Six Important Tips to Sustain your Marriage and Stay Together
Here are 6 tips to rekindle the romance and get the spark back into your relationship.
Reclaim Date Night
Remember when you would stay up all night talking on the phone to one another, or just sit in the car in the driveway because you weren’t ready for the date to be over, and you just wanted to hear his/her voice a little longer? As work, kids, and life got in the way, going out to dinner and spontaneous adventures waned. Don’t give up your date night just because your responsibilities have grown! It is necessary to continue to play together, try new things, and continue to have alone time. At least once a month, maybe once a week if your schedule permits it, mark it on the calendar to go out on a date together. Do something you enjoyed before marriage, or try something completely new. Time without the kids now and then is essential to a healthy marriage. Get dressed up, or just be casual—whatever fits your personality. Here’s the best part: dates don’t have to be costly. Raising a family is expensive and requires adhering to a budget. There are plenty of inexpensive or free ways to enjoy a night/day out together! The farmer’s market, street fairs, a movie in the park, or other community events are always novel options. Studies show that engaging in new activities with one another improves relationships and brings partners closer to one another. Do something fun, something energizing!
Set Boundaries with Your Children and Careers
For many, our careers are one of our proudest accomplishments and highest priorities. Don’t feel like you have to give up your work, but remember that your spouse deserves and needs attention.
Your children require enriching activities, must be taken here and there, play sports, and probably consume the majority of your time, but the kids need to see their parents loving and caring for one another. Set limits on how much you will work each week. Put the kids to bed early one night a week to just get some alone time in the evening before bed. Just having dinner alone at home can be extremely refreshing. Having at least 30 minutes of quality time together each day ensures that you can listen and empathize with your partner, and keep up with exactly what is going on with him/her. It’s very important to share things with your partner: what’s bothering you, what’s making you happy, and what is upsetting you. Contrary to the way movies portray relationships, your husband or wife is not a mind reader. Getting to know each other does not stop at “I do.”
Give Each Other Space
It is not a bad thing to have independent interests. In fact, it is good to continue the things you enjoyed before marriage, or before you met your partner. It’s common to lose yourself in a relationship and lose sight of who you are as an individual. Carry on with the things you love to do! If he loves playing golf, he should do so, just as you love having girls’ days at the spa or horseback riding. You should be sure to set boundaries regarding whom your partner shares their individual interests with. If you’re uncomfortable with him hanging out with other women, he should respect your feelings and go out with male friends—and that rule goes both ways. Don’t be surprised if you both start to appreciate having new things to share with one another. The old saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” may indeed be true after you share a fulfilling day apart.
Surprise Your Partner
It’s so nice to know that our partner is thinking about us, and cares enough to do something thoughtful. It’s easy to become busy and unintentionally neglect one another, or forget to show affection. Simple things can be done to show your partner in a huge way that you love him/her. Order flowers to be sent to her office, have his favorite meal ready for him when he comes home after a long day, plan a special weekend getaway, leave notes in his briefcase, book her a massage—there are many ways that your actions can scream “I LOVE YOU!”
Make A Point of Expressing Feelings
Instead of letting many different things that bother you accumulate over a period of time, until you finally boil over and explode into an inconsolable mess, as soon as you are faced with something you don’t like or want to talk about, write it down and address it that day! Making a point of squashing the dilemmas as they come up will prevent huge fights and a build up of too many emotions. Your partner doesn’t want you to carry negative emotions around. Most people want to avoid major conflict and don’t want their loved one feeling upset. So do express to him/her when you are bothered by something—your partner wants to know and will appreciate the honesty.
This may be the most difficult tip to abide by. Expect to have disagreements and to be angry with your partner now and then, especially when something does not go as planned. However, you should not call each other hurtful names or make statements in haste. Be weary that what you say cannot be taken back. Words do hurt. Don’t say, “I don’t love you,” “I hate you,” or “I’m leaving,” just because things get heated. Also, you should avoid fighting in front of your kids at all costs. Before you get into an argument, think about whether the issue is worth it at all. Small issues are sometimes best left to roll off your shoulder. Pick your battles. Nit-picking is never a good idea. For example, does it matter if it was you or him that forgot to turn the lights off? Life will go on if the electric bill goes up a few dollars, but it can be detrimental if your partner begins to feel that you are nagging, and thus a relationship decline starts to occur.
Take action to improve your marriage today! If you want to be proactive, reignite a spark in your relationship, or give your marriage a jumpstart, give us a call at Total Life Counseling. It would be our pleasure to guide you along in bettering your marriage.
Call us at (469) 757-5215