National Association of Marriage Enhancement

Better Spouse Challenge of 2013

Life is but a vapor. Another year is gone. If you are not careful, so much time can quickly pass that you forget to spend any of that time on your marriage. Be intentional this year.

We talk about resolutions this time of year. Technically, we should be committing to change and growth all year long, but now is a time that we as a society are focused on it. Right now, it is the talk of the hour. So we want to join the talk! Now is a great time to make a determination to be a better spouse. If you are having trouble thinking of ways to better your marriage, here is our better spouse challenge of 2013.

Three of the top reasons for marital problems are sex, communication and money. We have chosen five ways to make an active resolution in all three areas. Pray about and choose one challenge in each of the three categories. Choose based upon what your spouse may desire, not what is easiest for you. Implement and watch the way your relationship strengthens and enhances.

1. Become less selfish. Find out what would be more enjoyable or more comfortable for your spouse. Implement.
2. Show your spouse that sex is still a priority to you. Increase the amount (ex: one more time a month, one more time a week, etc).
3. Start telling your spouse more during and after sex about how well they pleased you. Encourage them about how well they do.
4. Plan a romantic vacation or staycation for 2013 solely dedicated to romance.
5. Purposefully come together for times of non-sexual touching. Maybe you need to give shoulder massages or hold hands in public, your choice. Non-sexually touching builds a comfort level that will enhance sex.

1. Send a text message or email once a day telling your spouse how much you miss him/her or are thinking of him/her or can’t wait to see him/her later, etc.
2. Add an extra date a month to your schedule. These dates do not need to cost money. It can be going to a park or walking around the mall. Center the date around quality time and talking.
3. Ask more questions about his/her day when you get home. Act interested and eventually you will become genuinely interested.
4. If you normally shut down when you are deeply upset, make a resolution to start talking about why you are upset and what your spouse could do to make you feel more comfortable.
5. Become less snide, sarcastic or teasing in your joking. If you have a sensitive spouse, make efforts to be more sensitive.

1. Sit down to discuss the budget more often. Make frequent scheduled budget meetings if necessary.
2. Create a financial together goal for the end of 2013 (ex: pay off debt, open savings account, build retirement fund, etc). Work towards it.
3. If you are uptight about money, become more trusting of your spouse. Do something to show him/her you are more flexible.
4. Tithe if not doing so. Beyond that determine together where you want your offerings to go and discuss becoming more generous.
5. Move from “your money” and “my money” to “our money.” (ex: combine bank accounts, allocate the responsibilities, change how you talk about money, etc)