Nuture your relationship with these daily habits that can change everything. When we say “I do” we seldom know how much work it will be to continuously nurture our relationship. Marriage can certainly be a messy endeavor. Pairing your entire life with another person is a huge undertaking that can be full of complications, but figuring out how to make it work is part of the adventure. Here are some tips and habits on how to make a healthier marriage…
Don’t get complacent with affection
After the honeymoon phase of a marriage ends, your spouse becomes a part of your everyday routine. When this happens, it is easy to become complacent about the relationship, and to stop noticing the little things that made you love each other in the first place. This complacence should be viewed with great danger, because it can make you fail to appreciate your relationship. For this reason, always make a point to show a strong sign of affection every day. This doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, and can be as simple as an “I love you,” a kiss, or a long hug.
Make plans together
When you take your vows and get married, there is an understanding, at the time, that you will be spending the rest of your life together. This person has now been woven into the fabric of your future, and just as you have been into theirs. For this reason, it is incredibly important for both of you to be very clear and honest about your vision for future plans. Take time, periodically, to sit down and go over both your near-term and long-term goals, and where you both want to end up. Being on the wrong page about important plans can convolute and complicate a marriage. It can lead to frustration, miscommunication, and secrecy. Find ways to make time for each other to plan fun dates that don’t have to cost a lot of money!
Encourage your partner’s dreams
One of the great things about having a supportive partner is that they always provide a foundation of encouragement for you to follow your dreams. However, this should never be a one way street. A strong marriage is composed of two people who are giving themselves to the other. As such, you should always encourage your partner’s dreams, and be firm that they take steps to follow those dreams.
Beware even the smallest signs of trouble
Obviously, the worst thing that can break down a marriage is a series of abusive behaviors that create a toxic relationship. The problem is that many people view relationship abuse in very dramatic terms, such as outward violence and broken kitchenware. While there is definitely lots of domestic abuse that happens in this way, abuse can also be a lot more subtle. It doesn’t happen all at once. Instead, it’s a series of small behaviors that, if unaddressed, become much bigger. This can make a person feel like they are trapped in a partnership that is tearing their life apart. Small signs that grow bigger include:
- Emotional withdrawal
- Blaming each other for personal unhappiness
- Demanding control
- Cutting each other off from other social support
If you feel like you are perpetuating abusive behavior (even if you don’t realize it), or you feel like your partner continuously engages in abusive behavior, then immediate changes are necessary. Communicate your concerns, and seek counseling if necessary.
Spend down time together
While a marriage can be filled with big moments, adventurous vacations, and lots of work, it is also important to enjoy the little moments together, especially the times when you aren’t doing anything at all. Nothing helps flesh out the subtle nuances of a relationship like merely spending time together while doing nothing much at all, whether that be just reading in the same vicinity as each other, or even simply relaxing on the porch together. It’s at these times, when we know we can be comfortable around this person whom we love so much, that we really know that we are with the right people.