Healthy Habits To Make As A Couple
We live in a day and age where overall health is “in style,” but shouldn’t having a healthy life always be in style? Heck yes! We believe that to have balance in your life, healthy habits must be set and kept. And trust us when we say health goes waaaay beyond your bathroom scale.
We know health and fitness is so important, but let’s focus on building healthy relationships. The well-being of your marriage is so important, and we believe setting healthy habits with your spouse is an excellent place to start. Don’t you think?
Whether you’re newly married, or you’ve been together for years, it’s always a good time to set healthy habits as a couple. Check out these 10 healthy habits we suggest you make a priority in your marriage today!
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Table of Contents
- Healthy Habits To Make As A Couple
- 1. Make Your Spiritual Well-Being a Priority
- 2. Budget Your Finances Together
- 3. Share Household Responsibilities
- 4. Set Health and Fitness Goals Together
- 5. Go To Bed At the Same Time
- 6. Schedule Weekly Date Nights
- 7. Work On Your Sex Life
- 8. Take 15 Minutes For A Relationship Check-In
- 9. Do Your Best to Fight Fair
- 10. Perform Acts of Service For Each Other
- Healthy Habits Challenge
1. Make Your Spiritual Well-Being a Priority
We can’t think of a better way to start this list than to discuss your spiritual health. This includes, but is not limited to: praying together, attending church together, attending holy places of worship together, paying tithes and offerings together, and so much more.
Most wedding vows mention God at some point in the ceremony. This isn’t a coincidence! Having God at the center of your marriage is essential for obtaining eternal joy. ChurchOfJesusChrist.Org says the following about marriage:
“Marriage is much more than a civil contract with legal benefits. Marriage is an essential part of God’s plan.”
To have a God-centered marriage, it would only make sense to have your spiritual health be a top priority. And since you and your spouse come together as one when you are married, it’s up to both of you to contribute to your spiritual well-being.
Want to know a great place start? Praying together.
When we researched the benefits of praying together, we found an awesome article that discusses eight ways prayer can help your marriage. Our favorite takeaway from the article is, “Praying together increases trust and intimacy with your spouse. Intimacy is built on trust, and trust is built on how we respond to being vulnerable with each other. Praying together helps you show and receive trust that strengthens the bonds of intimacy in your relationship.”
Prayer is a powerful tool, and we believe it can become more powerful when you choose to use it with your partner.
Aside from prayer, there are several other ways to bring God into the center of your marriage (as mentioned above). We feel each of these is equally important and should be turned into lifelong habits with your spouse.
Striving for a God-centered marriage will strengthen the bond you have with your spouse, which can only lead to a healthier, happier marriage.
2. Budget Your Finances Together
Money. It’s a touchy subject that can lead to arguments and hurt feelings. If this has happened to you, we understand why budgeting with your spouse isn’t exactly something you want to make into a habit.
During our research, we came across the article Budgeting For Couples: How To Budget As A Couple, which states, “For couples, budgeting can be a touchy subject, but you can be successful at it and have fun while you are at it, too. When creating a budget with your spouse, the most important thing to remember is that a budget is simply a plan for your money. And, like all plans, it should be discussed, tweaked, and often revisited to ensure that you reach your end goal.”
We love how this article discusses ways to have the money talk with your spouse. Of course, having that talk is essential, especially if you want to make a habit of going over the finances together. But now that you’ve read up on HOW to have the budget talk, let’s talk about WHY budgeting together is a healthy habit.
For starters, you’re a team! And since you are a team, you more than likely have the same long-term goals. This same article concludes with, “Creating a budget with your spouse is one of the best financial decisions that you can make in your marriage. Budgeting together allows you to work toward your financial goals as a couple.”
Read that last sentence again. Boom! Mic drop. Neither of you should have to shoulder the budgeting responsibilities on your own, especially since you’re both working towards the same goals.
Budgeting together means you will start the month with clear expectations, which will lead to less confusion and, hopefully, less frustration.
3. Share Household Responsibilities
Housework can be a lot to undertake. The grass isn’t going to mow itself, and dust doesn’t just disappear if you ignore it for too long. Too bad, right?
Regardless of your home dynamic, building a home together means putting in the work together. Research has proven that sharing chores is one of the keys to a good marriage.
Of course, we know every family is different. We aren’t suggesting that housework be split 50/50 because not everyone can make that work. We are suggesting taking the time to discuss the housework with your spouse. Like most discussions, you will probably need to do a bit of compromising.
First, set priorities together. What is important to you? What is important to your spouse?
We love what this article from VeryWellMind states about sharing chores: “Discuss how you both feel about home-cooked meals versus quick meals or eating out now and then. Find out your own and each other’s feelings about dust, a clean toilet, an unmade bed, a perfectly manicured lawn, paying bills on time, and so forth. If one of you feels that a toilet should be cleaned every two or three days, then you need to share that information so you can understand what you each feel is important.”
Second, make sure this isn’t a one-time discussion! Priorities change, as do schedules.
Communicate any changes you feel are necessary and be willing to compromise with your spouse if they aren’t feeling the same way. As with anything else, communication is critical. Remain open with your spouse. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the tasks on your list, ask for help! Keeping your frustration to yourself and hoping your spouse will read your mind won’t ever work. Discussing how to reorganize priorities and responsibilities is much better than allowing feelings of frustration to fester.
Lastly, hanging a calendar in your home might be a great way to organize the chores! More organization = less stress, don’t you agree? You and your spouse can write up the weekly or monthly schedule of tasks and mark them off as you complete them. Hanging this in a neutral place will allow the two of you to remain in constant communication about the responsibilities you share, as well as serve as a reminder for the tasks that need to be completed.
4. Set Health and Fitness Goals Together
Do you want to know the secret for how to get fit? Have someone hold you accountable for your goals!
It’s true! This article by Fitness CF states: “A study conducted by the American Society of Training and Development found that people who commit to their goals with another person are 65% more likely to achieve them. That statistic jumps to 95% if the person commits to regular accountability meetings to check in on their progress.”
Crazy, right?! Do you know who would make an awesome accountability buddy… Your spouse! Asking your spouse to be your accountability buddy can help you stay motivated since you typically see them every day.
On that note, did you know exercising releases natural endorphins? These are commonly called “the happiness hormones,” for a good reason! These endorphins can help relieve stress, trigger positive feelings, and even improve self-esteem. Because of this, we believe setting health and fitness goals together can positively impact your marriage.
If that isn’t reason enough, check this out: 5 Reasons Why Couples Who Sweat Together, Stay Together from Psychology Today.
A few more benefits of setting fitness goals together include increased sex drive, motivation, and spending more time together… Is there even a downside? 😉 We highly recommend taking the time to research how to get fit with your spouse!
5. Go To Bed At the Same Time
Although studies have shown that going to bed at the same time (and sleeping together) can greatly impact your relationship, we decided to go to our friends and family for this one. We asked, “Do you and your spouse try to go to bed at the same time most days of the week? If so, why?” Here are the responses:
1. “We go to bed at the same time for the connection and relational intimacy of ending our day together. Sharing our feelings about our day, talking about tomorrow, and kissing each other goodnight….None of these can be rivaled.”
2. “We love the cuddling, talking, planning, not feeling alone in bed, and seeing each other before work.”
3. “For starters, going to bed together is the only time of day where we have true alone time. No kids, no other distractions. My wife and I are able to relax together and really talk about our day without any interruptions. We need that time to reconnect after a long day.”
4. “I don’t know about other couples, but going to bed together at the same time has definitely boosted our sex life.”
5. “Bedtime is when we like talking about our day, talking about what we can both do better for each other, planning out the next day, planning a date night, watching shows together, things like that.”
6. “Though it doesn’t often happen because of my husband’s health issues or different work schedules, I can definitely tell that going to bed at the same time and choosing to ask my husband a question about something he likes can be SO connecting for us even in our young marriage. I crave this time with him, and frankly, I WISH we did it more. I’ll often ask him to explain some of his favorite football plays or teach me about a time in history. He loves to feel intellectually pursued, and I love falling asleep to his voice!”
7. “We don’t always fall asleep at the same time because I’m a bad sleeper, but we do go to bed together, and I’ll play a game or look at my phone. Just so we can be by each other. We always prefer to be together. He always wants me to be by him even if my light keeps him awake.”
8. “I don’t know why or even how we started this habit, but we’ve gone to bed at the same time since day one. Being in bed together at the end of the day is the best. We’ve had more important conversations in our bed than anywhere else in our home. It’s the one time of the day where we get to cuddle and talk, uninterrupted. We reconnect on every level, which is always MUCH needed.”
9. “Um…. The SEX! I can’t tell you how important going to bed at the same time is for our sex life! We both work crazy schedules since we are both in the medical field, and a bedtime routine has been what has saved our sex life.”
10. “Before my husband started school, we would go to bed together, at the same time, every single night. When we go to bed simultaneously, I feel secure and safe with him next to me, and we feel more of a connection cuddled up together. It also keeps us consistent with our nightly couple’s prayer and gives us the chance to unwind together and talk.”
