Once you get over the honeymoon phase of your relationship and the stress of everyday life starts to take over, it can take a severe toll on your relationship. That is- if you don’t remember to set your goals and continuously work your way towards them. Talking to relationship experts, we have great advice for how you can do just that and build a healthier lasting relationship in your marriage.
- Dedicate Time to Work On Your Marriage
On average, couples spend approximately $20,000 and 250 hours planning their wedding. If we do a mathematical breakdown, that is slightly over 10 full days to plan one day. My question to clients is, ‘how many hours did you plan your marriage?’ If the math is similar and for an anticipated 50-year marriage, the couple would dedicate 500 hours to planning their marriage. Few do this. Once a couple gets engaged, the focus is on one day out of their 50 years.
Let’s consider this from seemingly disparate comparisons. If you were creating a new business with the goal of being successful, would you devote one day to plan it? If you planned on running a marathon, would you train for just one day? If you were constructing a multi-floored office building, would you do it in one day?
The answer is obvious and yet most people approach a marriage without devoting significant hours to laying out the details and plans to make the marriage effective and successful. But this can be done at any point in a relationship when the couple wants to make their commitment happier, more satisfying, and stronger. Plan a time each month to sit and discuss your relationship. What is working and what are the signs of success in those areas? What is a challenge? What would each like to work on, individually and as a couple?
One couple I worked with created a Google Doc to keep notes of their discussions, and each added to it as things came up during the month to discuss at their monthly meeting. While you might not have devoted the time pre-marriage, you can certainly dedicate the time now to make your marriage as successful as you want it to be.
Dr. Robin Buckley (CPC) helps high-achieving women thrive in their careers and relationships. She is an author, public speaker, and cognitive-behavioral coach who works with executive women and high-performance couples.
- Effective Communication
The most essential part of making a relationship work long-term is undoubtedly effective communication. My partner and I are always upfront about anything that causes us worry or frustration with regard to the relationship. We have promised each other to listen to this carefully and not make the other person feel belittled/embarrassed to have brought it up, however dumb or inconsequential these concerns may personally seem to us.
- Understand We Don’t Mean The Things Said In Anger
Of course, we do have fights sometimes and hurtful things are said sometimes. This brings me to my second point – fully understanding that it’s our anger and frustration at the moment that makes us say it and that it’s not an honest reflection of how we feel about each other deep down.
- Don’t Hesitate to Go For Therapy
And whenever there is an extended period of high tension, we always seek couples’ therapy.
Though people will judge you about it and it may even seem not helpful initially, it will do you an ocean of good in the long run. If nothing else, therapy will help you to correctly articulate in precise words the issues you face in the relationship and the things that your partner does that do not sit well with you. This will honestly help in making both of you more understanding and empathetic.
- Find Things to do That You Both Enjoy
And finally, make sure to find things to do that both of you enjoy. And no, by that, I don’t mean just watching TV together or helping with each other’s chores. Make sure to go outside and do things – anything ranging from gardening to crafts to taking a vacation or just taking a morning walk together. Be honest with each other if you’re not too into the activity your partner has chosen. You could either try finding something new, or you can promise to return the favor to your partner the next time.
Charlotte Robinson, Senior Software Engineer and Blogger; Robot Powered Home
- Commit To The Honeymoon Period
You’ve heard this all your life long- The honeymoon period is the best time; you’re in love and want to be around all the time with 0 fights. I know this may be unrealistic at times, but why not aim to keep the spark alive and as exciting as it was on day 1? Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could feel butterflies for you 10 years strong?
- Less Screens, More Cuisine
Stop devoting your free time to simply binge-watching whatever’s on top 10 of Netflix that month. Instead, work together to make an otherwise boring chore into an exciting date – every day! Discover different cuisines and cook together to tighten your bond, get some errands done, with a bonus of taking your taste buds on a world tour!
- Health is Wealth
No matter how strong your relationship, health, and financial problems are known causes for derailing even the strongest relationships. From day 1, develop habits together. It’ll keep you both motivated, accountable – and would build into a fun hobby you and your partner do with consistency! Not to mention, you’ll thank yourself when you both turn 50 and your back begins to give in.
Sameera Sullivan, a matchmaker, and relationship expert.
Setting goals as a couple is a great activity for married couples to do. Setting objectives with your spouse assists you to build your marriage by allowing you time to identify and address potential areas of weakness, problems, and growth possibilities in the next year. As a founder of a dating website, having a tangible list of things you’re working on jointly is vital if you write your goals down together.
- Make More Dating Nights A Priority
Prioritizing date night is probably one of the most common pieces of marital and relationship advice. There are so many simple and delightful romantic activities to do together; what matters is that you have set aside time only for each other.
- Every Day, Express Your Appreciation
Sharing our daily gratitude is one of the most significant routines you should develop in your marriage—these letters of gratitude range from the funny to the serious.
- Celebrate More Often
Marriage might be difficult at times, so rejoice in the victories. Celebrate your love and connection. Remember anniversaries and significant events, as well as your spouse’s small achievements.
April Maccario, Founder Ask April