Marriage is an exciting commitment. There is nothing quite as adventurous as promising to love one person for the rest of your life!
The longer you have been married, though, it often feels like there is a lot less to look forward to. The beginnings were filled with anticipation for a future together. Now that you are living out that end, you have always looked forward to it, and it can leave you wondering: what now?
Strong and happy marriages are not those that are always just fun and romantic. It is an unreasonable demand to make of your wedding! A committed marriage weathers the many storms of life through a healthy relationship.
You may be in a spot where it seems harsh to find meaning in your marriage, or you could simply be hoping to avoid various pitfalls in yours. Wherever you are, these are some tried-and-tested tips to make sure your marriage lasts.
Never Be Too Busy for Each Other
One of the biggest killers of joy in marriage is making other things your priority before each other. Here is how to keep putting your spouse first.
1. Celebrate special occasions together.
Do you take the time to celebrate each other’s victories? Do you do something for each other’s birthdays and your anniversary? Don’t neglect these milestones.
If you haven’t done it in a while, do something romantic for your next celebration. Visit jewelry stores in your area to find a meaningful anniversary gift, for instance. If you still celebrate your month series and anniversary from when you were dating, why not make a reservation at the restaurant where you had your first date?
These don’t just have to be about significant events. Little wins also merit celebrations. Successful presentations at work, accomplishing month-long diet plans, and other small things deserve appreciation, too.
2. Go to bed together.
Individual responsibilities can make it challenging to have your schedules align with each other. Don’t let the busyness keep you from spending time together, even at the end of the day.
Make sure to put the kids to sleep early to have more time for yourself and each other. Commit to going to bed together so you can give each other much-needed intimacy and affection as you rest.
Unequal distribution of labor at home can cause a lot of stress on the busier party. It also leads to resentment and conflict if left unacknowledged. Reassess how you divide work at home and see if one person in the household primarily shoulders the bulk of it.
These can occur without you realizing it, but improve on them immediately when you see these blind spots. Ask each other if anything has been particularly difficult for the other and offer to take some load. If you struggle to accomplish your chores, ask for help, too.
Nurture a Culture of Openness
As your marriage progresses, things become more routine. But don’t let this make you complacent. Remain present in the relationship.
1. Show affection for each other.
When was the last time you cuddled with your spouse? Do you still kiss each other in the morning and before you go to bed? These are small acts, but they are a quiet show of support and endearment for your spouse.
Also, did you know you release oxytocin, also known as the feel-good hormone, when you give and receive physical affection? Yes, science agrees that you can become healthier and happier through hugs and kisses!
2. Don’t go to bed angry.
Disagreements do not always have to result in arguments. But this requires patience and humility from both of you to work.
When you feel a conflict arising, don’t devolve into making accusations at your partner. Discuss how you think about the situation, and then take the time to hear their side.
In moments where you both feel unable to have a proper conversation, take some time to calm down, but always come back to discuss the matter calmly. Bringing your negative emotions to bed can breed ill feelings that turn into grudges.
3. Talk about things that matter to you.
Do you still talk with your spouse? We don’t mean about the kids or your bills or whatever repairs the house needs. We suggest talking to each other—about your random thoughts, your hopes, your fears.
Do not give up on getting to know your partner, even years down the road. You are both still growing as people. This means there is still so much for you to learn about each other, so don’t miss out on the unique opportunity to grow closer together.