Keeping your marriage fresh and as alive as it was when you first met is perhaps something of a poisoned chalice when it comes to making unrealistic goals. However it is very possible to maintain a happy, healthy and loving relationship for the long-term, but it takes work and more than a little patience and compromise.
While it’s common for older generations to repeatedly tell younger couples that sticking it out when it comes to difficulties is all part of a marriage it’s also fair to say that a modern marriage is a far harder ship to sail than one that started perhaps twenty or thirty years ago.
Many ideas in relation to sustaining a marriage involve somewhat empty, superficial, suggestions like ‘spice things up’, when in reality it may be easier to think of the following ideas as golden rules that can be used to help strengthen the bond between the two of you.
Regular Date Nights
This is particularly relevant for those who have been together for a year or two and things have become a little complacent. It’s true that life gets in the way of things and once you’ve moved in together some of the mystery vanishes but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out as a couple as frequently as you can manage.
Set a regular date in the diary where just the two of you go out and enjoy yourselves, this should be exclusively as a couple as opposed to with other friends, as it’s a great chance to remind yourselves, if needed, just how much you get along and enjoy each other’s company.
Presents, But Not JUST on Special Occasions
Clearly you should never forget a special occasion like an anniversary, but you should also not only give each other gifts on these dates. Surprise your partner with a present they never even knew was coming.
Also try to keep the gifts as special and heartfelt as possible, in other words no socks! One great idea for a present for a husband or wife would be a name necklace which can remind the other of just how special they are to you.
This type of gift is not only aesthetically pleasing but it also has a great deal of sentimentality about it as well.
Admit When You are Wrong
Communication is key when it comes to avoiding misunderstandings and arguments that can spiral out of control. When we’ve been together for a long time it can be easier to second guess each other and also know each other too well.
It can be easy to diffuse most arguments and quarrels by simply admitting when either of you are wrong, and then look to resolve any issues that you have between you. It’s an age old bit of advice, but it’s as true today as it has ever been, never go to sleep on an argument.
Get a Babysitter
If your family includes young children then it can become easy to forget and appreciate each other, as you are clearly both well and truly invested in the joint task of providing for and looking after your offspring.
Sometimes you will need a break and shouldn’t be afraid to get a babysitter, or a relative, to look after your children so you two can go and enjoy some alone time. This is particularly crucial for those with very young children who are feeling a great deal of pressure and are therefore far more likely to bicker and argue for seemingly no good reason.
You’d be surprised at just how effective even one single night away from it all can be, that’s because every now and then the pressure has to be relieved and a few hours with each other, without the kids, can make all the difference.
Spend Time Apart
Now this might sound counterintuitive but bear with us. It is possible to spend too much time together. Even the most loving of couples needs space once in a while. This is ‘space’ in the sense of developing one’s own self-worth and not ‘space’ in the sense of needing time apart for any negative reason.
There are some couples who can start to overly rely upon each other for entertainment, emotional support or attention. On occasion you can sometimes forget who you are outside of a relationship with another person.
Having some time apart, and that might be a day out or even a weekend away, will almost always leave you invigorated and even more appreciative of one another.
And The One Way to Avoid a Bitter Divorce?
Talk. Say what’s on your mind, within reason. If you let things bottle up then things can be blown out of all proportion before too long. Being communicative will almost always lessen the concerns you have.
Remember that the two of you are only human after all. We are all capable of mistakes and becoming too comfortable with each other, which can lead to a sense of taking someone for granted.
Almost all of the most common issues couples face stem from a lack of coherent communication. Being open and honest will, for the most part, be the safest way to keep your marriage from slipping away.
Marriage can be hard, life is sometimes complicated but remember that you are together for a reason and the vow you made wasn’t made lightly.