21 simple ways to strengthen your marriage.

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There are millions of way to strengthen your marriage. In no particular order, here are twenty-one…

1. Have more SEX, but make sure you’re ONLY having it with each other!

2. Don’t keep secrets from each other. COMMUNICATE about everything.

3. Argue less. Cuddle more.

4. Don’t get deep in debt and if you’re already there, work together to get out of it!

5. Pray together, find a healthy church and make FAITH a foundation for your life together.

6. Turn off your phones. Talking with each other is better than texting with someone else!

7. Pull the car over and make out more often.

8. Leave LOVE NOTES for each other.

9. Send flowers on unexpected days, not just holidays.

10. Don’t ignore problems in your relationship. Deal with them quickly and aggressively.

11. Be quick to remember each other’s positive traits and quick to forget each other’s flaws.

12. Don’t hold grudges. Forgive and seek FORGIVENESS when you’ve wronged each other.

13. Don’t waste time or energy comparing your lives to anyone else’s. God’s plan for you is masterfully unique.

14. Go on long walks and HOLD HANDS.

15. Make “DATE NIGHT” a priority! Time alone together is vital for your continued growth and health.

16. Give COMPLIMENTS constantly, and never give insults.

17. When you’re happy, laugh together. When you’re sad, cry together. Whatever you do, do it together!

18. Show LOVE and RESPECT to each other even in those moments when you don’t feel like it.

19. Keep dreaming new dreams and making big plans together. Don’t get stuck in a predictable rut.

20. ENCOURAGE each other. Build each other up so much that nothing in the world can tear you down.

21. NEVER give up on each other!

For more tips and tools to building a stronger marriage watch our FREE video series The 4 Pillars of a Strong Marriage, and check out our newest book: Marriage Minute: Quick and Simple ways to build a Divorce-Proof Relationship which is now also available on iTunes for ebook download on iPhones, iPads and all Apple devices.


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About Dave Willis
  • Nicole

    I absolutely love this!! I am going try every step since my partner and I are going through hard times, I’d like to save our relationship and this gives me hope!

  • Stephanie

    Why does it seem like these are so easy on paper? Reading them I think, we don’t do that. We need to do that, etc. But we don’t. Ugh, its frustrating

  • Pamee

    This is a great list! I agree with all these!

  • eva

    When you have done exactly all the opposite, how do you begin again???

  • Anthony

    Good Stuff…

  • Amy

    No wonder our marriage is great!

  • Kate

    I love this. You are so insightful.

  • Christina

    I’d say that we should start by forgiving each other… Then, sit down with our spouse and read the steps together :)

  • Christina

    Great stuff!

  • http://Facebook Michael Foster

    Simplicity is beautiful. God has already done the truly most difficult part for us – Creation. All we have to do now is nourish it in each other. I like this 21.

  • tammy jones

    All true until its too late, so don’t wait!

  • ann

    Amazing, simplified!!!

  • http://com Pamela Morris

    This Is A Wonderful List. No Wonder We Have AWesome Marriage!! We’ve Been Writing Love Notes To Each Other For 7 Years Now… And Going Strong!!!

  • Steve Williams


  • Jackie

    Tip about #7 …. just make sure the kids aren’t IN the car. ;) And leave the dog at home too.

  • Thomas

    All so very true!
    Wonderful ideas all…

  • Sandra

    Love it❤

  • Samantha

    Kinda hard when ur husband wont go to church

  • Saul Medrano

    Do it! Best Wishes

  • Saul Medrano

    You can only try and try, look toward te positive, not the past.

  • http://facebook.com jazmin

    This is beautiful…….I myself am entering a new marriage as of next week and needed to hear this…..thank you

  • Erika

    You start by sitting your spouse down, showing them the list and let them know you want to begin again. You also need to maybe seek out a marriage mentor couple to help you work through or possibly a counselor or pastor as well. Also my husband and I went through a devotional together Marriage 101 it was a great tool to get us back where we needed to be.

