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Life is a series of storms that hit followed by periods of calm. For some couples the storm may be the death of a child, parent or loved one. For others it may be a severe physical or emotional illness. And for some it may be the loss of a job. Life's storms come in all shapes, sizes and durations. As much as we would like to avoid them no one has ever been able to outrun or find a place where the storms of life can not reach them.

Depending on how we face the storm it can either strengthen us or destroy us as a couple. If we choose to to face the storms of life together we can not only survive them but grow closer and stronger than ever before.

The following are a few tips to help you survive these storms together.

The most important tip is to strengthen your marital relationship before the storms of life hit. It is virtually impossible to strengthen the foundation of a beach house in the midst of a hurricane. The same is true for marriages. That is why it is important to take the time to strengthen your marriage now. If there are cracks in your relationship then you should forgive each other and heal the cracks as soon as possible. The storms in life have the amazing ability to expose any cracks in your relationship and widen them during a storm. The stronger the foundation of your marital house the less likely you will have major marital problems during one of life's storms. For lots of specific ideas on how you can strengthen your marital relationship visit

The second tip comes from the animal kingdom. Penguins in Antarctica have learned that if they are to survive the harsh winter storms they must move closer together as the intensity of the storm increases.

We are often tempted to want to ride out the storms life by ourselves. While this may decrease the amount of emotional pain we experience it also tends to isolate us from our spouse. After the storm passes we often find we have drifted apart emotionally when we use this survival technique. And in the end this emotional separation will cause far more emotional pain than if we would have opened ourselves emotionally to our spouse.

The key is to allow your spouse to help bare your emotional burden and for you to do the same for your spouse. The only way to do this is to share how you are feeling. Sharing does leave you vulnerable emotionally. Many people are fearful of criticism, contempt, or that in some way their spouse will make fun of what they have shared. In almost all cases this fear is unfounded. It is true when we bare our soul it leaves us vulnerable to additional pain at a time when the pain level is already overwhelming. But it can also lead to an emotionally intimate bonding experience unlike anything you have ever known before in your life. This will not only strengthen you as a couple but will provide you with the ability to weather the storm.

As your spouse shares his or her burdens listen with a compassionate, non-judgmental ear. Try to feel what he or she is feeling so you can gain a greater understanding of where he or she is coming from.

Some spouse's may not feel they are ready to share their burden's and will reject your offers of assistance. As hard as it may seem at the time be patient and let them know your arms are always open.

When your spouse is ready, listen compassionately and develop a plan together on how you will weather the storm and rebuild your lives after the storm passes.

It is also tempting to self-medicate the emotional pain we feel during these storms using methods that provide temporary relief but which leave us worse off. Alcohol, shopping sprees, and overeating are just few examples. Make a list of things you can do together to alleviate some of the pain you will experience during these storms. Examples include exercising together, holding each other, watching an uplifting movie, listening to inspiring music, etc.

All of life's storms eventually end. Each time a storm ends take the time to assess the state of your marriage and make improvements where needed.

By building a strong marital relationship you will be able to survive anything that life throws at you.

Click here to learn how you can print this tip as a pamphlet.

Click on the play buttons below to watch the music slide shows about the little baby girl that inspired this tip or click here to read more about her amazing 48 minute life.

Click the play button on the images below to listen to music slideshows about Zion-Grace Elizabeth Larson

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If you would like to own a copy of this song as sung by the original songwriter click here

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