Looking to enhance your marriage or take your romantic relationship to a deeper level? Here’s how to make your connection stronger and more meaningful. Check out these powerful yet not-so-obvious ways to grow together in your partnership with your spouse.
Well, hello there! My name is Gavin, and I am husband to the wonderful Magan Weber (AKA Organizezen Magan), otherwise known as the creator of this here blog.
I’m excited to be sharing three very cool solutions to enhance your marriage that will help you grow together (rather than apart) that you will not only really enjoy doing, but will also give you hope that things can improve quickly…
But first, let it be known far and wide that this is my official-grand-first-of-a-few-blog posts. Woohoo, let the trumpets sound!!
Around these parts I’ve been mostly behind the scenes here and there and referred to as “Mr. Organizen”, which by the way, I did not have a vote on when naming nor do I necessarily dislike – I just-kind-of-maybe-slightly feel like it’s not the most manly of nicknames.
But the news is that… we have decided to join forces so I can help Magan with some of the business and technology aspects of the blog that she could care less about.
Teaming up is also a way for us to share some husband/man/dude perspectives we hope you will find helpful and some additional insights toward organizing your health, home, and happiness.
I make no promises toward figuring men out, fixing them, or training them in any capacity (your guess is as good as mine), yet I hope to make you laugh a few times and maybe provide a fresh perspective toward the men in your life and bring your relationships more joy, depth, and connection.
In a nutshell, I am stoked to be aboard the blog bus and working with “my babe” doing our best to bring value toward organizing your life so you love it.
Now back to the topic at hand…
How Married Couples Can Grow Together Rather Than Apart With 3 Simple Solutions To Enhance Your Marriage
Magan and I have been married for 22 years as of July 10th (that’s 8127 days if you are counting – which I did count and thus wanted to share because, wow, and it took me like 10 minutes to calculate), and the good news… we are as happy as ever and continue to grow in many ways that enhance our bond and relationship.
We have raised three wonderful kids who are now young adults with our oldest being 19 (just got corrected on the age number in total dad fashion – oops), the middle at 16 years of age, and the youngest being 14 along with a dog named Harper, who is now technically the “baby” of the family!
We have also lived in three different states over the last 13 years so YES there have been bumps along the way just like any married couple. Magan has even gotten upset with me a few times here and there, maybe six times to be exact.
My point… we are your normal couple with the same kind of issues most people face including careers, bills, aging, raising kids, friendships, and trying our best to navigate the whole bit without losing our sanity.
We don’t claim to have it all figured out, yet we feel our experiences demonstrate a successful marriage and track record which allows us to share openly from our heart what has worked for us. The proof is in the pudding as they say, and we are more in love each year which may sound sappy and annoying to read, but I am proud to say it is absolutely true.
The 3 solutions I am about to share are not your usual run-of-the-mill methods that are taught in relationship books about “date nights” or “romance ideas” or “keeping things fresh.”
Which are all well and good, and Magan even shared a blog post called “Love, Marriage, and Romance – 30 Day Relationship Challenge to Reignite the Spark” which shares lots of great ideas in that category!
This post is all about how you can “grow together” so you can enhance your marriage and relationship and get to know each other on an even deeper level than you ever thought possible.
And please know, even though we have incorporated these three solutions ourselves, we also realize we have so much more room for growth which is all part of the process of growing together.
No more waiting… Let’s take a look at the first solution.
SOLUTION #1 – Work On Something Big TOGETHER – (NOT Kid Related)
As parents, we are faced with so many distractions, to-do’s, and time-consuming tasks that it’s easy to make “the kids” the ONLY focus.
When a relationship begins, it is often prior to kids or not about the kids if one of the people happens to be a parent already.
Each person gets to learn about the other person and the time is spent having fun, sharing, and discovering the essence of one another.
The original foundation is based on growing the relationship YET when kids (and often times careers) hit the scene, the focus naturally goes in that direction.
Spotlighting most of our attention on our kids when they are younger makes perfect sense, but making it ONLY about them after they have started getting older and more independent often leads to the main problem… the two original love birds have focused primarily on raising kids and have not continued to grow their relationship.
