Ways to Feed Your Marriage

Ways to Feed Your Marriage There are several elements that research shows makes for a happy marriage, which will be reviewed in this article. If you have been married before or are looking forward towards your first marriage, follow the suggestions here in this little article to have a happy, healthy, lasting, and hopefully eternal marriage. If you think of a marriage as a living organism, it can die either through being killed through conflict, or by being starved through neglect. This article will review some key ways to feed and nourish your marriage. Love is both a feeling and a verb. The emphasis of this little article is the verb part.

General Authority Quotes on the Need to Prioritize and Feed Your Marriage:

President Spencer W. Kimball explained:
“When the Lord says all thy heart, it allows for no sharing nor dividing nor depriving. …
“The words none else eliminate everyone and everything. The spouse then becomes preeminent in the life of the husband or wife, and neither social life nor occupational life nor political life nor any other interest nor person nor thing shall ever take precedence over the companion spouse. …
“Marriage presupposes total allegiance and total fidelity. Each spouse takes the partner with the understanding that he or she gives totally to the spouse all the heart, strength, loyalty, honor, and affection, with all dignity. Any divergence is sin; any sharing of the heart is transgression. As we should have ‘an eye single to the glory of God,’ so should we have an eye, an ear, a heart single to the marriage and the spouse and family” (Faith Precedes the Miracle [1972], 142–43).

President Gordon B. Hinckley taught: “When you are married, be fiercely loyal one to another. Selfishness is the great destroyer of happy family life. If you will make your first concern the comfort, the well-being, and the happiness of your companion, sublimating any personal concern to that loftier goal, you will be happy, and your marriage will go on throughout eternity” (Ensign, Dec. 1995, 67)

Ways to Feed Your Marriage

*Verbal Affection: this equates to regularly saying “I love you” or something along those lines. Practicing saying “I love you” out loud to each other is a regular strengthener to the bond of marriage.

*Physical Affection: Non-sexual physical affection is important because it is only about giving without a sexual motive or endpoint. Such affection could include such things as hugs, pats, hand holding, cuddling, snuggling, back scratches, and so on. Such giving shows closeness and caring.

*Quality Time Together: Spending regular time to work and play together is important to connect and bond. These activities can be at home or out of the home, work or play, free or costing money. The key is that this is time exclusively devoted to spending together. Being a team and doing things together is not to be neglected.

*Helping: Regarding the household duties and tasks, spouses who work hard and do things to help and support each other will help lessen each other’s stress and fatigue. It creates a feeling of mutual support. The more spouses both strive to make each other’s lives easier and better, the more appreciation and relief each can experience.

*Sexual Affection: having a positive, regular, mutually respectful sex life is an important aspect of close and loving couples. A good sex life promotes closeness in a way nothing else will. When both partners feel desired and appreciated in this way, the marital bond is that much stronger. Do not neglect this are of your lives together.

*Communication and Listening: in close and loving marriages, communication is open, respectful, and promotes resolution. In addition, both sides listen to each other with empathy, patience, and interest. Tones of voice are usually controlled and how each talks to each other is always considered along with what the issues are that are being discussed. Complaints are carefully given in a constructive way with minimal criticisms. Such communication and listening strengthens the marriage and promotes better understanding and connection.

*Compromise: happy couples don’t agree with everything but they do manage to develop mutual compromises through decisions that both sides can live with, at least for a while. Negotiating differences well prioritizes getting along over getting your way. When both sides take this same approach, a happy and healthy marriage results, as well as mutual respect and appreciation.

Suggested References:

--Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman
--Why Marriages Succeed or Fail by John Gottman
--Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray
--www.relatequestionnaire.com (BYU Relate questionnaire for couples)

Final Thoughts:

Of course, this is not a comprehensive list of everything that will feed and nourish a marriage. However, these seven forms of nourishment will help a relationship stay strong, be close and bonded, and be able to weather the storms of life. When both spouses have each other as the priority and both focus on feeding the bond they have together, this closeness will help the marriage not only survive but to thrive. To become all that the marriage is capable of being. Because in the end, “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11.

Dr. G
P.S. If you can questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at drgilchrist@yahoo.com.

2020-11-02 Randy Gilchrist Marriage preparation

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About the author

Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to drgilchrist@yahoo.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to drgilchrist@yahoo.com).