Marriage is perhaps the most rewarding, albeit challenging, things a person will ever do in their life. It takes work, time, and commitment to maintain a healthy and long marriage, which can simply be too much for some. Over time, the initial feelings of excitement you had about that special someone and marriage, in general, will likely fade. One of the most important keys to a long marriage is to make sure both people are happy, healthy, and committed. There is certainly nothing wrong with settling into the routine of marriage, but it’s when things get a little too comfortable that problems may arise. Whether you’ve been married for one year, five, or 35, ensuring the flame of the relationship is still alive and well is imperative.
If you and your significant other choose to have kids, giving your marriage the time and attention it deserves often takes a backseat. Not only are you focusing on your children, but being a parent can be exhausting and stressful. It can be easy to take this stress out on your partner, but this is not the way. Spending time with your spouse and working hard to keep communication lines open will prevent your marriage from moving into troubled waters. Just like it’s important to take care of our bodies by exercising and eating a well-rounded, balanced diet, there are a handful of things you can do to strengthen your marriage long-term:
- Communicate with one another – The number one key to a healthy, happy marriage is communication. Make the time to talk to your spouse, even when life gets hectic and the days are busier. You don’t have to have an earth-shattering conversation every time, even just communicating about the small things will help you stay close to your husband or wife.
- Respect the other person – Couples who do not respect one another, often find themselves in unhappy marriages. Compliment your partner and show them the same respect you expect in return. There are many different ways to do this, from avoiding unnecessary criticisms to showing your partner how much you appreciate them.
- Don’t forget about intimacy – The meaning of intimacy changes as we get older and our relationship grows. It can be easy to fall into a routine, but this isn’t always best for your relationship. Marital intimacy can open the door to a new level of closeness and intimacy, and this doesn’t always mean it is sexual. Sharing your deepest emotions and creating a safe space to truly be yourself with another person is one of the most rewarding aspects of a healthy marriage.
- Practice self-care – Taking care of yourself is not selfish. In fact, focusing on you and listening to your body will make you a better partner to your spouse. It is so easy to get caught up in taking care of and worrying about others, but this could hurt your marriage in the long run. Be yourself, show yourself love, and be kind. Treating yourself this way will give you the tools to treat your partner with the same level of love and respect.
- Be honest – You’ve heard it before, but honesty really is the best policy. Lying, even about the smallest things, can ruin a marriage before you even realize it. Being honest about your feelings, your partner, and your relationship can be extremely beneficial in the long-term.
- Be thankful and appreciative – We get to a certain point in a relationship where it can be easy to take the other person for granted. Avoid this by always being thankful and appreciate the life you lead with this person, even when times are tough.
Another key to a healthy marriage? Seeking counseling when you need it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with looking to outside help when your marriage is struggling. In fact, it can be the one thing that brings you back to your partner and makes your relationship even stronger. Lifeworks offers a range of relationship counseling services to couples in Carrollton, we encourage you to give us a call today to learn more.