Neglecting the marriage or relationship can be subtle at first, but if ignored over many years, the emotional divide can one day seem like a gigantic canyon and too much to overcome.
“Not good, Clark”! (from Vacation the movie and joke FYI – Magan will likely say this doesn’t fit but work with me here, friends).
It is not uncommon for people to wake up one morning in their middle-aged years and feel like they do not even know their spouse.
The following solutions will help make sure the “middle-aged relationship gap” does not happen to you OR if you are already heading in that direction, then this can help stop it from happening further.
The saying goes “you either grow together or you grow apart”.
Let’s take a look at Solution #1 regarding how you can assure you grow together.
I am going to be direct here… doing a few things like extra date nights or thoughtful gestures can definitely be helpful short term, BUT long term, they are unlikely to make enough of a difference to really take the relationship to the next level.
Come up with something BIG to create and do together.
The good news is you have already done this if you have raised kids or built a house together or something similar so you know it is possible.
The bad news is you already know it’s going to take some serious time and effort for what I am suggesting.
This solution works so well because when you do something BIG there will almost always be hurdles and challenges that need overcoming.
It oftentimes brings issues and past fears to the surface which can then be dealt with and left behind as a team.
Together you will have to tackle those obstacles, AND that almost always means stretching yourself and getting outside of the proverbial “comfort zone”.
The very act of joining forces and creating something BIG will require you both to grow and since you both will be participating in the creation of the “BIG” thing, then the result will appropriately be growing with each other.
In full transparency, Magan and I are in the midst of this right now with our kids getting older and us moving to another state along with our oldest starting college.
Magan has been a full time, kickass, stay-at-home mom, and I worked full time (admittedly with a good amount of golf in there too) and now our kids are older with more independence and less need from us which has begged the questions… what’s next for our future and what do we really want for the next stage?
So yes, we are doing the very thing we are recommending.
Our choice for what is BIG?
Well, besides moving across the country…
Working on and growing this blog together.
This ain’t all just writing posts and hitting the return button – this is some serious work and we both have different strengths we can offer.
At the same time, she’s pushing me in some areas to grow, and I am doing the same for her.
One very important distinction, we are both ALL IN.
We both really want this and care deeply about our relationship and creating a life together so be sure to choose something with these two criteria in mind: something that matters to you both and that each of you really wants to grow together.
Here are some potential ideas for you in no particular order to get your mind churning and open yourself up to some BIG possibilities:
– Write a book together (both can create the outline, one could write, one could edit, etc)
– Start a side hustle or business together (define roles and off you GO)
– Get in a sports league together and compete – examples like pickleball, golf, croquet (practice together, get better, work toward next level…yes, I’m well aware most of you are saying “hell no” to doing this with your spouse but hopefully, you get the idea)
– Buy a boat if near water or camper if not (learn the ins and outs of the water-fishing-boating OR how to camp like a boss and make some really cool traditions and become experts)
– Decide on a new hobby and attack it from all directions (photography, hiking, genealogy, bird-watching… get creative and brainstorm other ideas)
I could go on with more ideas, but I just wanted to get you thinking.
All of the above items are BIG and would require a significant level of seriousness to make them work.
I realize your mind might be saying none of those would work, YET when you find your “BIG” thing together and then do it, you will GROW together.
And I can hear the objections now…“Gavin, those things will break up our marriage or relationship.” If that is really true, then it’s highly likely you REALLY need to find your BIG thing fast and find a way to make it work together.
And yes, this means you both really want to do the BIG thing and are committed to growing together.
SOLUTION #2 – Know Each Other’s Goals And Provide Lots Of Support
Let me ask you… if you went to your spouse right now and said “what are your goals, honey,” would you have any idea what the answer would be?
In all likelihood, you may know a few goals, but it’s more likely you will be surprised about some of them.
We all like to think we know our spouse or partner, yet life can go by so fast that our interests and priorities can change rather drastically over the years.
It might be a concern if you do not know your spouse’s goals because that means they have interests, hopes, and dreams you are not aware of or haven’t shown an interest in knowing.
The person you are in a committed relationship with might have aspirations that surprise you.
Once again… “not good, Clark”.
