Valentine’s Day is coming! Prepare yourself for an onslaught of Instagram posts featuring bright flowers, sparkling jewelry, and oversized teddy bears. Your feed is about to get #blessed. If you get to know me for more than 10 seconds, you know that’s not what I’m about. Heck, my husband isn’t even on social media. And I’m okay with that.
One study wanted to find out if couples who post excessively about each other are actually happier in their relationships. Spoiler alert: They’re not! The study found “over-the-top displays are being used to compensate for weaker relationships.”1 This doesn’t mean you don’t love your husband if you talk about how wonderful he is on social media. Hopefully, you and your spouse affirm each other daily and in person.
But when I think about the healthiest couples I know, they’re not the ones posting about each other 24/7. They’re also not worried about what other people think, so they’re not buying more stuff to impress people (just so they can post about it). They’re secure in their lives, but not because of an expensive lifestyle that they can flaunt. Instead, the couples I look up to have one thing in common—they’re all intentional in their marriages.
A strong marriage doesn’t happen by chance. If you want to be intentional and make your spouse feel really secure, work together on these three areas:
Set goals together
A 2017 study by Ramsey Solutions revealed that 94% of couples who describe their marriages as “great” also say they discuss money goals together. Getting on the same page financially with your spouse is one of the best things you can do for your marriage. If you need some help reconnecting and realigning the goals of your relationship, check out this episode of The Rachel Cruze Show. You’ll learn about money mistakes that can ruin your relationship, and practical ways to communicate and work better together.
Be willing to have tough conversations
My friend, Dr. Les Parrott, says conflict is the price we pay for a deeper level of intimacy. You can disagree, and still make space to hear each other. Hashing it out, putting in the work, and coming from a place of understanding will only make you stronger. And by the way, I’m a huge fan of counseling for every marriage, not just the ones in crisis mode.
Don’t compare your marriage to someone else’s
Comparison will steal your joy and frustrate your spouse. Too many people let Instagram-level expectations form their values and family priorities. I’ve been there, too, and I know it’s an empty and endless battle trying to keep up. Spend that time and energy focusing on all the things you truly love about your spouse, and the life you’ve already built together.
Flowers will die, and jewelry will tarnish. But a relationship built on these three principles will make your marriage a blessing, not just #blessed.