  • Jack Hill

    Great list. I try to do some of these as much as possible and it’s nice to get some new ideas… Honey are you reading this? :-)
    A relationship would be doing incredibly great if both would work daily on this list!

  • Robert

    That’s great advice

  • Christie

    You need to forgive and only fix you. Every thing else will take care of itself.

  • Tina

    Love this! To the people who have a hard time putting it in action, I find it helpful to write a few of these you want to work on somewhere that you will see them often. I’ve even written things down on my hand before so I could look down and remember what I wanted to be doing. Once you get the hang of it these all become second nature. It is hard to remember these things at first, especially when things are really stressful or you are upset, but the suggestions I have found on this page have helped me out so much in my relationship and made me look forward to marriage even more!

  • Paul

    I’m holding on to the last step, my wife of almost 18 years has chosen separation. I love her deeply, dynamics of life & situations have taken their toll.. I trust in God. -Micah 7:7

  • Renae

    This list is great but I can’t even get my husband to speak to me right now, separated for two weeks and hardly anything said. Not sure how to get him to open up or even try these days.

  • stacy

    U keep going let god tug at his heart. Just ask time for church we would like to see u their.

  • Cait

    take it one step at a time. In the moment when your about to do something that sabotages your relationship stop yourself then replace it with a positive thing instead. The big picture can be overwhelming but if you break it down and do one little thing at a time you will see such a difference!

  • Nichole

    So, singer of these are really good ideas. I struggle to understand why praying together and having a good religious foundation isn’t number 1. Certainly, sex is great and can break a relationship but it does not make a relationship work. marriages that center their marriage around Christ are not only healthier but have a lower divorce rate. as well, making out? how about some love and respect? it’s a continuous circle… men need respect and they feel loved when they are respected. women on the other hand need love and feel respected when they are loved. Read the book ‘ love and respect’ by dr. eggrich… it changed our relationship and we are stronger now that ever before. not to mention our faith as well.

  • Alise

    We do all of these except number 5 and we have a wonderful marriage! So I definitely agree, this is a great list! But to us, the faith thing isn’t important and never has been. You don’t have to be religious to have a healthy, happy marriage. I think what IS important is that you’re both on the same page about religion and share the same beliefs, whatever those beliefs are (even if it’s a lack of any beliefs). Being on the same page about big things like religion, politics, money, etc. is extremely important for a relationship to work.

  • suzy

    These are great steps. There was a time in our lives that my husband & I had to seek marital counseling. It was so worth it. Anything valuable is worth the input & sometimes its hard work. We have been married almost 27 years; have had to deal with losing very close loved ones, the loss of our baby & a child with a life-threatening illness, losing our home of over 10 yrs, loss of unemployment & eachother’s medical illnesses…other stuff as well. I only list this to say staying together is possible. Life is always going to throw obstacles, throw them back.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003434314404 Ian

    That God is faithful to turn our mnoruing into gladness. He can take this tragic experience and make beauty out of it by giving me understanding and compassion for others and teaching me to cherish my family on earth even more.

  • angel

    What if your spouse doesn’t want to?

  • Melissa Fleetwood

    Never go to bed mad at each other, say I love you because you never know if you are going to wake up. I absolutely love this and it’s very sound advice.

  • michael

    Thank you Rachel for sending this to me . I wish there was hope. I will always love her.

  • Stacy

    Having a medically terminated pregnancy due to a poor life expectancy, and then our home going into foreclosure/moving, husband being discharged from the Air Force and reduction of his hours at work…..its really hard to keep going. Its really hard to keep the faith when I want to talk but wind up screaming because his head is buried in his phone or he comes up with another excuse as to why he can’t do something. Our life is a disaster right now and he pretends that its just another hunky dory day. I know its his way of coping, but my way of coping is to face things head on and find a solution. He likes to bury his head in the sand until the problem goes away or someone else handles it. How do you find your way back from that? I’ve been horrible to him, giving him my complete honesty on how he has ruined our lives from his lack of dealing with anything. How does he find his way back to me from that?! I don’t want divorce, I do love him, he does not want divorce, I know he loves me, but I feel like there has been way too much of a buildup of resentment over the last 6 years (been married for 10) and there is no way back from it…..

