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8 Tips for a Healthy Marriage

Marriage is the beginning of a wonderful journey that two people hope lasts a lifetime. While it does take a lot of effort, it shouldn’t feel like a chore or an obligation. Everyone has lulls in their marriages; however, there are ways to make your marriage stronger and happier.

Spend Time with One Another

Happy couples spend time with one another and do things together to share experiences and life with each other. While it can get busy with your kids, career, families, and other responsibilities, it’s important to make time for each other. Couples that don’t spend time with one another often don’t know what is going on in their spouse’s lives, and that can cause a distance to form between you two. Find an activity that both of you can enjoy, or plan to do something you’ve both always wanted to try. Sharing a novel experience creates bonds and memories that can strengthen your relationship.

Set Goals

Marriage can feel purposeless after a while and can get quite boring. Having goals for your partner and for the marriage can change how your marriage feels. Talk about some things you’d both like to work towards. For example, if the goal is to travel the world, you may want to identify your top few places to see, things to do, a timeline in which to do them and set a savings goal for each trip.

Having goals for one another (or together) helps keep both of you working towards something in common, and can keep you both excited. Working on your goals together can solidify your bond as a team, can help with your communication, and bring you closer together.

Learn to Negotiate During Conflicts

Conflicts are likely to happen, no matter who you’re with, especially as you spend much of your time together or have been together for a long period of time. While conflicts can get intense and perhaps last for a while, they don’t have to be the end-all to a marriage. You are both individuals and have different interests. In an argument or conflict, it’s important to negotiate and compromise.

For example, if you’re both arguing about where you want to eat, negotiate with one another. Choose to go to the sushi place that your partner likes and you’re not crazy about, but the next time, you’ll go to the steakhouse you were really interested in. If your spouse keeps nagging you about certain chores, come to a compromise – you’ll take care of the dishes tonight, but they’ll have to take out the garbage, then the next time, you’ll switch. Compromise helps build healthy marriages, but make sure not to give in to your partner’s requests all the time – take a stand for things you really feel strongly about.

Communicate

Communication is so important but oftentimes, people don’t realize how significant it is until things go south. You may not even realize that your communication with your partner is suffering until it’s too late.

It is very important that you communicate everything – positive, negative, or neutral, and no matter if there are little issues or major problems.

When you’re talking to your partner, create a space where you can focus only on one another — put all the distractions away, and if the subject matter is sensitive, speak in the privacy of your home (instead of over dinner at a restaurant).

Understand and Show Empathy for Your Partner

It’s important to try to understand your partner’s issues and show empathy for their struggles without dismissing their feelings or experiences. This will help them build trust in you as they feel they can confide in you without judgment or fear of having their issues ignored or belittled.

While their struggle may not be something you experience or understand yourself, it’s important to put yourself in their shoes and try to understand where they’re coming from. This empathizing can help you strengthen your communication skills and your bolster your relationship as well.

Explore Different Ways to be Intimate

Trying new things in the bedroom can spice up your sex life, and that can be important for some people. However, intimacy doesn’t have to be purely sexual – explore different levels of intimacy that you’re comfortable with. Try cuddling during movie nights at home, or if you’re comfortable — holding hands in public, or small shows of PDA, like giving each other kisses on the forehead and cheek when you’re out on date night.

Actively Build Your Marriage!

Marriage should always be about growing together. You shouldn’t just say “I do” and then never work on advancing your relationship with one another. Being stagnant in your marriage could be the thing that is ultimately the most detrimental to your partnership. Remember that both of you are in this together, and while it is good to maintain your own personal identity in the marriage, your partner is a large part of your life. Consider reading some relationship books together, and discussing what you’re learning. You can each even annotate your copies of your books, and once done reading through it the first time, do a second read-through together and switch copies, so you can see what your partner was thinking while they were going through it.

Get Help When You Need it

Plenty of couples go through the honeymoon phase in their relationships, but once they get married, things start to get messy. Premarital and marriage counseling are there to help with these different hurdles you encounter before and in a marriage. Counseling can even go so far as to help in saving your marriage. Getting help from a counselor when things get rough is important. As an outside, unbiased third party, they can help you work through issues together with no judgment or pressure.

This is a featured post by site sponsor Better Help.

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