Maximizing Everyday Moments in Your Marriage

By Greg Smalley
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We're too busy. Instead of waiting for long, uninterrupted blocks of time to strengthen your marriage, take advantage of key moments that happen every day.

It takes time together to keep a relationship strong and vibrant. We all “get” that marriage doesn’t have cruise control or an autopilot setting. The problem with most marriages isn’t that we don’t know we should spend time together; the problem is that we’re too busy.

Fortunately, the solution is simple. Instead of waiting for long, uninterrupted blocks of time to strengthen your marriage, take advantage of key moments that happen every day. I call this “maximizing everyday relationship moments.” Let me describe a couple of these potential moments:

Saying goodbye and hello. On a typical day, one or both of you will leave the house in the morning. How you say goodbye to your spouse can strengthen your marriage. The key is to kiss your spouse before he or she leaves the house. I’m not talking about a pathetic kiss where you lean forward and barely graze your spouse’s lips. I’m talking about a real, five-second kiss! You’re not adding anything new to your busy plate; you’re just taking advantage of a moment that will happen anyway.

How do you greet your spouse when he or she arrives home at the end of the day? The key to maximizing this moment is to use attention, excitement and affection. Walk over, give your spouse a kiss and say, “Welcome home. I’m glad you’re back.” This sets a positive tone for the rest of your evening together.

Saying good night. There are at least two unique opportunities to strengthen your marriage when you say good night. The first is to express gratitude. Thank your spouse for something specific: “Thanks for being a great provider” or “Thanks for washing the dishes.” The other opportunity is to pray together. Imagine how strong your marriage could be if the last thing your spouse heard before falling asleep was you praying for him or her.

Dr. Greg Smalley is vice president of Marriage and Family Formation at Focus on the Family and the author or co-author of several books.

How strong is your marriage? Find out today with the Focus on Marriage Assessment. This reliable assessment is based on the research and experience of Focus on the Family’s marriage experts Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley. Take this free assessment now.

Copyright © 2015 Focus on the Family. From the Focus on the Family website at FocusOnTheFamily.com.

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Learn How to Cherish your Spouse and Have a Deeper Connection

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? What does it mean to cherish your spouse? Couples who cherish each other understand that God created everyone different, and as a result they treasure the unique characteristics in their spouse. We want to help you do just that. Focus on the Family has created a free five-part video course called "Cherish Your Spouse". In this video series, Gary Thomas will help you have a deeper level of intimacy and connection with your spouse.
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About the Author

Greg Smalley

Dr. Greg Smalley serves as the Vice President of Marriage at Focus on the Family. In this role, he develops and oversees initiatives that prepare individuals for marriage, strengthen and nurture existing marriages and help couples in marital crises. Prior to joining Focus, Smalley worked for the Center for Relationship Enrichment at John Brown University and as President of the …

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