Two Ways To Have a Stronger Marriage
My wife and I are going out on a date this evening. We’re going somewhere very nice that we both enjoy. We’ll spend at least couple of hours there enjoying the food and each other’s company.
Taking the person you love out on dates isn’t something that should stop once the wedding is over. I know as a man, I see it as a constant challenge to make my marriage as strong and as problem free as possible. Having time to talk to your spouse about the issues you’re going through, without the distractions of kids or home, can be key to that vision. So, we’ve made it a priority to have a semi-regular date night.
I’ve discovered something else that helps strengthen your marriage, as much if not more than a date night, is having a regular monthly home budget meeting. When just you and your spouse sit down together and nail down where all the money for that month is going to go and what your upcoming expenses are going to be, it’s a great opportunity for the two of you to draw closer together. It builds parts of your marriage that a regular date night doesn’t exercise.
The date night is all about communication. It allows you not only to vent about areas of trouble in your life to your spouse, but also to share your dreams and hopes for the future with each other. Spending that time helps you to get to know one another more deeply. It helps you know how to meet one another’s needs as your marriage continues to mature and you each work through the changes in your lives.
While the budget meeting requires communication, it’s really all about implementation. After the two of you have agreed upon the household necessities, you have the opportunity to act upon those needs that you’ve identified during those dates you’ve taken. You can budget for the vacation that your spouse has longed to take. (Remember, though all you can set aside right now for that dream is $40 per month, that’s still almost $500 a year.)
More importantly, the home budget meeting is a written contract between the two of you. It’s an agreement on where all of your money is going for the coming month. If the budget is followed by both it builds trust in each other. Each comes to know how well they can depend on the other.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!
– Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Also, when you both fulfill the budget contract, it sets you both on the same path, working towards a common goal. When both of you are moving together with the same vision, you have a much better chance at achieving your long term dreams. Even if you never reach the biggest dreams, you’ll have been walking together, hand in hand, all of that time. There is no better way to build strong marital bonds that I can think of.
For more advice on how to set up a regular date night, I recommend checking out this blog post by Josh Reich. Building strong marriages and families is a big part of Josh’s leadership at Revolution Church in Tucson.
I wrote previously about working together on a home budget when I posted my five tips for writing a good home budget, and also when I explained about how I mistakenly left the home budget to my wife after we first got married.
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