Marriage is a long-term commitment for those willing to put in the effort. Over this long term, there will be times that certain aspects of marriage can become challenging.
There are simple things you can do that will bring you closer to your spouse. It can help to be reminded of these things when the road gets to be a bit rough.
Build your partner up
If you speak positively about your spouse, you will notice those positive aspects to them that you fell for in the first place. Compliment them often in thoughtful and meaningful ways. You will see the fruit of your work in the way your spouse seems to feel about themselves. As a spouse you are in the unique position to make someone’s life better or worse. You can help build your spouse’s confidence in themselves.
Take time for the two of you
Not just on date night, but every single day. Children often hinder our ability to meaningfully connect with our spouse on a daily basis but even for couples without kids we can often be caught up in the day to day. We go through the motions and ask the right questions (how was your day?) but do we truly listen to the response? Active listening is vitally important in a marriage. Ask questions to learn more about their feelings on whatever subject they are sharing. Bring genuine curiosity to your common conversation. If you can take time out everyday to focus only on each other you will be surprised to learn what your spouse has to share.
Go to bed angry
If it does happen that you argue or fight later in the day, do not follow the favorite advice of your parents to “not go to bed angry”. We are not rational when we are tired. You are much better off continuing the conversation in the morning when you have both had a chance to think about the fight. Most of the time a clear mind makes us realize the mistakes we have made. Morning brings that clarity.
Remember those wonderful first weeks of your relationship? They are likely some of the more memorable of your life. Recreate a n early date you had. Talk about those far away days. Look at wedding photos or early photos of your relationship. Your marriage is unique. Share some of your important relationship stories with friends! tell them about your engagement or how you met.
Do something nice for your spouse
Little kindnesses go a very long way. Grab your spouse’s morning coffee for them. Start their car on a cold winter morning. Do a chore for your spouse that you know they hate doing. Pick up a little gift for them for no other reason than you are thinking of them. There are so many ways to say I love you that cost little to nothing. We all want to feel loved.
These simple suggestions may help remind you how important your marriage is. It should be the warm center of your life. If you feed your marriage it will flourish. Appreciate the life you share.