Marriage: Nobody said it would be easy, but ask any married couple, and they’ll tell you it’s worth it. A lifelong commitment, uniting two individuals to become one. A symbol of assurance, where a shoulder to cry on, words of affirmation, and the other half of your team is never far away.
But chances are, you’re not here because your marriage represents sunshine and roses. With 14.9 divorces per 1,000 marriages, it’s no secret that the dismantling of marriages happens. It’s often devastating for both parties, with a widespread knock-on effect, and ultimately it may not be what you want, but you’re unsure where else to turn. You may be at the end of your tether, desperately seeking answers. And if that’s the case, we can help…
When living together, it’s easy to fall into a rut. Goodnight kisses turn into mismatched bedtimes, and whispering sweet-nothings become drowned out by the sound of bickers, nagging over menial tasks, and ultimately, life’s stresses. Taking a proactive approach to transforming the communication within your relationship will have almost immediate results, whether pet-names are your thing, or you know your partner cherishes a heartfelt compliment. It’s important to listen, and do so actively, with your spouse aware that their outpouring is being heard and appreciated. Empathize, and show that you’re ready to take on your spouse’s struggles. And importantly, appreciate the things your spouse does for you. Your partner cleaning your coffee-stained mug, or cooking your favorite dish may have become a habit, but it’s an act of love at heart.
Spend intimate time together
Intimacy looks different to every couple. At its core, it’s undivided attention that brings you and your spouse closer. It may be a couple’s massage, lovemaking, or feeling emotionally connected by discussing your wildest hopes and dreams. A moment to cherish, uninterrupted, and hypnotic. The frequency will depend on your individual needs – and if this is something you haven’t discussed, why not? – but it’s an impactful, purposeful time. Whether the objective is to achieve affection, sexual satisfaction, conversation, or emotional alignment, it’s important to know what your spouse desires, and deliver it. Learning your partner’s love language will be key to them feeling appreciated, treasured, and loved.
Keeping Common Interest
Common interests strengthen a marriage, allowing time together to enjoy each other’s company. Now, this doesn’t mean that your book club or cooking class has to be canceled because your spouse couldn’t be less interested if they tried. It’s perfectly acceptable, and in fact encouraged, to remain your own person in any relationship, keeping your individual quirks, likes, dislikes, and hobbies intact. But it’s also important to have an outlet to enjoy together, to focus on as one, something to feel excited and invigorated by. Whether that's sunset-chasing, road-tripping, marathon-running, or boxset-watching, an interest to look forward to and talk about will become pillars of your marriage. If you have kids, it’s vital to nurture your relationship away from your role as the parents, so activities away from your children are key.
Having Common Goals
Something to bring you together. A mutual goal to embark on as one. Common goals are crucial to any strong marriage, whether that’s a mission to pack up and move to a sprawling country home, or to experience the beauty our planet has to offer. Becoming a team with a united goal forms an unbreakable bond; on a path together, supporting one another to achieve mutual dreams, rather than ships passing in the night. The road to achieving life goals is often a tiresome one, with support, encouragement, and reassurance necessary to keep pushing through, allowing you to spend quality time with your spouse whilst becoming excited about the future.
Enjoy one another
Now, that doesn’t mean skipping home from work, greeted with a candle-lit dinner and a shirtless partner, with a single red rose firmly between their lips. Life happens! Career stresses creep up, health problems plague emotions and ultimately, married life isn’t a rom-com. That said, your spouse should be a friend, a support system, and somebody you genuinely enjoy the company of. Hard times are inevitable, but if you still enjoy quality time with your partner, whether that’s a lazy day in front of the TV or a well-anticipated function, you have the foundations to build upon. And if you find yourself getting home from the office and sneaking into the bedroom to avoid tension or meaningless back-and-forth, there is still hope! It’s vital to go back to basics and find a mutual activity – or even a song or film you both used to love – to enjoy your time together.