I (Megan) have spent the last couple days outside tending to a very late planting of our vegetable garden and some other miscellaneous yard work. It’s a lot of fun for me and it adds a somewhat nice curb appeal to our house. Though we are far from having a magazine worthy yard, we try to do what we can to make our house look attractive and inviting. It’s rewarding to us, even if it is just us who will regularly notice the improvements that have been made.
We try to do the same thing within our marriage. We work on things that others may not typically notice, thus adding curb appeal to our marriage. Overall, this makes our relationship just that much more enjoyable. While others may not often notice the effort we put into our house, there is a much greater probability they will notice the effort we put into our marriage. Our marriage “curb appeal” may even help others have a higher opinion of marriage. When we talk about curb appeal we are not talking about how to make marriage simply appear better from a superficial standpoint. We are talking about how to actually make marriage stronger and in turn helping others think more highly about marriage.
Below are a few ideas about how to add some curb appeal to your marriage. Ideas about how to positively impact those around you and raise their opinion on marriage.
1. Speak well of your spouse.
We believe so much in this that we have already written about it here and here. It is a point that we deem worthy of repeating once again. We say it over and over again because we need reminded of it and can only guess you do to. Speaking well of your spouse enables your spouse to trust you completely and it is such an important part of communication. When it comes to the way you speak about your spouse in front of others remember that it affects their perception of you, your spouse and the institution of marriage as a whole. So, continue to work on this and reap the benefits of your work.
2. Be honest about your marital struggles.
We believe that marriage is not always easy. It takes work, good communication, lots of grace and outside support. When we as couples are not willing to admit our weaknesses and our struggles we are suddenly out of reach of many hurting couples. If we claim that there are no problems, then others are unable to relate to us or even worse they may feel isolated and alone with their struggles. Our marriages become much more attractive to be in when we understand we are two broken people who have baggage we brought into the relationship. If you want others to look at your marriage as an example then you need to be real with people. None of us have it all together and the sooner we can admit that the sooner we can help each other out in the areas where we need help and can offer help. ***Keep in mind that being honest about marriage struggles does not go against tip #1. When sharing with others about struggles don’t share about your spouses struggles but about your struggles. There is a big difference between blaming your spouse for your issues and owning up to your own junk.
3. Find a mentor and be a mentor.
If you really want life to get interesting then step out and find people to talk about life together. Our communities need strong marriages and our marriages need strong community. Understanding that we don’t have it all together is a step in the right direction but if we fail to understand basic principles as to how to move forward and work on our marriages then we are no better off. Maybe there is another couple in your life that you respect and admire. Ask them how they make it work. Find out where their strengths are and then think of ways you can learn and adapt what helps them into your own marriage. If you can’t think of someone who can help you then by all means think of others you can be a positive influence on. Whether they are younger or the same age doesn’t really matter just strive to be real, honest and open about how much we all need encouragement to keep working on and engaging in our marriages.
Tomorrow we will look at two other ways to make your marriage more attractive. Read part two here.