6 Ways to Keep Your Marriage Strong While Living With Others

by |

T

he past six months have felt like a whirlwind. Back in June, our landlord decided to sell the house that we’d lived in for four years. We had been extremely blessed to rent a four bedroom house for the cost of a studio in one of the country’s most expensive real estate markets. Sadly, it was time to move on. In those four years, rent has skyrocketed to the point that we can barely afford a one-bedroom apartment, and even that is only with significant cuts to our already-tight monthly budget.

Thankfully we were able to rent a room from a good friend in her home for a few months while we build up our savings. The rent is quite a bit cheaper than having a place all to ourselves. The shared space has been a big blessing and has helped us to save some money as well. However, it does come with its own challenges.

While being in this phase, Jess and I have had to learn to adapt to a new set of challenges. These are likely familiar to any couple who lives with others. We’ve had to learn to make a new, shared place “home”, at least temporarily. If you’re living with others, there are a few steps you can take to make sure your marriage doesn’t suffer.

Steps you can take

  1. Spend more frequent and deliberate time together
  2. If you’re in a shared area most of the time (like a living room with roommates), it’s easy to focus on shared activities. That’s not a bad thing, but be sure you’re spending time alone with your spouse as well, even if it’s just to watch your favorite show or go on a walk. Our marriage is the most important human relationship we have and we need to spend the time to make sure it has the attention it needs.

  3. Keep conflict under wraps
  4. Every couple has some small disagreements, but it’s best not to involve others unless they’re counselors, mentors, or friends that will encourage the unity of your marriage. It’s easy to use the social awkwardness of conflict in front of other people as a weapon against your spouse, but it’s a bad idea. Not only does it not help the conflict, but it can create deeper issues later on.


    “Every couple has some small disagreements, but it’s best not to involve others unless they’re counselors, mentors, or friends that will encourage the unity of your marriage.”

    Share Tweet


  5. Make sure you get some time to yourself
  6. If you’re an introvert like me, being in a place where every area is shared space (whether it’s the living room shared with others or the bedroom shared with your spouse) can be taxing. If this is you, be sure to find a way to get your alone time. For me, I get up a few hours before everyone else to read my bible and pray. Nobody else is up, so it’s quiet and peaceful, and my introvert batteries can recharge.

  7. Schedule separate days off
  8. Jess and I each work four-day workweeks most weeks. She has a set day off, and I can choose mine. I usually schedule a different day off so we can both have the place to ourselves for a day. It helps her to focus and work on her schoolwork and it helps me to have the quiet to work on our ministry (and sneak in a 20-minute nap!). We’re working, but it’s downtime too. If you both work the same hours each week, then see if you can do a night out so that your spouse can have time to themselves for a bit. We all love to be with our spouses, but alone time is necessary–and healthy–too.

  9. Communicate expectations even more
  10. It’s always good to communicate your expectations, but it’s especially important when there are lots of opportunities for misunderstanding.

  11. Don’t make it permanent
  12. Before choosing to live with someone else(including with family), make sure you have a game plan for moving out and a specific time frame. Living with others can be difficult, especially when you’re married and in their home. It’s hard to fully develop into the roles God has called us to as husband and wife when we’re sharing space with others who have a say in our living situation. It’s best to keep it temporary as far as it’s in our control.

For me, working to implement these steps has helped me adjust easily to what, as an introvert, has been a big life change.

Overall, it can be fun to spend a season of life with other people. Just make sure you keep your marriage as the top priority and you’ll come out of it even stronger and have some fun memories too!

Have you ever lived with other people in addition to your spouse (and kids)? How did you adjust? Share what worked for you in the comments below…

Will you join us?

Have you been blessed by our ministry? Do you want to help bless others? If so, we’d be honored if you’d pray about partnering with us.

Our mission is to encourage and challenge couples to have a solid foundation built on Christ. Because when couples have their foundation rooted in Jesus, they are then empowered to do whatever God has laid upon their hearts.

Want to join the mission to help couples have awesome marriages? And also get early access to new content? Partner with us today.

Want to dig deeper?

Check out Radiant Marriage Academy, our free 16-lesson course!

Tiptoes

(Fully free. No catch.)

adam & Jess

Hi, we’re Adam & Jess--we’re so glad you’re here!

Our marriage got off to a rocky start in 2014 and quickly escalated into a full-out crisis. God healed us, and now we're inviting you to walk with us as we all journey toward healthier marriages together!

7 Days to an Awesome Marriage

Check out our free eBook and connect with your spouse!


7 Days to a More Intimate Marriage

Follow Us

Treasuring the Tiny Moments

The goal for the day was simple...Get food for dinner and prepare a delicious meal for our friends who were coming over (while still social distancing). I had gone to the store and had everything that I needed...except for the fish. I was planning on making fish with...

Choosing Your Spouse Over Your Checklist

We published an image of a quote on our social media not too long ago, and it struck me in just how profound it is. The quote, by D.L. Moody, is this: “If I wanted to find out whether a man was a Christian, I wouldn’t go to his minister. I would go and ask his...

How to Love Your Spouse Through Their Rough Day

There I was in my car in the garage processing through the events of my day. You know those days where everything just seems to go wrong? This was that day. From dropping a smoothie onto the floor in the morning to having a rough interaction with a friend to work...

7 Game-Changer Questions to Fight Disconnection in Your Marriage

Have you ever gotten to a place in your marriage where you felt completely disconnected from your spouse...and didn't have a clue how you got there? In these times, it can be so easy to ignore the problem and become apathetic. In the moment, ignoring things seems like...

10 At-Home Activities to Do as a Couple

Let’s be honest. The past few weeks have been a bit insane. Have you been going a bit stir crazy? Have you craved being with your friends or family? Do you miss hugs? Are you finding yourself losing track of days and time? Us too. In the midst of being under “shelter...

4 Ways to Take Charge of Anxiety

Army. Green. Couch. Can you picture it? Now hold onto that image and I’ll come back to it. If you have read my posts for any length of time, you know that I struggle with anxiety. It wasn’t until recently, however, that I realized how much I can fixate on things…...

Faith in the Midst of Uncertainty

I t was dinner time when we found out that Washington had issued a “shelter in place” mandate. While we live in Idaho, Adam works in Washington. And Washington was the first of the two to issue the mandate. Like many of you who have these state rules right now, we...

7 Ways to Grow Your Marriage During COVID

This last week has been insane. I feel like I woke up on Friday last week and the world had started to end. Grocery stores were being emptied, in-person church services had been canceled, schools were closed, and my graduate program was put on hold...and I couldn’t...

Abandoned, Alone, and Afraid

Abandoned, alone, and afraid. These three words have been the theme of my feelings over the last month or so. We're in this weird stage of life where so much about our current situation feels unsettled and nothing is secure. Our finances, not having a home base, our...

Building Momentum in Your Marriage

Having a great marriage isn’t based on one moment, one action, or one success, but rather a pattern of right actions (and corrected wrong actions) over time. This may seem obvious--doing the right thing is commonly best practice--but the effects are less obvious. It’s...

Want to build an awesome marriage?

Get started with Radiant Marriage Academy, a 16-lesson online course to help you build an awesome marriage.

The best part? Thanks to our patrons, it's completely FREE. No credit card. No upsell. No catch. Just great, free marriage tools to help you make your marriage awesome.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest