There’s never a better time than today to recommit to some basic marriage principles that can strengthen your bonds and inject a fresh wave of intimacy into your relationship. Here’s how to inject some “A.W.E.” into your marriage.
A — Affection
The basic need of all people is to love and be loved. Your marriage needs affection to thrive. You can create an atmosphere of intimacy and closeness through affection. Couples who hold hands, kiss passionately are couples who inject A.W.E. into their marriage and have a much better chance for a healthy relationship. Back rubs work; saying “I love you” in a hundred different ways works; showing tenderness and honoring your spouse works wonders for your relationship. Choose intentionally to focus on bringing affection to your relationship and you will almost certainly see immediate results when you do.
W — Warmth
We all have emotional bank accounts. To have a healthier marriage, we need to make more deposits to our spouse’s emotional bank account than withdrawals. We make withdrawals from our spouses account, for example, by nagging, negativity, shaming, rudeness, a critical spirit, never saying you’re sorry, telling your spouse that they are never good enough, and heaping guilt on them. By contrast, making deposits our spouses emotional bank account is all about those times when we offer them warmth: saying we’re sorry and meaning it, making and keeping our promises, showing kindness and thoughtfulness, putting their needs ahead of our needs, tenderness, hugs, tone of voice, and having fun together. Keeping a relationship full of warmth takes a lot of work, self-control, and focus, but it is also a key way to inject A.W.E. into your marriage, and of keeping the emotional thermostat in your marriage turned up pays off in big ways.
E — Encouragement
The key to showing encouragement involves being available to your spouse. Your presence in your spouse’s life makes all the difference. It sometimes speaks louder than words. Your availability, both physically and emotionally, says to your spouse that he or she is in a safe relationship. Don’t expect to have a thriving marriage if there is too much hostility and lack of attention paid to your spouse. It just doesn’t work that way.
Find ways to affirm and encourage your spouse. Some people receive encouragement through words, some through presence, some through gifts, some through kind actions. The key to encouraging your spouse in the best way possible is to literally make a study of them to figure out what works for them.
Remember that there is one person who can make a difference in your marriage atmosphere; one person who can get your started down the road to a stronger, healthier marriage, and that person is…you.