Relationships take work. Maybe I should say, “great” relationships take work. If you want your marriage to be that admirable romance people dream of, you must be willing to do whatever it takes. Since you are not your spouse, and cannot control their actions, start with making progress through your own actions and thoughts.
1. Accept disappointments with grace. No one is perfect. We all know that, but we seem to hold the ones we love with such high standards. Thoughts such as “I’m better than my wife/husband”, and “I’m just going to make him/her change” are unhealthy to your marriage. As a spouse, it’s important to keep a check on your humility. We need to allow each other a little wiggle room. Forgotten occasions, poorly communicated plans, differences in lifestyle and parenting choices, and even messes left around the house all need to be overlooked at times. If your spouse is not a complete slob there is no need to point out every time something is left out-of-place. Life and circumstances change often. We should take them into consideration before offering our disappointed opinions.
2. Encourage your spouse. Be the greatest supporter for you spouse. Offer smiles, hugs, and positive words to help them feel on top of the world! When the world comes against them, be the one that loves them. Speak words that bring life. Pray for the successes and well-being of the one you love.
3. Show your love to one another. We are told to not deny our spouse. I understand there are circumstances of timing, medical ability, etc. but are you fully giving your spouse authority over your body? Not just in the bedroom but leading up to it. Hold their hand, rub their back, hug, kiss, and whisper sweet nothings just to show your love. Be just as passionate about expressing your love as you were when you were a teenager!
Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
-1 Corinthians 7:1-40
4. Find common ground. If you have nothing to do together or talk about, other than obligations, life will get boring. Go on dates, explore each others hobbies, start a TV series, or just sit and talk to keep your relationship “alive”. Make your spouse your best friend! Enjoy their company! Let them be the person you can’t wait to tell about the great or bad things that happen to you!
5. Put your spouse first! If you are in a constant awareness of the needs of your spouse most things fall into place. Make it your goal to be considerate of their needs and wants. That means above the needs and wants of others such as friends, family, and yourself.