  • Tina

    Please pray with all your heart. I have been divorced from my first husband for about 3 years. I still love him but he has moved on b/c he didn’t love me anymore. If you both know you still love each other, don’t give up. Sounds like you aren’t friends anymore. Try to remember what you enjoyed about each other’s company and build on that. You have to like each other to start over. Relationships aren’t 50/50, they are 100/100. Prayer and faith have saved alot of relationships worse off that yours. Just don’t give in to Satan’s lies.

  • Monique

    Don’t give up hope. Just begin making attempts to putting any of these steps into practice. It will take root.

  • ashley

    I remember about 6 months ago my marriage was a fairy tale, so perfect! I was pregnant, glowing and so happily a newlywed. I remember my husband and I reading this ans we literally already did every single one of thes3 things. Now, everything has fallen apart and we dont do a single onw of these anymore. This is a great reminder of why our marriage was so great! We nees us time too!

  • allison

    Guess we are doomed because I couldn’t find one thing on this list that applies to us.

  • Brittany

    I love these. My husband & I have had problems and I am definatly goin to use these. Im even goin to tag him in the post so he can read them. Before we had our son & married…we were jus like these examples. I want us to get back that way. Thank you for this.

  • kaitlyn

    The only thing i would add is give each other space too. Yes, you need to do things together bit you also need alone time to unwind.

  • Tiffany

    For the people who are saying.. How do I tackle this? We are so far gone? Etc…

    I recommend taking one step and working on that for a whole week. Make it not just a check off list and move on. Take a step. Work on it till it is rooted deeply in your daily lives. That may take a week for some. A month for others. But you will get there.

    The first one you tackle.. Make it the one that is the most hindering to your marriage at this present moment.

  • Veronica Gonzales

    Lol I love it…so true I swear they have like a sensor for wherever we get a foot away from each other lol

  • bobby

    I thank they are all great. Now to convience the wife.

  • Kate

    Wonderful things, but they only work if both people use them. My husband (soon to be ex) became more and more selfish over the years. He is only interested in his on self interest at the moment. He has no stickability and refuses to admit his failures

    because he is so afraid of poeple seeing him for what

    he has become. He hides and

    runs from any responsibility.

    I did or tried all of the 21things, but he did few or none. No effort on his part to participate. I wasted years on him. He only gets worse with time.

  • James

    Because it takes two, to make that work!

  • Shelly

    Not even married and I crave these things from my boyfriend. Makes me very afraid of the M word (marriage) when these things are already a struggle. :-(

  • sunette

    How do I make my husband to open up for me. He takes decisions all by him self. On the 14 of february. We were renewing vowls, after god blessed us with a car,he is no longer a family man or either my husband nor a father to our daughter. He has a girlfriend now, and when I ask he gets furious. What must I do?

  • Kay

    All of them was broken by the one person I thought I did do this with. Yes 13 years of marriage down the drain because of stupidity done on his part.

  • Mike

    Love this. For those of you who are still together, never forget this.

    I would love to do the things outlined here, but at this stage in my life that is not an option.

    Still hoping and praying that God will bring us back together again save our family and marriage.

  • Dinaldia Fairbairn-Welvaart

    Love this! Give so much motivation to your marriage.

