What is a marriage toolbox?
My husband and I frequently talk about the concept of a “tool box” for our relationship. If I were a carpenter, I would have certain tools in my tool box to accomplish different jobs. If I were into scrap booking, I would have many different types of tools and accessories to accomplish different jobs. If I were into hunting, I would have several different types of guns and their accessories to shoot different things. We make a daily effort to build our relationship skills and put those tools into our marriage tool box so we can pull them out when we need to.
Through these conversations we have decided that our marriage should receive far more time devoted to it than any of our hobbies.
Greg and I both have activities we enjoy, most of them we do together as a couple so there isn’t much room for building something outside of each other, but there is always an opening for our marriage to become second if we would allow it. We feel that we should put at least the same time, emotional and financial investments into our marriage that we would any of our other hobbies or interests.
We find that sometimes people wait to invest in their marriage until it is in crisis mode and they are in need of help saving it, we don’t want to be those people.
If our marriage were a 401(k) it would make the most sense for us to slowly put in effort every month and watch it grow for a big payoff in retirement. Investing in our marriage is one of the most important things we can do. Taking the time to fill our tool box along the way gives us many more options to chose from when tough times come. Couples can spend time in small groups or work shops learning communication skills, how to fight fair, how to physically meet each others needs, what each others needs are, the list could go on forever.
You don’t go to a gun show because your gun is broken.
Many people think that if you are going to a small group or a workshop, that there has to be something wrong in your marriage. Wise people choose to go to workshops and small groups to learn skills to cope when something does go wrong. If you look within your community, you will undoubtedly find people like Greg and I offering groups for married people looking to grow. There are also online or in home options for marriage building available in any number of topics.
Building into your marriage today may keep it from crumbling later, start your tool box, you might be surprised what it can help you fix in the future.