Getting a toaster? A cordless drill? A bathrobe? A Weathertech cup holder? Ummm, not likely to create that warm fuzzy feeling of being loved, known, and cared for, unless such a gift has been your heart’s desire. For many people choosing a Christmas gift for your spouse might feel complicated. But how about giving your marriage a great Christmas gift?
You can leverage giving a Christmas gift to nurture your relationship and make it stronger. There’s you, there’s your spouse (who deserves a gift), and there’s your marriage – a unique entity that needs care and tending. The relationship between you will not grow and remain strong without intentional and proactive input.
Here are a few ways to think about giving your marriage – the relationship between you – a gift this Christmas.
Every relationship, whether between friends, coworkers, parent and child, or spouses, needs communication to thrive. When life gets busy or when conflicts have been frequent, intentional communication can be neglected.
Give your marriage the gift of planned communication. Which rhythms of communication are you doing already? And which do you need to begin and pursue? You need to be talking often – sometimes deep and sometimes superficial, sometimes short and sometimes long, sometimes spontaneous and sometimes planned.
If communication is not healthy between you, start by listening to yourself. How would you sound to you? Would the way you communicate make you want to come closer to you? Do your words and attitudes invite your spouse into a safe place? Have you learned skills to have difficult conversations?
If your communication has broken down, our Guide to Healthy Communication in Marriage can be a great way to reset to a healthier pattern.
Time and Attention
Regardless of your spouse’s love language every human being desires to be seen, known, and valued. How are you demonstrating to your spouse that you value them and the relationship between you? If you enter the room wondering what your spouse can do for you, you’ve missed the whole purpose of marriage.
You give time and attention to what you value most. Imagine yourself an outside consultant to yourself. Based on your behavior, where would you say your marriage is in your priority list? It takes a growing maturity to invest regularly in the small things that make for a lasting Fully Alive marriage. Does how you spend your time and attention show that your relationship is a top priority?
This Christmas give your relationship the gift of making it a priority. Begin and end each day giving a few moments of focused attention to your spouse and the connection between you. Set aside at least a few minutes every day and a few hours each week or so to give your relationship your undistracted presence.
Once your children leave home or at the end of your life you won’t wish you had spent more time at work, holding grudges, or making more money. But you may very well wish you had devoted more time and energy to nurturing the relationship between you and your spouse. There’s no better time to start than this Christmas.
Making Your Marriage Better
Even if your relationship is healthy it will require ongoing care and tending to keep it that way. And if you’ve neglected to invest in your marriage there’s no better time to start than today. There are a wide variety of good resources available that can strengthen your relationship, but it’s up to you to choose and engage with them.
Connecting with another couple as marriage mentors may be the best investment of time you ever make. Look for a couple one stage farther ahead in life than you and your spouse are, and where both husband and wife demonstrate joy. Schedule coffee together, or invite them over for dinner. Ask questions. Ask if you can get together with some regularity to learn from them.
You might decide with your spouse to choose a marriage book each year, read it through together, and talk about it. Or you might invest in a marriage conference each year, or a DIY marriage retreat. A marriage book, a ticket to a marriage conference, or a reservation for a weekend getaway for your DIY marriage retreat could make a great Christmas gift.
So many couples feel stuck in marriage misery. You don’t have to be one of them! If you are miserable now, you don’t have to stay that way. In many ways your misery is not your fault, but it’s not your spouse’s fault either. Nobody ever taught you how to love well! But you can learn now. You can enroll in our Fully Alive Marriage online course, go through it at your own pace in the privacy of your own home, and develop the mindset and learn the skills to overcome the issues in your relationship and build a Fully Alive marriage that lasts.
Give the Gift of YOU
These Christmas gifts to your relationship are all forms of giving the gift of you. And it’s a safe bet that your spouse, your future self, and your relationship will be better because of it.
What gift will you give your marriage this Christmas?
Your Turn: Do you struggle to think of an appropriate Christmas gift for your spouse? What if you gave your marriage a gift that could strengthen your relationship? Leave a comment below.
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- Maybe you’ve struggled to choose an appropriate gift for your spouse. But what if you gave a great Christmas gift to your marriage this year? Give the gift of investing in a stronger relationship. Tweet that.
How’s the Communication in Your Marriage?
Communication is the Number 1 issue couples struggle with. Understanding your Communication Style will be an important step in making your communication more effective. Better communication always leads to improved intimacy.
This brief FREE Communication Personality Assessment will provide you personalized results indicating your communication strengths, communication challenges, and some tips on taking your communication to the next level. You really can experience deeper intimacy and a more loving relationship.
Take the Communication Personality Assessment now!