All couples answered “yes” when we asked if they had noticed a difference between going to bed together versus going to bed at different times. All couples also answered “yes” when we asked if they would recommend creating a habit of going to bed with their spouse. Needless to say, this is one of the most important healthy habits we recommend making in your marriage!
If you’d like to read into this more, check out Psychology Today’s article: If Your Partner’s In Bed, You Should Be, Too.
6. Schedule Weekly Date Nights
Remember when you first started dating your sweetie, and you did everything you could to win their heart? Marriage shouldn’t change that! We feel that continuing to woo each other after you’re married is SO important!
Regular date nights lead to healthy relationships. One of our lovely Divas wrote an entire post dedicated to why your marriage needs date nights.
We know it can be hard to find a babysitter, and we know that sometimes it’s hard to afford a fancy night out. Guess what? Dates can be done at home, and they don’t need to be expensive. It’s not WHAT you do for the date but WHY you do it. To spend quality time together, of course!
So, why should you make date night a habit? While researching this topic we came across this interesting study. The simple answer? Because date night strengthens your marriage.
How can it strengthen your marriage? For starters, alone time is much-needed, especially after you’ve had kids. Children are incredible little blessings, and they fill a home with so much love! However, children also need most of our attention, which sometimes takes attention away from our spouse.
Aside from kids, there are so many other distractions in our daily lives: work, school, friends, family, housework, and more. Unfortunately, these responsibilities can take our minds off of our spouse, too.
Date night gives you and your spouse the time to focus solely on each other. It’s a great way to refresh your relationship and give you both the love boost you need. It’s a reminder that your relationship is what is most important at the end of the day.
We love what A Prioritized Marriage says about regular date nights: “Date night improves communication. It keeps things between the two of you fresh and exciting. Date nights strengthen the romantic love in your relationship. And that time together increases commitment between husband and wife and helps you de-stress as a couple. Each of these five things contributes to a stronger relationship and a stronger marriage.”
We are the divas of dating your spouse… Dating is in our name, and we are here to help you and your spouse make date nights exciting and FUN! Check out our amazing date night resources.
7. Work On Your Sex Life
Let’s talk about sex! How important is sex in a marriage?
VeryWellMind answers that question perfectly: “Sex in a monogamous relationship increases your level of commitment and emotional connection with the other person. Expressing love through sex increases the likelihood of couples staying together. As a result, sex is positively associated with a lower divorce rate.”
Sex is an amazing way to physically connect with your spouse, but there is a remarkable level of emotional intimacy that comes from having sex, too. Sex with your spouse can be used to relieve stress, celebrate good news, boost your mood, and receive comfort.
“The burst of endorphins in the brain after sexual activity is responsible for helping couples bond during sex. It is not only about penetration and finishing, but the playful exploration that comes before it that will give you the most intimate moments with your partner. Both men and women need the passion, romance, and chemistry to show each other that their love is alive and doing well.” – First Cry Parenting
As if you needed more proof that sex should definitely be on your list of healthy habits, we loved these 10 Surprising Health Benefits of Sex. Yes, sex is good for your health! Talk about win-win, right?!
If you’re looking for ways to spice up your sex life we’ve got you covered there, too! Our 7 Day Sex Challenge is a Diva favorite. We also have an annual Sex Seminar that has been super helpful for hundreds of couples!
8. Take 15 Minutes For A Relationship Check-In
It always seems like the problems you have with your relationship surface when you’re in the middle of a conflict with your partner, right? Well, maybe not always. But we’re sure a lot of us have been there. You’re in the midst of arguing and you say, “I wish you helped around the house more!” or “I get really frustrated when you do ___.” Neither of these has anything to do with the conflict, but they come out of your mouth in the heat of the moment.
Looking for a way to end that cycle? Take 15 minutes per week (or per day!) to sit down with your spouse and discuss your relationship. Nothing else.
Do you have goals you want to work on as a couple? What about dreams for the future? Do you have something you have wanted to talk about for a while, but you weren’t sure how to bring it up? Is there something you want to work on as a couple? Do you have needs that need to be met?
These marriage check-ins don’t have to be serious every time. If there isn’t necessarily anything pressing your mind, take some time to reminisce about the early stages of your relationship! That way you stay on topic but the talk isn’t too heavy. Either way, sitting down and having marriage meetings will help both of you to discover if you’re on the same page.
Don’t know where to start? We’ve got you! We found this awesome Relationship Check-In Deck that gives you prompts for conversations.
It doesn’t matter what you discuss as long as the conversation is centered around your relationship. Trust us, this can be a game-changer for your marriage.
9. Do Your Best to Fight Fair
Before we begin, we feel the need to stress that conflict is normal. It’s inevitable.
“It’s a myth that if you solve your problems you’ll automatically be happy. We need to teach couples that they’ll never solve most of their problems.” – John Gottman
Read that again.
