Falling in love was like a fairy tale, utterly magical. Your wedding was icing on the cake. Now, you’re living out the commitment you made to each other. Here’s how to enjoy a fulfilling, lifelong marriage.
Make time to connect
If both of you work full-time, especially on different schedules, it’s easy to lose sight of your partner’s needs. Be especially careful of neglect if you’re trying to build careers. Don’t let ambition take first place over your relationship. Begin each day by touching base in a heartfelt way. Even if you can’t share breakfast, assure your spouse of their presence in your mind and heart. If you’re a wife who daily makes hubby’s lunch, include a love note. Or, tuck a sweet sentiment in his jacket pocket.
Does one of you leave home in the morning while the other is still asleep? If so, post a “Hello, Love!” message on the bathroom mirror. Then, try to hook up at some point during the day. If a quick phone call isn’t possible, connect via text messages or emails. Check in with each other nightly, too. Ask about your partner’s day, and catch up on personal news. Always preface sleep with a tender kiss. Also, try to have regular dates. If a weekly frequency isn’t feasible, go out at least monthly. Your rendezvous needn’t be extravagant or expensive. Here are some suggestions:
- stroll in the park, hand-in-hand
- have a picnic in the yard
- enroll in a paint night event or cooking class
- eat dinner at a favorite restaurant
- share a hobby
- see a newly released movie
- attend a concert
- go to a street fair or festival
- cook a meal together
Whatever is fun for both of you, allot time for it. Then, periodic dates will pave the way for intimacy. Being young at this point in your marriage, your sex drives are still in high gear. As life becomes routinized and pressures mount, sex can fall by the wayside. However, if you don’t take time for passion, faithfulness is jeopardized. When a spouse feels undesirable or sexually rejected, numerous problems arise. Alienation breeds irritability, impatience, hostility, and fault-finding. Repressed anger can lead to depression and apathy. Ultimately, your partner may seek fulfillment elsewhere.
Note – If you have a child, maintaining closeness is especially vital. Don’t let parenting responsibilities distance you from each other.
Be keenly attentive
Try to be mindful when in each other’s company. If worries and concerns are distracting you, it’s best to voice them. Otherwise, you’re not fully present. Be alert to each other’s moods, and respond accordingly. Is your honey obviously troubled? Find out why. If your beloved asks you to do something, try to be compliant if the requests are reasonable. If you tend to be forgetful, jot down reminders. Or, store them on your smartphone, and check your “Honey Do” list daily.
Look for ways to praise your partner. Applaud their virtues, strengths, and admirable qualities. Affirm their attractiveness, too. Vary your accolades, keeping your appreciation fresh. Giving your beloved compliments has merits for each of you. You both get a boost of confidence and self-esteem. Your partner feels valued for their special traits. Every acknowledgment deepens the bond you share. It also reinforces desirable behavior.
For compliments to be well-received, they must be sincere. Otherwise, they can be interpreted as manipulative ploys. Bestow praise without wanting any self-gain. Keep your motives pure and unselfish. Be sure to offer a genuine compliment at least once daily.
Perform daily acts of kindness
Think of what will make life easier for your spouse. Are there unpleasant chores or tasks you can do for them? What will make your honey feel loved? What can relieve tension? You might even make a list of niceties and luxuries with which to surprise your beloved. Here are some ideas:
- make breakfast while your spouse gets extra sleep
- leave a warmed towel outside the shower
- dance together in the living room
- run an errand they dread
- send a love note through the mail
- buy a favorite book, cologne, CD, or food
- surprise them at work to share lunch
- envelop them in a warm hug
- send flowers to them at work
- buy surprise tickets to a sports game or concert
- draw a relaxing bath
- give an impromptu massage
Catch subtle hints, and read between the lines. Fulfill unspoken wishes. Insightful acts of kindness will endear you to your partner.
Physical intimacy is another important way to maintain a connection with your spouse. Each time you have sex with your spouse, endorphin hormones release in your body, yielding happiness. You both get an aerobic workout, and your immunity is strengthened. You each reap greater self-esteem, reduced stress, deep relaxation, and better sleep.
Every intimate gesture strengthens your marital bond. If you or your spouse feels like this area of your marriage needs some attention, you could consider looking into products offered by Adore Me More and similar businesses. Companies such as these offer a variety of products designed energize the sexual experience and can provide a new and exciting break from the norm, but they may not be for everyone. You should be sure that both you and your partner are comfortable with the idea before giving these products a try.
Harboring ill will toward your spouse creates emotional walls. They can block communication to such a degree that healing becomes impossible. Quick forgiveness is a practice that builds marriage stability. Here’s how to avoid standoffs. Assume your partner’s perspective, looking for why they did something hurtful. The cause may have been beyond their control. Maybe they got distracted or became preoccupied. Perhaps they succumbed to temptation. You may not like what occurred, but understanding its source will soften your anger.
Then, explain to your spouse why you’re offended. Think before speaking, and refrain from yelling. Try to focus on the current grievance, rather than digging up past infractions. Hopefully, when your spouse gets why you’re upset, it will prompt them to apologize. When your partner speaks, try not to interrupt. After you’ve each expressed your viewpoints, focus on making amends. What can be done, so the harmful action isn’t repeated?
If you still can’t move beyond the pain, recall a time when you unintentionally hurt someone. Remember the remorse and your need to be forgiven. The recollection can help you transcend hard feelings. Being mindful of our own faults and mistakes helps us realize that no one’s perfect. Forgiveness is a virtue that takes practice. Try to be cooperative versus combative. Work on developing compassion. Over time, you’ll become fluent in releasing anger. If a wound is deep, tell your partner it will take time to recover, but that you’ll try to forgive them. If either one of you remains stuck in negativity, seek the help of a professional counselor.
All the above tips for a lifelong marriage are intertwined. If you make time to connect, you’ll have the chance to be attentive and offer compliments. If you fill each other’s lives with acts of kindness, forgiveness will be easier. Each day, give your spouse reasons to cherish you. Then, mutual love will shine brightly throughout your lives.