It’s a pity no manual teaches you how to make your marriage work. Relationships are a work in progress, and marital issues are commonplace. One of the keys is to address them as they arise. If you are willing to put some effort into making your marriage work, you can get back on track even if it has been derailed. Here are some tips on how to do this:
Set aside time
It’s so easy to get caught up in daily activities, especially when you have children. You need to remember that your relationship is at the heart of a happy home. You should always set aside one-to-one time to keep your connection strong. This should happen on a daily basis but having a date once a month is another positive way to keep the romance alive.
You also need to set aside time for yourself. Marriage is all about giving, but if you keep giving and don’t nurture yourself, eventually you have nothing left to give. Having some time for yourself is not selfish – it’s essential for you to keep yourself healthy and whole to be a good partner in a relationship.
Be open and honest
Your spouse can’t read your mind. You need to be open and honest about any issues you are having and what you are going through. You also need to listen to your spouse’s concerns and problems. Good communication and the ability to compromise can help to keep a relationship strong and healthy.
It may help to find out what each of you expect out of the marriage. If you are both on the same page, it becomes easier to work towards a common goal instead of pulling in opposite directions.
In a relationship, affection is as important as having sex. It’s about hugging, kissing, touching and even holding hands to express your love for one another. Of course, your sexual relationship can be the deepest expression of this. Intimacy is often the first area to suffer if a relationship is floundering. Being intimate renews your sense of oneness and can result in more emotional fulfillment and better communication.
Don’t be over-confident
Time passes quickly, and before you know it, you may be like ships passing in the night. Devoting time to each other on a daily basis is important. If you never even consider the possibility that your marriage might fail, you may not work hard enough to maintain it – until you suddenly realize it’s too late. It’s worth making sure that you are doing whatever you can to keep your relationship strong.
Make financial plans together
Couples tend to argue and worry about money more than any other issue. If you and your spouse are constantly bickering over money, you need to make a plan together on how best to manage it. Discuss issues such as whether it is better to have a joint account or separate ones. Whatever your decisions, both of you should make them together and be happy about them.
Let go of grudges
As human beings we all make mistakes. You have to find a way not to hold mistakes against your spouse. Sometimes hanging onto a whole lot of little grudges can sabotage a relationship. Some forgiveness can go a long way, and everyone needs to be given a second chance when they’ve messed up.
Remind yourself you have a choice
You should not stay in a troubled marriage because you feel you have no choice. You can choose to do nothing and be miserable, face the facts and try to save your marriage, or ask for a divorce. These are the three choices you have – you are not helpless. If you choose to try and save your marriage, wake up every day and make that choice again. If you make a choice to fight for your marriage, you may find that your relationship becomes stronger than it was before.