Finding someone you want to spend the rest of your life with is the most wonderful and exciting moment in your life. As stressful as wedding planning may be, the excitement of starting your new life together overshadows any stress you may feel. Then your wedding day comes, and it’s the happiest day of your life. You are finally ready to start your new life as husband and wife.
The early stages of your marriage are filled with love and excitement. Known as the honeymoon stage, everything your spouse does fills you with butterflies and delight. However, as time goes by, some of that spark you felt seems dimmer and dimmer. This isn’t to say that the love and excitement are gone, but it doesn’t appear to be there as often and as strong as before.
Marriages are not as easy as you’d like them to be. Just because you made the decision to tie the knot does not mean that all of your problems would be solved. Marriage takes effort, care, focus, and selflessness to build a strong foundation. In times of worry and distress, there are ways to strengthen your marriage to create a long, satisfying, and loving life together.
Tips to strengthen your marriage:
- Focus on the Small Moments: During the honeymoon stage, every little thing your spouse did would bring you joy and happiness. Every intricacy of their character would intrigue you and bring you closer to them. But as time passes, these little moments and traits don’t hold the same charm they once did. Some may even grow to become irritating to you. Early on in your marriage, it felt like second nature to make those small moments and traits feel like pivotal experiences, now with the flame dimming, you have to make an intentional effort to maintain that feeling and that relationship you once had. This involves you tuning into and actively participating in what your spouse is doing. Show them that you are genuinely interested in what they are doing and who they are. If you feel as if that feeling isn’t being reciprocated, ask to sit down and have a discussion with your partner.
- Show Interest in their Interests: Just because you are now married does not mean that you and your spouse have to share every interest with each other. You are both still your own separate beings with your own unique personalities. However, you can still enjoy the time spent engaging in one of their interests. Open yourself up to doing things you wouldn’t do on your own. You may not actually enjoy the activity or interest in general, but you may find that you just enjoy spending these moments with your partner and watching them get excited and geek out about something they are passionate about.
- Communicate: While this may seem obvious, communication will always remain an integral part of a long and happy relationship. When sharing your thoughts, feelings, and dreams with your spouse, you begin to create an intimacy that no other aspect can build. Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts with them. Show them that you want them to know everything going on in your life, even something as mundane as your day at work. You must also be willing to listen whenever your partner shares something with you. Communication is not a one-way street. Show them that you genuinely care about what they have to say.
- Love the Way They Love to Be Loved: Yes, there are ways that you can show your spouse that you love them, from just saying you love them to doing something nice for them without being asked. However, everyone is different, and everyone has a way of being loved that best fits who they are as an individual. Gary Chapman wrote a book discussing The 5 Love Languages, suggesting that there are five distinct ways in which individuals give and receive love. Learning which one best suit your spouse is a crucial key to loving them how they wish to be.
- Be Happy on Your Own: Even though you both made a commitment to love and to serve each other for the rest of your lives, it is important to make sure that you are happy on your own and that you love yourself. You cannot properly love another if you don’t properly love yourself. It is not fair to put all of your problems onto your partner. This can create resentment and strain on your relationship. Some things need to be settled by you. This is not to say never go to your spouse in times of duress, but you need to know when there’s a problem you can handle it on your own. When you both come together as two happy individuals, the love that you share as a couple can become stronger.
Marriages can be incredibly difficult. Yes, they are fun and exciting, but they can also become stagnant and lacking. You have to step back and analyze where you need to focus your time and energy into your relationship to sustain a loving, long marriage. If you and your spouse need help to rekindle that spark you once had, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about marriage counseling.