On your wedding day, you vowed to be together until death and you probably believed that your marriage would last. Several years into the marriage, you’re probably thinking your spouse and you are in it for the long-haul.
But, with statistics showing us that 40% to 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce, how do you prevent burnout in your marriage? Or maybe you’re already dealing with a burnt-out marriage, and you’re wondering how to turn your relationship around.
Marriage is undoubtedly a long journey filled with struggle. No couple is an exception to the issues that come about: chore equality, the question of whether to have kids, how to please each other, and on and on. You may be struggling with an issue like this right now in your marriage and are looking for solutions.
It’s because of this growing concern about divorce, both in the U.S. and around the world, that we’ve provided 17 ways to Prevent Burnout in Your Marriage:
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#1. Express Love
It’s love that brings a man and woman together; hence, love in and of itself should prevent burnout and save every marriage. Love isn’t always the feeling of butterflies in your stomach or even attraction to your spouse. Love is reflected in the way you put each other first every single day, no matter what. Show love for each other as in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8: “Love is patient, love is kind…”
Don’t let a day go by without a word or two of love exchanged. Any word or action is significant, as long as it’s done with selflessness. Find ways to express love in a meaningful way to your husband or wife, both genuine and spontaneous. Every act of love can keep many negative conflicts at bay.
#2. Nurture Respect
Mutual respect is imperative in a marriage if it is to last “till death do us part.” A sign of a healthy marriage is when respect is reciprocated both ways. Mutual respect should be shown in private as well as in public and should never be just to impress others.
Respect is something that should only grow from the first days of marriage. Over the years, as anniversaries pass by, you will probably both experience change in who you are as individuals.
Don’t let this alter the way you respect each other. Sharing your thoughts and feelings will leave no avenue for deceit or misunderstanding, sealing and nurturing respect. Build on this foundation of respect each day as you consider each other’s hopes, dreams, and fears.
Like Dave Willis, says in his book, The Seven Laws of Love, “When you say I love you to someone, you aren’t just expressing your current feelings, you are making a promise of commitment for your shared future. Love, by its very nature, is always rooted in rock-solid commitment.”
#3. Maintain Patience
Patience is how you must effectively tackle sudden emotions, as controlling them is what matters in a marriage. If you feel that your patience is running thin at any juncture, just take ten deep breaths and bring the tension down.
A marriage that exhibits patience on both sides will be successful, lasting for a lifetime and allowing peace to reign in your household. It will not serve any purpose if one or both of you are constantly losing patience.
Patience leads to grace when either of you messes up—which is bound to happen. No one is perfect, and patience heals many deep wounds. Build upon this foundation by keeping anger at bay at all times.
#4. Don’t Retort When You’re Wrong
This is one of the first issues in, and a stepping stone, to broken marriages. When you know you are in the wrong, whatever it may be about, don’t give a negative retort. It will inevitably lead to an argument.
You might find yourself using harsh words meant to be hurtful, causing more pain and anger in the end. In fact, sitting and analyzing the situation may help you realize that it is really, in the grand scheme of things, a very minute issue. Don’t let trivial matters get out of hand.
Bite your tongue if need be, but at any cost, be committed to avoiding an argument. Also, embrace humility: don’t hesitate to apologize, a gesture many forget these days. An apology does not cost anything but a few words, and maybe a hug and a kiss.
#5. Don’t Retort Even When You’re Right
Sometimes arguments begin for silly reasons, and even if you feel you are right about something, still avoid retorting. Issues get out of hand when they end up as a tit for tat.
There will always be a time later on, when the issue has died down, to talk about it and solve it. Retorting just to make yourself feel better, or to give yourself more power, is detrimental to both.
If both go at loggerheads with each other, the issue could become aggravated and uncontrollable. When one person relents, especially the person who may be “right,” it shows a Christ-like self-sacrifice that can save the day for both, preventing the slow—or quick—burnout of a relationship.
#6. Work Out Conflict, But Don’t Argue
The idea of arguing ought to be taboo in a marriage. However, most couples don’t realize, from the way they grew up or the culture they live in, that conflict can be resolved without yelling, name-calling, or even significant tension.
No true argument begins or ends pleasantly, thus it’s best to avoid addressing conflict in this manner. Walk away for a few minutes to another room or around your neighborhood before engaging in conflict. Let the issues lie low till composure sets in, and then talk about it.
Never view your marriage as a contest. It is a union ordained by the Lord, and every chance should be given to grow and nurture it.
#7. Don’t Stop Communicating
Don’t let any misunderstanding fester beyond one day. Always speak and make up before bedtime. Every problem has a solution. Give yourselves time to cool down from an issue, but don’t let that time extend for too long and only increase the problem.
Then, when you’re ready, one person should take the lead and settle an issue before it gets worse. If both of you try to outdo each other, then you’ll be working against each other—not with each other to prevent your marriage from fizzling out.
Marriage is a team effort. Like every team, there should be a capable leader. If there is no leader in the union between a man and woman, then it’s actually impossible to prevent burnout.
#8. Build Trust
Trust between two individuals, whether in a business venture or in marriage, is vital to success. The ultimate trust should exist between two individuals who want to live as husband and wife.
Their trust should be watertight, with no room for anyone else to infiltrate. This value must be built upon since the day vows are exchanged. If there is absolute trust, that union will go very far, and life for both will be harmonious.