Not knowing about their goals can equate to a lack of caring or understanding which is hopefully not what anyone wants in a marriage or relationship.
It is also a potential sign that the dreaded “drift” has begun… a warning sign if you will.
Find out your spouse or partner’s goals, in detail, and in return share your goals with them too.
Just simply ask them what their goals are.
Tell them how important knowing their goals are to you.
As they share, ask probing questions in a positive way that shows you want to know and to be able to clearly understand what they want and why.
Avoid asking how they plan on achieving their goals or casting any doubt so you don’t come across as negative and make them regretful for sharing.
The point is to be curious, to understand, and to learn about them.
So you can be a part of their growth and vice versa.
Goals take effort and require us to grow and figure out how to overcome our perceived problems similar to what I shared previously with creating something BIG.
Our purpose as people is not about just achieving, or obtaining stuff, or hitting all of our goals.
The point of goals is to go for it, to stretch, to learn, to overcome fears, and to see what is possible so we can learn about who we really are.
If the process of goal setting and achieving is happening to one of the most important people in our lives, then it makes a ton of sense to be right there on the journey cheering and supporting them toward their goals.
And that leads to the really crucial aspect of Solution #2… supporting them toward their goals.
Yes, because it shows you care. But even more importantly, it demonstrates you BELIEVE in them which means everything.
Oh and I LOOOVE Ted Lasso, hope you have seen this show 🙂
Believing in our spouse or partner is SOOO important in a relationship.
The person you care about wants you to help them believe their goals are possible.
We all crave support, help, and love. It is no fun feeling alone or isolated on this often difficult journey called life.
We need a fellow companion that believes in us maybe even more than we believe in ourselves – and that can be YOU – the ultimate role of a lifetime!
Knowing their goals in detail and then showing your support along with helping them achieve them will do wonders toward your relationship and ensuring you grow together.
If you want to take this to the next level and set goals together as a couple, then I would highly recommend doing exactly that based on personal experience.
Magan and I have been setting yearly goals together for years and it is easily one of the most important and life-changing things we do together.
Solution #3 – Take A Strong Interest In Their Top Passion
News flash… not sure if you know this, but men and women are kind of different.
Yes, shocking, and someone needed to let you know.
Our differences are what we love about one another and also what can make it feel like we are living on “Survivor” and wanting to get voted off the island. What irony!
I won’t get myself in trouble by listing normal stereotypical passions of men and women, yet I think it is safe to say they do not always overlap.
Every once in a while the interests/passions match and then showing interest is easy, right?
Well, this ain’t about that.
This is the normal situation where you can not understand why your husband or partner likes going into the woods at 5 am for an entire day and waiting for an animal to wander by or how they can be gone for six hours chasing a white ball around a golf course.
Listen… it is not necessarily about you understanding WHY they are passionate about something.
The point is to want to know and learn more about their interests so they feel heard, understood, and once again, supported.
Think about it… when questions or comments like “I don’t understand why you love that so much” or “how can you spend so much time doing that” or “why do you spend so much money on that” occur, then the Great Wall of China is being built one word at a time… and that is not good, Clark (last time, I promise)
The problem is that our lack of interest in the passions of those we care about can easily be misconstrued as not caring at the very least and very judgmental at the most WHICH does not help the relationship.
If someone is passionate about something and has been for many years, then that passion is unlikely to change and it is much better to get on board with it.
Learn about your spouse’s passion and show you support that passion in a variety of ways.
Yes, again, because it will be an extra step showing how much you care.
But that’s not the biggest reason.
The intention now is to go even deeper because it is likely you might begin to get a glimpse of WHY they are so passionate about their passion.
You might gain some insight and get to participate in a portion of their life you have been previously never been included and gain valuable information about who they are which can bring you much closer together.
And my new friends… I am not suggesting you have to take up golf (yes, that is my passion) or whatever your spouse is crazy about.
That would be missing the point, and it is likely not a good idea to make their passion your passion for a whole lot of reasons.
But taking the time and making the effort to at least be educated and better understand their interests can help you see them from a new perspective.
