As your wedding day approaches, it’s only natural that you and your partner feel enthusiastic and incredibly excited. And why not? You love each other and you get along well, so there’s no reason for you not to have your ‘happily ever after’. However, once things settle down and you both remove your rose-colored glasses, you start noticing things. He keeps leaving his socks on the floor and his snoring is neither discrete, nor cute any more. On the other hand, he hates seeing your hair all over the bed or the bathroom, and he gets annoyed when it takes you ages to get ready for your night out. And these are just the little things. So, how do you make it all work? Here is some valuable advice for keeping your marriage strong and functioning.
Learn to listen
When your partner talks to you, make it your mission to pay close attention to what they’re saying. This should also include the things they tell you between the lines, with their body language and their intonation. Only when you actually listen to your partner and are invested in what they are communicating can you react to it properly and work towards improving your marriage and strengthening your bonds. This also applies to arguments, which you definitely will have from time to time. Don’t allow yourselves to simply yell at each other in an attempt to pour out all your negative emotions that way. Instead, use these discussions, no matter how heated they are, and say what’s truly bothering you, exactly how you feel and what you think you can both do to make it better. If you both do this, you might avoid having same arguments over and over again without any progress, which can harm any relationship.
A successful marriage requires you and your partner to build trust from the very beginning. This means that, if you want to stay in a healthy relationship and have a long and happy marriage, you have to base it all on honesty. Be open about what you think, what you feel and what you need from your partner. If you’re both clear on the other’s expectations and points of view, you’ll learn more about each other, gain more mutual appreciation and deepen your intimacy. Be open about your desires and wants at all times, since you can’t expect your partner to read your mind. For instance, if you want a romantic evening out, away from the kids, or if you’d like to introduce some sensual adult toys into your love-making, make sure you’re clear and upfront about it. Finally, if trust is for some reason broken, you should both do your best to be forgiving and understanding and work even harder to rebuild it from scratch.
Accept your differences
It makes sense that you have a lot in common. After all, that’s probably what kept you interested in each other and what led to you getting married in the first place. Nevertheless, bear in mind that you’re not the same. Your upbringing may have been different, or some of your beliefs don’t exactly match. This absolutely doesn’t mean that you don’t belong together or that you have to doubt your choice of a partner. It simply means that you disagree on some points and that’s just fine. As in any other situation, even when you disagree, listen to each other attentively and with utter respect. If the disagreement is causing some serious marital problems, try reaching a compromise. Perhaps you can think of a few alternative solutions to the issue at hand and choose the one that lets you meet each other half way.
Invest time into it
For any type of relationship to last and grow, you have to invest time and effort into it. Don’t take what you have for granted and simply expect things to work out. This is true for friendships, relationships with your parents and siblings, but especially with your spouse. Unless you dedicate enough time to your partner and your relationship, you’ll soon realize that every relationship can be shaken and even ruined. So, if you want to spend quality time with the person you love, in order to improve your marriage and become even closer to each other, you have to be prepared to clear your schedule and make your time together count. Don’t answer any business phone calls or reply to any emails when you’re with your partner. In fact, keep all your gadgets away from sight, so that you can focus all your attention to the moment and to your spouse. Whether you have a date night, stay in and play a board game, or go for a weekend getaway in the countryside, it’s essential that you set aside enough time for it, and not just occasionally, but regularly.
Each relationship has its ups and downs, and that’s something you should be fully aware of. So, when things are good, cherish them and try keeping them that way. However, if they start going south at some point, don’t give up on your marriage, but push yourself and your partner to work harder and make your bonds tighter and more meaningful than before.