Marriage is not an exact science, but there are ways around a stressful married life. The initial honeymoon phase of any relationship does not last forever, and eventually people realize that certain changes have to be made in order to live in harmony with another person. No matter how much you might feel in sync with your other half, there will always be things that you both disagree upon. This has nothing to do with relationship strength, but rather with the complexities of human nature, personality, and attachment traits.
Many couples start to grow apart as years pass because they have no idea how to strengthen and maintain emotional bonds. This can not only affect life at home by increasing stress, but it can also affect their work performance and social interactions. If the distance between partners is not addressed when it surfaces, but rather is left lingering for too long, the relationship may often end up with a breakup or a divorce. As a result, the couple may be left with deep emotional scars, a long grieving process, and a state of shock. Below are a few tested tips on how to “work” your relationship, have a happier married life, and have more balance when it comes to your emotional health. Yes, it is very much possible!
Reassess your partner’s needs: As years pass, the partner’s expectations from each other change as well. What your partner needed in the first year of marriage is not necessarily what they need in the seventh one. They still love you! It’s just that some things change. For example, taking care of household work or children might become more important in later years of marriage rather than going out every other day. Similarly, instead of making breakfast, they might prefer you make the bed after you get up. These are simple things, but when added together, they can either make or break a marriage.
Make your marriage or relationship top priority: The rule that marriage is number one and anything else comes second is pretty true. If your partner and your marriage are at the top of your priority list, this will help create less problems, which could also leave you more time to your work or other activities. This will also give your partner a sense of importance that they have the right place in your heart. Putting other things aside and taking some time off just to talk to your partner and/or to listen how their day went can help stabilize a crumbling marriage or relationship.
Keep your marriage or relationship fun with your partner: People tend to see marriage as an accomplishment and end-goal. This may not true. Marriage is like a continuously unfolding adventure that keeps both partners excited and interested. So keep things interesting between yourself and your partner and have fun! Small surprises never hurt anybody. Occasionally buying your partner flowers or showing some other token of gratitude may help keep the love budding between the two of you.
Never keep a score: Relationships are not a game so there is no point in keeping scores. Doing something for your partner only if he or she did something for you will not work. Similarly, fighting with your partner because they fought with you only creates barriers among couples. Couples who keep score rarely have a lasting and meaningful relationship. Therefore, try respecting your partner’s personal space, and if they hurt you in any way, try your best to discuss it instead of fighting/ Oftentimes, although not always, forgiving is much preferred.
Do not give or take the silent treatment: Most of the time, people believe that what is done is done, and there is no point in talking about what happened. This can be harmful in a lot of ways. Yes, there may be no point in fighting about the same problem over and over again, but what it is more important is to take some time, then to sit down and politely express each other’s feelings to one another while reflectively listening to each other, validating their emotions, and creating any (possible) solutions together. This will help create connection, and a deep sense of understanding between the parties.
Always remember why you got married: With time, some couples might grow apart and forget the love they once had. It’s the little things that matter sometimes, so try to remember those small, yet significant things that made you fall in love with each other all those years ago. Take out old pictures you have of each other together. Rethink the times you spent together. This can help solidify the bond couples have together as it helps the couple jog up past, positive memories together.
Keep compliments coming: Compliments are the anchor to any marriage, if truth be told. Many couples report that compliments later in married life actually mean more than compliments in the earlier days of marriage. It feels good to feel appreciated so make sure you find the time to praise them. If they are working hard or if they did something different for you, don’t forget to mention it and what it means to you.
Have a sense of humor: There is no point in being uptight all the time, especially with your spouse. It pays to be carefree around the person you love, so try to throw out a joke and have a sense of humor. This will bring down any internal nervousness you might be feeling together.
Cook together: The experience that any couple has while cooking a good meal can be more rewarding than just ordering a pizza. Make cooking together an occasional habit. This can help you get in sync with your partner, and the sensory experience of cooking could also strengthen the bond and relationship further over time.
Accept your partner’s snappy moments:It happens to every one of us. When we are stressed we might snap at people, even those we love. This does not mean that the love has decreased in anyway. It is actually a sign that you partner might be stressed. It may help to try to talk about what might be causing that stress, if they are open to doing so.
If you’re ready to experience open communication, embrace change, and growing together get in touch with us at Century City Counseling.