels broken, you may feel defeated and without hope, but we have something special just for you! We have seen so many marriages restored and transformed through our Hope weekends – for marriages in crises. Your marriage CAN be fixed, but it has to begin with you taking the first step and saying YES to a Hope Weekend & recognize your marriage is worth saving! We would love to help you learn how! Check out this link for more information on Hope Weekends! We are here for you and we believe your marriage is worth saving!

  5. Take out the stinky trash! Many times in marriage, we get busy running the rat race of life and we don’t take the time to STOP and connect with each other and share our emotional baggage with one another, but part of the beauty of marriage is having someone to share your burdens with and not walk through this crazy life alone.  Taking out the trash (together) in your marriage is such an important exercise that we teach as well in our marriage classes.  In this exercise, we teach you how to share the things you are mad and sad and scared about with your spouse, in order to make room for the joy in your life and marriage.  Getting out all the toxic and negative emotions in a healthy way is vital to a healthy marriage, and believe it or not, it really can be done in a constructive way - without yelling or sarcasm or other harmful behaviors.

  6. Create new Space: Sometimes our marriages can get so cluttered up with all the many other responsibilities we have in life and we forget to take time for our marriage. We don’t realize how fast the mess in our marriage can pile up and leave us feeling overwhelmed and discouraged and alone. It doesn’t have to be that way though. Sometimes all it takes is a little intentional time to invest in your marriage. One way to do that is to put aside some time to set goals together. Whether it's traveling together, saving for a home, or starting a family, having shared goals can help strengthen your connection and give you a sense of purpose as a couple. So take time to create some new space in your marriage for some couple goals!

  7. Take Inventory of Your Priorities:   Here we go! If you’ve made it this far then pat yourself on the back because you’re serious about spring cleaning for your marriage!  This is where the fun begins!  Once you’ve cleaned it all up, you’ve made room for some beautiful new things! This is where you get the chance to sit down with your spouse and write down all the things you have going on in life – with jobs, chores, bills, the kids, and other commitments. Now take that list and ask yourself what’s the most important thing on that list?  Let me give you a hint: If your marriage falls to pieces, everything else on that list won’t even matter. So…take your marriage and put it at the top of that list!  Here are a few ways to do that:

    1. Prioritize daily time to check in with each other for a few minutes

    2. Schedule weekly time for a date together (this doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive. The idea is simply to escape the routine and sneak away together for a few hours)

    3. Plan out monthly mini-adventures: think kayaking, bike riding, walks on the beach, etcetera.

    4. Arrange Annually for a longer adventure together - just the 2 of you - no kids! Again this doesn't have to be elaborate either. It can be as simple as a camping trip or as extensive as a cruise! There are so many ways to make this work for your time and your budget. The goal is just to get away though - not to break the bank or go into debt, so make it work for you.

Okay we know this is a lot, but we believe in you and your marriage! And we know that if your marriage isn’t healthy, then your family isn’t healthy! So take the time and spring clean your marriage and make time for one another. It will be so worth it!! While you’re at it, add a Marriage Class to your schedule and let us help you get even more out of your spring cleaning! We love helping couples find safe spaces to have scary conversations!

We’ve got you!


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