There is nothing quite like breaking a bad habit or sticking with a good one. You feel like you’re on top of the world and nothing can bring you down. Just like any habit, they are hard, take a lot of effort, and you have to continue to work on it every single day.

Marriage is the same way. Think of marriage, or your duty as a wife, as a healthy habit that you are striving to nourish and hydrate every day. It can be from not leaving your make up out all over the counter to putting the dishes in the dishwasher (not the sink).

Marriage is hard, but anything in life worth fighting for is. So here are 7 habits that I’ve noticed in the past 6.5 years of our marriage that have helped us continue to actually like each other 😉

1. Pray together

Nothing makes me feel closer to my husband or love him more than when I pray with him. We become vulnerable together, humble, and I can really understand his heart. We will say things in our prayers that we would usually never discuss in our regular conversations. We both give thanks for one another, for our children and for our love for our Savior. We end our day on a positive note and praying helps us both remember how truly grateful we are for one another and our family.

2. Agree to Disagree

We have all learned by now that we won’t agree on everything. If we did, marriage would be a breeze and divorce lawyers would be out of a job. But, if we can learn to bite our tongues more often, and realize that just because your spouse may do or say things differently doesn’t necessarily mean it’s wrong. For example, I love Chipotle with all my heart, but he hates it with all his. We seriously used to fight over eating there. It sounds so stupid, but those little things are what can turn into big arguments. One second we are fighting over Chipotle, the next second we are fighting over something that happened in May of 2010. If we can learn to accept each other’s differences, our relationship will last until the end of time.

3. Go to bed at the Same Time

I remember reading somewhere how important this can be. And I totally agree. Going to bed is my favorite time of the day to spend with my spouse. We bond over our day, discuss how obnoxious our children are, the funny things they said, talk about our goals, we snack together (my fav), and it’s a time where we can really communicate in peace and quiet. Falling asleep together can be intimate and create a powerful bond between the two of you.

4. Kiss each other everyday

There have been a few times where I have thought to myself at the end of the day, “have I even kissed my husband today?” I remember feeling disconnected from him those days. It was those times where I felt like we were roommates and not husband and wife. Giving each other a “real” kiss everyday reminds us how much we love each other and brings up those feelings of why we married one another in the first place (sometimes we forget and need that reminder). I believe a “real” kiss will do the trick.

5. Show Gratitude for one another

We all love to be told how appreciated we are. It makes putting forth all that daily effort towards making your marriage and your family worth it. A simple “thank you for taking out the garbage every week, it really makes my life a easier or thank you for all your hard work you do for our family.” A simple thank you can be so powerful and change the way you feel about your spouse and your day. Showing gratitude feels good for the person giving the compliment AND the person receiving it.

6. Make Your Marriage Top Priority

What makes us truly happy? It’s not money, status, or material things. It’s feeling loved and having solid relationships in our life that we can count on. Why wouldn’t we make our marriage our tippity top priority? It not only affects our lives as husband and wife, but our children our counting on us to make it. Everyone always says they would do ANYTHING for their child’s happiness right? Well, nurturing your marriage and loving each other will benefit our children tremendously. Letting your husband know that your relationship is above all others, including the relationships you have with your mom, sisters, co workers, etc., is showing him that you are thinking of him FIRST in your daily decisions you make in life.

7. Be Forgiving

Awwww one of the hardest ones of all. I LOVE this article on forgiveness.

She says, “We often equate forgiveness with something warm and fuzzy. Truthfully, forgiveness is quite the opposite. Forgiveness can be quite painful when it involves someone you are madly in love with. In marriage, forgiveness is not “Don’t worry about what you did, I’m fine with it and we all make mistakes.” It sounds spiritual and great coming out of our mouths, but inside we are struggling with hypocrisy. We are plagued by an abyss of pain, anger, bitterness, and resentment. Forgiveness is not lip service.”

She continues to say,”How do you forgive someone who was never supposed to hurt you in the first place? Why forgive them? What about all the damage to your marriage and family? The best answer is you must; forgiveness was extended to you. These questions and declarations are hard to swallow. I have battled with them in my marriage, but I came out victorious. I battled so much with unforgiveness because I could not see my own sin. I could not see that my unwillingness to forgive was just as ugly to God as the things I blamed my husband for. The reason we battle unforgiveness is because we can only see the depravity in the souls of others, ignoring the beams in our own eyes. I won the battle of unforgiveness when I realized that I was in need of forgiveness from God and my sweet husband. I won the battle when I was willing to face the ugliness of my own heart and surrender my heart to God. I realized my enemies were my own flesh and Satan, who loves to work in my flesh. Unforgiveness is a work of the flesh, and it will remain until you crucify it on the altar of forgiveness.”

Seriously, just read this entire article. She hits the nail right on the head when dealing with forgiveness.

I believe that if we try a little harder EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. to practice these 7 habits, our marriages will be successful and worth all the effort. Let’s put down our blaming pointing fingers, and wrap our arms around each other instead.

What other habits have you found to be successful? I’d love to hear.

xoxo Ashton

P.S. I LOVE this book that I have linked below. I highly suggest reading it with your spouse.

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts