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reLationship blog

Marriage: 10 ideas to make it happy

Pat Benatar may have been right when she sang, “Love is a battlefield,” especially when it comes to marriage. It’s tough stuff. No matter how many years you have under your belt, it’s a tough institution made even more treacherous when there’s bitterness, hurt feelings and separation. Whether you’re a newlywed or a seasoned married couple, how can you ensure a happy relationship? While marriage comes with no guarantees, here are a few ways Mat and I have worked to safeguard our relationship for faithfulness and devotion and happiness:

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Christie BrowningComment
Avoiding emotional separation in your marriage

I have a superpower… well, maybe it’s more like a coping mechanism. When someone’s got me upset or if they’ve hurt me, I can channel those emotions into a whirlwind of focused activity that blows through to-do lists in a mad dash. I can scrub the house down, pound out a new blog post and even declutter the garage if I am angry or hurt enough.

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Christie BrowningComment
How to make your spouse your friend

It’s something we strive for as couples — to be friends with our spouses. We know that when relationships begin, it’s best to start as friends. So why is it hard to continue cultivating a friendship after the courtship?

Your spouse is your partner and your better (or other) half. But what about being a friend? A confidant? Truly the guy or gal you want to pal around with???

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Christie BrowningComment
3 exercises you can do to deepen your relationships

As much as we all would love for family dinners and holidays to be re-creations of Norman Rockwell paintings, some family dynamics are more volatile than others. There are relationships that are easier to foster than others -- yes, even under your own roof. Just think about those lovely sibling rivalries! Sister Sledge had the 70s hit "We Are Family," sometimes you gotta wonder how that song would go if the Sledge sisters had your family, right? 

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Christie BrowningComment
Making money work in your marriage

If you get around my husband for any length of time, you'll know he is a big fan of numbers, budgeting and getting out of debt. He's one of those weirdos who likes to figure our investments and retirements as a pass time. He literally finds joy in playing out our financial future through the time we retire. And while I am so thankful for his heart in this.... I am the polar opposite. 

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Christie BrowningComment
Are you compliant or committed?

Mat and I will celebrate five years together next month, and I can honestly say that in those five years, we haven't had many arguments. For the most part, Mat and I get along just fine. We laugh, we have fun, we give each other space and grace to be ourselves and we genuinely love living life together. 

The one area that defined more differences than possibly any other relationship category was the money topic. We didn't fight about money.... simply because we tend to be on total ends of the spectrum.

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