It’s not possible to say exactly what you should and shouldn’t do to ensure your marriage is long and happy and free of conflict or pain. Everyone has to experience their own journey in life, and that’s not always easy. Here are some advice from couples who have successfully navigated the sometimes rocky road of marriage.
1. Give time, time
When you’re married you take vows that include a life-long commitment to your spouse whatever life throws at you. Leaving is not an option, divorce not the solution unless either of you is at risk from the other’s behaviour. You have the time to stay and work things out. And this time is security to do so.
Make time for your partner even if you are busy with work, home and family. Sit together and schedule a time to have time as a couple. Make a date on the calendar and stick to it. Arrange childcare and go out for a meal or do something together that you will both enjoy. Take it in turns to arrange your date. Be creative!
2. Communicate daily
It’s very easy to get caught up with responsibilities of work, home, children, family, friends, hobbies and interests, but your partner should be your top priority when it comes to communication. Schedule 15 minutes in the day to talk about things – even if this occasionally has to be over the sink when you’re washing the dishes. Talk about anything and everything, not just work and your family.
Talk about your wishes, your dreams, your needs. Ask yourself what you can do next for your partner to help their dreams come true. If either of you want more words of love, more support with the children or to receive more tokens of love, make it happen. Gifts don’t have to be expensive, a favourite flower or chocolate shows you care.
3. Keep Dating
Dating your spouse is one of the most important forms of marriage “maintenance” you can do. It helps you re-connect and reminds you why you married in the first place. Dating also creates variety and interesting experiences in your life that in turn create memories that strengthen your relationship and can act as a shock absorber during difficult times.
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