Five Small Ways You Can Improve Your Marriage
The “honeymoon” phase in any marriage isn’t going to last a lifetime. Things between you and your spouse may suddenly seem “different” but let’s face it, relationships change. Relationships change because as individuals, we are constantly changing.
While marriage is a wonderful part of life, it’s not always an easy one. Factor in differences in personalities, those little annoying habits that you once thought were so cute, caring for your children, paying the mortgage, health issues, (the list could go on) and you start wondering “what did I get myself into?”
Just know that it’s normal for any relationship to evolve over time. As I stated earlier, our relationships change because we as individuals change. Your marriage doesn’t have to suffer as a result of that process though.
Let me tell you something, relationships can and do work. You just have to be willing to put forth the time and effort that it takes to make it work.
If you’ve noticed that things are a bit off with you and your sweetie lately, or if you seem to be having arguments over the smallest of things, reconnect and improve your marriage by incorporating these strategies into your daily lives.
If you have been harboring unforgiveness for something that happened last year, or last week for that matter, let it go! It becomes hard to move forward in your relationship when one (or both) people are stuck in the past.
Identify those things that you need to let go of. After that make sure that you don’t bring them up again. Oooooh, chile, trust me – It! Is! Hard! I know because I was the queen of bringing up past hurt and throwing it back in my husband’s face.
But if you truly want things to progress in your marriage, you’ve got to be willing to completely forgive so that you can move forward. I mean, we all make mistakes.
Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Did I mention communicate?
When it comes to having a good marriage, effective communication is a must. Not only do you have to learn how to communicate your expectations and desires so that your spouse will have a chance at fulfilling them, but you have to learn how to communicate in a way that doesn’t lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings.
Learn to be a good listener as well. Oftentimes we aren’t listening to understand what our partner is trying to communicate to us, we are simply listening so that we can give a response. Be an active listener so that you can actually hear their heart and understand what it is they are trying to get across to you.
This is something that may take a little time, especially if the two of you are not good at communicating with one another. But as you intentionally practice it, things will get better over time.
Get into the habit of showing your mate affection every day. And I am not just talking about affection inside of the bedroom. Do simple things like greeting one another with a kiss. Give each other a hug and kiss before leaving for work each day. Hold hands or cuddle while you are watching television.
But don’t let your affection become robot-like. Instead of hurried kisses, take the time to relish the moment and look into each other’s eyes when being affectionate. According to research recently published by Kory Floyd, author and associate professor of Arizona State University’s Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, affection can lower blood sugar levels, and lower the risk of depression and stress.
Enjoy Activities Together
Do something regularly that bonds the two of you. For instance, try waking up early so that you can enjoy your morning coffee together, spend 15 minutes chatting before going to sleep at night, or how about setting aside your Fridays nights for each other.
I like to make it a point to enjoy some of the things that my husband loves. For instance, I am not particularly fond of watching boring sci-fi movies – yes, I said boring. But sci-fi is something that he loves, and so I indulge him. I’ll fix us a huge bowl of popcorn along with some drinks and we’ll enjoy an evening of sci-fi.
By having a “couples ritual”, you are making an active decision to create space in your life just for your spouse. After all, your relationship with your spouse is one of the most important you’ll ever have.
Show Your Appreciation
Go out of your way to show your spouse how much you appreciate them. Instead of focusing on all of the things your spouse does wrong, be intentional about acknowledging the things he or she does right. A simple “honey, thank you for taking out the trash this morning” or midday phone call saying “I was just thinking of you” can go a long way in making a person feel loved.
We as human beings need to feel validated or appreciated. When that validation doesn’t occur, people tend to look for it elsewhere. Do your part in making sure to acknowledge and appreciate them every time you have the chance.
I am not a relationship expert, but my husband and I make it a point to practice these tips daily. Are there times when we mess up – yes! But we start all over again, and our marriage has been so much better because of it.
I love this. When they say marriage is a lot of work, most people think it just means putting up with each other’s mistakes. But the real work is keeping the marriage happy just by being happy together.
You’re absolutely right! Thanks for reading Ben.
Love Love your post!! Marriage does take a lot of work. When the ‘honeymoon’ phase ends you have to try even harder to make your marriage special. My parents always said make sure the person you marry you will be interested in being alone with them again after the kids are gone because then it is just the 2 of you.
Such a true statement Romy. Your parents gave wonderful advice. Thanks for reading.
Great reminder for couples who have married for a long time. These tips seem easy and all we need to do is practice them with our heart and love and before you know it, you will see the result.
It is so often the case that we can seem to fall out of love, but i truly believe that my husband is my soul mates, we all have our ups and downs and we have to be there for one another we have to show affection and communicate well, great post thanks
Great post, it may seem that we fall out of love but i truly believe my husband is my soul mate and its so important to communicate
This is great advice and it seems more neede each day. It seems that people are throwing in the towel and getting divorces before ever trying to make it work. It can be difficult at times but in the end it is easier to be with who you were meant to be with rather than moving on. The hardest part for me is moving on from issues, even the littlest things for me can be hard to move on from but I constantly work on it and hope to be better each day.
Communication is key. Great thoughts and reminders for couples!
Communication and appreciation are the base of any relationship that you want to have long term, healthy and ever growing. Thank you for sharing this with us.
These are all great tips. Marriages take work and constant effort. One I have myself is to pray for your partner. It can really make a difference.
Prayer is definitely important!
Rose A (@mail4rosey)
I love that you’re writing tips to help improve marriage. It seems like a disposable thing for so many these days, and the implications for that are huge, esp. for families.
These are just little things that you have mentioned, but it does mean a lot in a relationship to make the marriage last such as being affectionate and communicating.
These are all great tips and even helpful for regular relationships! Great post.
Really enjoyed this. Such great reminders that sometimes see easily forgotten. I am so madly in love with my husband but it takes work to STAY IN LOVE. Every single day we make a solid effort and that’s why it works. Thanks for sharing such an inspirational post.
It certainly takes effort. Thank you Ginger!
Marriage is not easy and your points are bang on. Without these things your marriage will suffer.
Nice reading these positive thoughts and tips. They never get old and I always feel like reading them for the first time.
I am not yet married but forgiveness and communication re so important to have in any marriage.