That hunter I previously referenced may just love the beauty of the outdoors, the quiet serenity of nature, the magic of patience, and so many other things (I’m not a hunter so these are guesses) but you will likely learn something genuinely epic.
Taking an interest in what they love to do might involve things like simply asking them questions, or reading books about it, or joining them once or twice, or doing something creative or thoughtful around their passion.
And please know… this post is NOT about how you can accommodate your spouse. I recommend BOTH of you reading this post and both being on board for these three solutions meaning practicing each one together.
In no way am I writing this to teach you how to make “them” happy. This is a two-way street and both parties really need to buy into participating to make it work in a healthy and successful manner.
How about an example for you…
My wife is very passionate about jigsaw puzzles. I admit I am not a huge puzzle guy because of a few beliefs I have about puzzles.
Mainly that they are boring, pointless, and I think watching paint drying seems more fun (not to mention she is like some kind of magical wizard at puzzles which is both inspiring and depressing to witness).
Okay, I am mostly kidding to prove a point.
We can be very judgmental toward our spouse’s passions.
In all likelihood, their passions might not make any sense to us or be something we can ever see ourselves learning about, BUT if I want to connect with Magan more, show her how much I care, and learn more about what makes her tick when it comes to her passion…
…then you guessed it… I could do a puzzle with her.
Even better, I could buy her a puzzle, ask her why she likes puzzles, and find out the best parts of puzzle-putting-together or puzzling (hmm…not even sure what putting together puzzles is called) she likes the most, all while actually participating with her… again, together.
These puzzles are no joke either.
I commit to doing this right now and yes she will read this post so no excuses for me.
So what might happen?
I will let you know in a future post or in the comments below, but my guess is that I will get a much better understanding of her, why she likes puzzles, and how to be better at puzzles because I stink (which just might be why I hate them lol).
The point… spending time together and another opportunity to support her and learn and grow.
Instead of watching football on the couch with teams I could care less about… I could listen to football in the background and be at the puzzle table WITH HER. (I see those eyes rolling – just kidding – I will have the TV on in the other room, or just maybe I’ll turn it off altogether)
Do you notice any common themes?
All three solutions REQUIRE you to take action, learn, and demonstrate a level of care and commitment that then provides the space for you both to grow together.
These solutions are all very deliberate to get each person to participate in the relationship at a deeper level, consciously, and with conviction.
Big creations, goals, and passions are all HUGE things in life, and either doing them together or knowing about them is a sure-fire way to stay on track toward further building and blossoming your relationship.
I mentioned this before and will share it again.
It is crucial you BOTH want this growth.
I think most people really love each other, but over the years they get complacent and think they know everything about the other person which is simply not true.
We get to continue discovering and creating ourselves in relationships with other people over and over again.
Once you do big things and goals and passions together, you can not help but learn even more about the other person BECAUSE they will learn things they didn’t even know about themselves.
The experiences of life are sacred and doing them together is such a blessing.
Receive the blessing and dive into these 3 solutions as joint forces!
I would absolutely love to hear a BIG creation you are thinking about, or a goal you have that you want to share with your spouse, or something you are passionate about.
What will be the first thing you implement to enhance your marriage… the BIG creation, asking/sharing about goals, or taking an interest in their passion?
Maybe you can practice or share your choice here with us in the comments below. We really want to get to know our readers, so please don’t be shy!
And lastly, a small request if you think this has been helpful or could help someone else… click the social media button below and share this post or send the link to a friend. We could really use your help getting our posts out there.
Oh, and sign up for our weekly newsletter, we will share our recent posts and other information we think can help organize your life for the better.
We have upcoming exciting news… Magan and I are launching a WEEKLY SHOW coming up soon, and I will link it once we do – it should be very entertaining at the least and a train wreck at the most (ha ha), so stay tuned!!
Thanks for reading my first post – I truly appreciate it!
Last thing… I came across this blog post and thought it was relevant and would also be helpful on this “enhance your marriage” topic… it’s called “How Happy Marriages Stay Happy: 7 Signs Of A Rock Solid Relationship”.
Definitely check it out!
Gavin Weber (AKA Mr. Organizen)
GOT PINTEREST? Go ahead and PIN away!