Episode 26 – The Compound Effect In Marriage

“By Small and simple things are great things brought to pass.” The little things we do to build and strengthen our marriage add up.  They compound.  What small choices are you making daily that contribute the demise or the strengthening of your marriage?

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Show Summary:

My mentor and teacher Brooke Castillo recently did a podcast on the Compound Effect and I really loved what she said.  The concept of compounding can be applied in so many areas of our life.  But I really wanted to focus on what the compounding effect does in our marriages.

Most of us know what compound interest is right?  It’s the concept that interest is added back to the principal sum so that interest is earned on that added interest during the next compounding period. 

The same principal applies in life.  Any area that you want to become better in, growth and change starts small and is slow.  But over time, Growth is NEVER Linear. That growth is exponential.  (Erik, The Mastermind Within). 

How does this apply to marriage? It’s all the little things we do for our spouse that add up.

It’s not the grand gestures (although those are nice sometimes too) but it’s the little things.

  • The kisses hello and goodbye
  • The things you do just because
  • The little bits of service day by day
  • The kind word
  • The compliment
  • The note of appreciation 

They add up. To a lot. 

A successful marriage is built daily in the small insignificant choices that you make. That is the compound effect. 

Think about something small you could do for your spouse every single day.  It may not seem like much but you multiply that by 365…that’s a lot in a year!  All those little things makes a huge difference in your marriage.

If you are struggling in your marriage, starting out small makes it easier to get things moving in the right direction.  A kind word every day.  A small act of service every day.  Over time it compounds and changes happen.

Cristina Franco in the October 2018 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints said “Love is made sacred through sacrifice.  It’s the love behind the action.” 

When we do small acts of service, when we sacrifice for our spouse, love is built.  

In The Book of Mormon, Alma 37:6 it says “By Small and simple things are great things brought to pass.”

Have you ever noticed how a drip, while it may seem insignificant at first, if not taken care of, can very quickly fill up a sink, or a bucket, or a bathtub?

Why not drip POSITIVITY into your marriage?

Dr. Gary Chapman of the books the 5 love languages and the 4 seasons of marriages talks about adding to our partners love bank.  All these little things we do makes deposits into our partners love bank.

Dr. Gottman, of the Gottman Institute also says that when couples fight, its usually not about the big things we think about; finances, sex, parenting, etc. But it’s about how one partner may not pay much attention to the other’s needs or express much interest in the things that their partner cares about.  But when we DO those small things, that shows our partner that we see their needs and what they care about, and it bring us closer to our partner and you connect easier.

Now let’s look at the flip side.

Think about the Grand Canyon.  How vast and huge it is.  But it was created over a very very very long time.  Little bits of dirt and sand were slowly washed away until this HUGE canyon was eventually created.

Is a canyon slowly being created in your marriage as little bits slowly get washed away?  An unkind word, a negative attitude, ingratitude, or not recognizing our partners interests and needs? 

I was reading an article in the October Ensign Magazine about King David from the Old Testament.  He was a GOOD man and a GOOD king, but it was a series of SMALL choices that eventually led to his downfall.

It said ”David’s downfall was not determined by one fatal mistake but rather a series of increasingly unwise and selfish decisions. It is important to remember that at any time during this devastating progression, David could have chosen to humble himself and seek repentance. Tragically, however, David admitted his guilt only after he was confronted by the prophet Nathan (see 2 Samuel 12:13). And while the Lord offers forgiveness to those who fully repent, He does not necessarily remove the negative consequences of sinful behavior. As President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) taught, “It is better to prepare and prevent than it is to repair and repent.”

So what small choices are we making daily that contribute to the demise of our marriages?  What small choices could we be making instead that will build our marriages, fill our partners love bank, strengthen and unite us?

This week I want you to think of ONE small thing you can do each day that will build your marriage and build up your partner.

If you need some ideas, you can download a FREE PDF “5 Things you can do today to strenghten your marriage.

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