Romance, roses, chocolates, and champagne are a tiny fraction of what makes up a marriage. There are many things that can make or break the quality of your relationship. If you want to work at your relationship, commit to putting daily thought and work into your relationship.
Many marriages deteriorate because couples allow their relationships to run on autopilot, but still expect them to stay healthy and exciting, especially around holidays and special days, such as birthday and anniversaries. Like everything else in life, though, relationships don’t work that way. Couples need to learn to put as much effort into their marriages as they do in trying to succeed professionally or keeping their gardens, houses, or cars looking top shelf.
When you let your marriage just sit, it’ll eventually get rusty and break down, just like your car would. All couples need to work on their marriage every day if you want it to stay exciting and great.
Here are 5 ways you can work on your marriage:
Recommit yourself to your marriage daily.
Marriage vows are never a one-time deal. Couples aren’t going to stand in front of loved ones and recommit themselves to one another on a regular basis. But if they want to cultivate a strong and happy marriage, they can start each morning by making a renewed personal commitment to keeping their relationship healthy and rewarding.
Don’t let your enthusiasm for working on your relationship be short-lived. In order to give your marriage regular tune-ups, start by remembering what you said you’d do when you made your vows: Love your spouse. Honor them. Cherish them. Remain faithful—and do this every day of your marriage.
Did you know that the things you think about and talk about influence how you experience the world around you?
So why not spend time thinking about how great your spouse is and then verbalizing those thoughts? Start by reminding yourself of all of the reasons why you fell in love in the first place, and then list how much more wonderful your partner has gotten since your marriage. Also, tell her (or him!) how much she means to you, how much you love her, and how beautiful she is ten times a day.
Verbalizing compliments is especially important because most of us have a tendency to dwell on our mistakes while disregarding all of the things we do right. And we don’t normally hear compliments from our kids, our coworkers, or even our friends either, so over time, we start to feel small and unhappy. That is why it’s your responsibility to continue to make your wife or husband feel as great about her or himself as possible.
Acknowledge the little things your spouse does, and return the favor.
In a similar vein, constantly perform small but meaningful acts for your spouse, and don’t be surprised if he or she starts to do the same for you. For example, if your wife hates unloading the dishwasher, make a point to get into the kitchen and put away the dishes first. Or make a mental note to wash the sheets on Friday afternoon so that they’ll be clean when your husband sleeps in on Saturday. Acts like this don’t take much time or energy, but they show your spouse that you are paying attention and that you care—and that is truly priceless.
And never let small acts go unnoticed. Saying thank you—and accompanying it with a heartfelt hug or kiss—starts a cycle of giving and getting. It’s when you don’t acknowledge your spouse’s efforts that he or she will begin to feel taken for granted and ignored. And usually, things will only go downhill from there.
Don’t let resentment build.
When you live in fairly close quarters with another human being, it’s inevitable that sooner or later you’re going to annoy each other. (In fact, at times you’re probably going to want to kill each other.) While it’s not a good idea to nit-pick with your spouse each and every time you feel a teeny bit put out, it’s also unhealthy to let issues and negative feelings build up and fester.
Be sure to express your grievances in a calm, constructive way—preferably before you go to bed angry. Also, remember that this is a two-way street. When your spouse is upset with you, make every effort not to fly off the handle and to fairly consider what you’re hearing. Marriage does involve compromising and modifying your behavior for another’s well-being—and believe me, your mutual happiness is worth it.
Take responsibility and stop trying to fix your partner.
There’s a lot of finger pointing going on in marriages. After all, it’s easy to identify and list all the ways someone else is getting it wrong. (Plus, it just feels good to be “right.”) But how much good does all of this complaining and accusing really do? After you finish berating your spouse for yet another of his or her supposed failings, does the quality of your life actually change? Probably not. Take a break from blaming and instead work on yourself. While both partners do need to be willing to compromise in order to help the other, it’s always best to look at how your own behavior could improve before you try to change your spouse’s.
All relationships can be a challenge and you need to work at it. If you don’t it can take a toll on your mental health. If these strategies do not work, you can always try ReGain online therapy to work on your relationship.