Sometimes it seems like strong marriages are impossible, or at least impermanent. So many relationships end prematurely, that it becomes easy to overlook the ones that last. But there are many marriage success stories, and here are some things you can do to strengthen your own relationship.
It takes very little effort to treat a person with respect, but the impact can be enormous. Whether you are cooking dinner together or even having an argument, being respectful will improve your relationship. Respect your partner’s space, boundaries, morals, and opinions. When you can at least see and empathize with their mindset, navigating marriage together becomes much easier. Merely being respectful in everyday life will prevent a great deal of the damage that comes from festering emotional wounds, adultery, miscommunication, and other mistakes that often occur during the course of a marriage.
You appreciate the way your wife arranges for the kids to stay with Grandma during your special weekends. She appreciates the way you maintain her car and make sure she is gassed up before leaving on a trip. It goes without saying that you appreciate many things about your partner. Or at least, many people assume it does. The truth is, many people feel and function better when they know they are appreciated. The few seconds it takes to utter those words of appreciation are well worth the good feelings they create. Take the time to say thank you, and always look for opportunities to express your appreciation and gratitude.
It can be hard to understand why your spouse acts and reacts in certain ways. If you take the time to look at the situation from your loved one’s point of view, though, the picture becomes much clearer. Consider their viewpoint and see what you learn. Everything from their upbringing, education, and own beliefs will dictate how they might react in some situations. Life will be so much better for you both when you the take time to understand one another.
Lend a Hand
Doing things together is a good way to strengthen bonds. However, those shared activities don’t have to be fun or entertaining. Asking if you can help, or just pitching in by loading the dishwasher or mowing the lawn may be even more powerful than doing leisure activities together. Seek out ways to help and support your partner. They’ll be much more inclined to help you when you need it as well.
Speak Their Language
Everyone has a way of expressing love, and everyone interprets certain things as evidence of love. Unfortunately, your list may be totally different from your spouse’s. The only way to know for sure is to ask what you can do to show your love. While you are listening to the response, you may be surprised to realize that some of the ordinary things your partner does for you are actually deep expressions of their love.
Even small steps can lead to big improvements in a relationship. Strong marriages do exist, and there is no reason yours can’t be one of them.