No relationship is perfect. Disagreements and arguments with your spouse will happen. Your healthy relationship is not dependent on the number of fights you don’t have. In fact, we believe quite the opposite. Since opposition is a normal part of human existence, it can only be expected that it will occur in marriages.
That being said, there is definitely a right and wrong way to have an argument. Here are 13 “rules” from Couple’s Therapy Inc. about how you can fight fair with your spouse:
1. Don’t fight in front of your kids.
2. Describe your feelings… Don’t become them.
3. Don’t fight in public.
4. It’s love…not war.
5. No ambushing.
6. No proxy problems.
7. Set a time limit for your fight.
8. Leave friends and family out of it.
9. Do a fight autopsy.
10. Take a break and make repair attempts along the way.
11. Remember the art of the Mulligan.
12. No kitchen sinking or kitchen thinking.
13. Watch your tone.
We highly recommend reading the full article since there is much more to be said along with each rule.
Bottom line: fighting and arguing do not determine the health of your relationship. How you fight and argue can, though. Do your best to implement these 13 rules and add any that may fit your relationship even better.
10. Perform Acts of Service For Each Other
“Serving others is the secret sauce to a happy life.” – Todd Stocker
Last, but definitely not least, take the time to serve your spouse.
Acts of service don’t have to be huge or life-changing. In fact, the small and simple acts of service are usually the ones that make the biggest difference. Waking up a few minutes early to get the coffee pot brewing, filling your spouse’s tank with gas, loading the dishes into the dishwasher, leaving an encouraging note on the mirror, or making the bed before you leave for work are all great examples of small acts that can have a big impact on your sweetie’s day.
We all have days where we could use a little extra help or even a little reminder that someone is thinking of us.
When it comes to serving those around you, your spouse should be at the top of your list. Taking a moment to stop and do something unexpected and kind for your spouse can be just what they need to get through a hard day or even the little boost of love they needed from you.
Here are 100 ways you can serve your spouse starting tomorrow!
Healthy Habits Challenge
So, what do you think? Are you up for the challenge of incorporating all 10 of these healthy habits into your marriage? It only takes 21 days for something new to become a habit. If you start today, you and your sweetheart will be on the road to a healthier, happier relationship in no time!
You’ve got this!
- 8 Benefits of Praying With Your Spouse by Mark Merill
- Why Is Marriage Important? from ChurchofJesusChrist.org
- Budgeting for Couples: How to Budget As A Couple by Fo Alexander
- How to Keep Housework From Hurting Your Marriage from VeryWellMind
- Why You Need An Accountability Buddy by CF Fitness
- 5 Reasons Why Couples Who Sweat Together, Stay Together by Theresa E. DiDonato Ph.D. from Psychology Today
- If Your Partner’s in Bed, You Should Be, Too. by Erin Leyba LCSW, Ph.D. from Joyful Parenting, published by Psychology Today
- Why Your Marriage Needs Date Night from The Dating Divas
- Why You Need to Make Date Night A Priority In Your Marriage from A Prioritized Marriage
- How Important Is Sex In A Relationship? by Sheri Stritof from VeryWellMind
- 7 Healthy Reasons You Should Have Sex…Right Now! by By Madeline R. Vann, MPH, Medically Reviewed by Justin Laube, MD from Everyday Health
- 10 Surprising Health Benefits of Sex by Kara Mayer Robinson from WebMD
- How Important Is Sex In Marriage? by Mrunal from First Cry Parenting
- Conflict Is A Normal and Natural Part of “Your Happily Ever After” by Aaron and April Jacob from NurturingMarriage.Org, published by The Gottman Institute
- 13 Fair Fighting Rules in Marriage by Danial Dashnaw from Couple’s Therapy Inc.
- What Is A Mulligan In Golf and How Can I Have A Mulligan In Marriage? by Daniel Dashnaw from Couple’s Therapy, Inc.
- Kitchen Sinking and Kitchen Thinking by Daniel Dashnaw from Couple’s Therapy Inc.
- 100 Ways to Serve Your Spouse by Aaron and April Jacob from Nurturing Marriage
- Sharing Chores A Key To Good Marriage, Say Majority of Married Adults by A.W. Geiger from the PEW Research Center
- It’s More than Sex: Exploring the Dyadic Nature of Sleep and Implications for Health by Wendy M. Troxel, PhD
- The Date Night Opportunity by W. Bradford Wilcox and Jeffrey Dew
Thanks for putting this together! I think sometimes it can be overwhelming to know where to START when we want a different outcome in our marriage – this list really simplifies things to give us good priorities and a fair starting point 🙂