Trust is built over a long period of time and takes years to build and nurture. Let trust make its way in your marriage, providing the basis for it to succeed: your own trust in God and your honest communication with Him and between yourselves.
#9. Strive for a Healthy Sex Life
A very important component in any marriage, from your wedding day to old age, is enjoying a healthy sex life. There is often a stigma around sex within the Church, but God created it to be good, so you ought to enjoy it as much as you and your partner like.
Couples with an active, healthy sex life experience an intimacy that can make their marriage last. Sex is the physical expression of your love and devotion, so find what works for both of you, whether you have sex every day or just a few times a week.
If there are problems with your sex life, seek counseling or other resources that can help you overcome obstacles, whether emotional or physical.
#10. Break Out of the Monotony
Don’t let monotony settle into your marriage. Keep the excitement by being your best and pursuing your spouse as you did when you were dating. When life within a union becomes boring, it could drift towards harmful temptations. A union that is drifting is the most vulnerable against issues that can destroy a marriage.
If you find yourself disinterested in your spouse or feeling depressed about where you’re at in life, make some changes to spice up your lives. Add some excitement to your daily routines: take a holiday, go on a picnic, start a project together. Do something different at least once in a fortnight and break the pattern.
#11. Look Back on Successes
When facing difficulties in your marriage, it’s important to talk about the past, especially the good times, to remember what you’ve made it through together.
There very well may be some high points that will never fade away, like the day your child was born or a funny moment that happened on a trip. Keep the excitement of those good times on the horizon. Don’t let them disappear into a faded memory, but let them be remembered as if they happened yesterday.
There is always the closeness of times of bonding attached to memories of when you were dating. There may be other moments that have left indelible marks on your lives. Talk about them frequently, especially to remind yourselves of what you’ve overcome and the precious moments you’ve shared.
#12. Reminisce about Funny Moments
From dating through marriage, there have surely been some hilarious moments. It’s a joy to reminisce about these. Talking about them inevitably ends in laughter, which you can never have enough of in a marriage.
Life within marriage should be fun, but how often does secular culture exclude that as a typical part of wedded life? Encourage excitement and fun, the greatest tools for preventing burnout in your marriage. With time to laugh and enjoy each other, there will be little time to disagree and waste with arguing and fighting to no end.
#13. Reconcile Conflict
Reconciliation, whenever there is any disagreement, is a step in the right direction for any marriage. Taking little conflicts, common in any union, too far is not advisable, but taking the lead to reconcile after a conflict is the key to succeed. Letting trivial incidents get in the way of a relationship is not conducive.
Making the first move to find a solution to the problem and reconciling is the best avenue. You are family, and all families experience conflict and hurt every once in a while. Make it your daily goal to live in reconciliation with your partner, ensuring a marriage that will not be infested with issues that lead to burnout.
#14. Keep No Secrets
One of the most important ingredients in a marriage for keeping you both together for your whole lives is not keeping any secrets. God knows every secret of your heart, and your spouse is also likely to one day discover a secret you’re holding on to.
Keeping everything in the open between husband and wife, without secrets, is the sign of a healthy marriage. A union between two is divine and must be kept that way. If everything is shared, even those little secrets that affect your lives together, it will lead to trust and honest communication in your marriage. Trust is built when there are no secrets between two people.
#15. Solve Every Problem
Every relationship between humans can have problems, and they vary according to the context. The union between husband and wife is one of the most sacrosanct. Whatever problems arise, they have to be solved to allow the marriage to progress and grow.
Problems in any marriage have to be solved fast to prevent bitterness, and they ought to be solved within the home or between only those concerned. It should not extend to any other forum, such as in complaining to your family or bad-mouthing your spouse to your friends. If this happens, then your respect for your spouse will be damaged and the problem will just keep growing.
#16. Share Chores
The success of a happy wedded life is when both share all the chores in the home. There are many things to be done, and one person should not do it alone. Sharing the workload gives both people in a marriage equal chores and equal responsibility.
Helping in the kitchen should not be an issue for only one person, as it has to be done, and by whom will not matter in the end, as long as it’s a shared duty. Collective responsibility allows a couple to grow in their maturity and build a long-lasting marriage.
#17. Refuse to Be Suspicious
There should not be any suspicion in either of you when it comes to a healthy marriage. Unnecessary suspicion leads marriages to tumble into alarming situations and makes reconciling difficult, as it breaks trust and crumbles respect.
Any concern should be seriously discussed with no recourse to any other avenue. It is an internal matter between the two involved, important to resolve to renew trust, value, and respect.
Persist in Your Marriage with These Tips
Marriages are all made in Heaven, and it is the duty of the two who tied the knot to ensure that they persist through it “for better or for worse.” All marriages that have ended in divorce have done so for trivial reasons, even if they turned into major reasons later on. If we were to analyze each and every one of them, the reasons would be obvious.
If you can follow the 17 tips above, you can have a lovely wedded life. These tips all involve love, laughter, and trust to sustain the marriage, and if all the right ingredients are gathered, success will be the result.
Knowing the priorities of a marriage is what matters immensely for its endurance. It is when these are ignored or abandoned that the two who are supposed to live “happily ever after” create problems of their own. If they would approach marriage with wisdom, humility, and godly submission, it would be a successful wedded life for them.