  • Erica

    what do you do when you tried everything and you still fight constantly what do you do when fights are physical and nothing is resolved my husband and I have 3 children have been together for almost 10 years. But we fight constantly he puts me down a lot of motion alee and I don’t think he loves me we fought over the weekend of Easter Easter Eve and Easter morning and it got physical between the both of us I left a scratch on his neck and he left a bruise on my arm I’m feeling hopeless we’re still together but there’s the scaleor stale energy an deleteind the housesorry doing talk to text anyways won’t let me delete I was just trying to say there’s a stale energy and her homeso I look at things like this and think wow that would be nice but don’t you have to be in love with the person first because I really don’t think he’s in love with me I don’t think he has been a long time

  • Julie Keel

    My my husband and I have been married for almost 18 yrs. we still hold hands, make out, and communicate we have a strong bond because we forgive and move on this is awesome advice and when you trully love someone it will come as second nature you dont have to pretend or try hard to do everything on the list

  • http://facebook minnie

    I have tried most if not all but it seem that he doesn’t want to try. :(

  • Greg

    Don’t even think about the M word until you get that completely sorted out and solve EVERY one of those worries. Marriage does not make it better, it makes it even harder! And itt does NOT get better with time.

    Hope you can fix things, and you need to do it now. If you can’t, then you’re lucky you’re not married because you can move on and admit it’s the wrong person, wrong time. I know it’s hard.

  • Jonathan

    These are amazing suggestions. I instantly began branching off ideas based off of your suggestions. Thanks guys.

  • Shanta

    I’ve been trying to find ways to strengthen our marriage and for us to get back to the way we were. Thanks for the tips.

  • kristine

    Angel, I have the same problem. Our marriage is very rocky right now and he has no desire to make any changes to save it. He has always just existed in this marriage. We have been married 16 years and I am so lonely.

  • Velvet

    Thank you I needed to hear that……

  • sjdh

    Yes put your all into it Love is worth it!

  • Toni

    21 tips was looking for something I wasn’t already doing and have been doing for 5 yrs been great relationship. Think lot of times we do stop doing these things just because we get married doesn’t mean we have stop doing these 21 tips we need keep doing what we have done to win our lovers love after all that’s how we won them over in first place that’s secret of 50 yr marriage as my grandparents would say. I couldn’t ask for better husband!

  • Josie

    Been married for 20 years, dated for almost 4 yrs. High School sweet hearts. I’ve been through so much, I’ve seen us change. I like to think I’m in my third marriage. In my first, he was….

    Immature, selfish, full of anger, aggressive, wanted his liberty, very macho, I didn’t exist.

    The second man in him, more responsible, extremely hard working, but I was still not his priority. He is a mommas boy and he lived to please her.

    Third man in him, today, I see a much better man, he seams broken down due to pain, he is starting to get it. He still lacks showing love and attention.

    I have learned to accept that k did not marry a romantic, I get no flowers, no kisses, no hugs, never a nice compliment. And may I say im a gorgeous woman. We hardly talk, and I find our marriage tired. I don’t ask, don’t begg, I don’t complain, I just deal with it. There is no other woman because he is a family man. My husband just has problems ooening up. That’s something he learned from his own father, I can’t change him. Board in our relationship. Just celebrated 20 yrs, I got no kiss no hugs, we just ate out with our two girls like an ordinary day.

  • Michael

    Me and my wife have been married for 38 years.

    Him: always make HER first

    Her: Always make HIM first

  • Davey

    I’m so gonna pull over and make out with her this weekend. We’re going on a long overdue road trip with no kids! We promised each other to have adventures together. We also promised to read books and go to marriage retreats to grow together long before things get rocky. (Marriage retreats are guaranteed nookie!) Sure we have our disagreements, but making up is half the fun and I can’t imagine living without her. She is the best!

  • Tommy

    This totally sounds kewl. Too bad you cant give rules since every couple is diffrent and reacts differently to different things.

  • angela

    What if I want to try and fix our relationship but he doesn’t try to? Every time I come up with something to fix our relationship he doesn’t even try to do any of it. I was going to leave, cause who wants to be in a relationship where you feel unwanted, but he says he’ll fix it and doesn’t want me to leave but doesn’t do anything to fix it.

  • dave willis

    I’m praying for you and your husband. I’d encourage you to go through one of the courses offered by http://www.FamilyDynamics.net or if your husband isn’t willing to give an effort, you could still do “The Love Dare” which is a book and 40-day exercise one spouse can do for another to strengthen the marriage.