Whether you've been listening or not, 2017 is definitely calling your name. It’s reaching out to you.
And it wants to know what changes you are going to make to improve your marriage.
It wants to know how you will ensure that you and your partner will be happier and even more in love one year from now.
For those committed to making their marriages better, here are 5 things you can do to help you get started.
1. How do you want your marriage to be different in the new year?
Ask yourself the following question in order to determine which specific things absolutely have to be different about your love life in this coming year:
- Do you want better communication?
- Do you want to feel more passion?
- Would you like more peace and fewer conflicts?
- Did you have the intimacy you wanted in 2016?
- Do you want to be able to trust your partner more?
- Is there anything missing now that makes you feel unfulfilled?
2. What are you willing to do in order to make these changes happen?
Don’t look to your partner to make these changes. Look at yourself first.
You can show this article to your partner after you have determined the areas that you personally want to change.
In any following conversations, only speak about the commitments you yourself are willing to make towards doing your part. Don't ask them to do or commit to anything. Simply ask if they will support the efforts you will make.
The moment you ask your partner to do something, they will become defensive, and that would be counter-productive to your goals.
You can and should, however, get their opinion regarding the areas they would also like to see improve. When they answer, hear them without questioning, arguing, or even giving input about their thoughts. Simply accept whatever they say they would like to change and thank them for sharing that with you.
3. How will the changes you both want to see happen?
It would also be helpful to know what mistakes you may be making unintentionally.
In order to keep a sense of perspective as you explore your options, check in with each other from time to time before getting caught up on a potentially emotional roller coaster.
4. How high is your motivation for change?
Are you 100% committed to having a better marriage? Are you willing to do your part? Are you willing to accept that at times it will seem like you are doing more than they are?
This is just the reality. There are often times in every marriage when one partner feels like they are doing more than their share. If you want your marriage to change, you must be willing to take full responsibility your role in repairing the marriage regardless of whether or not your partner does theirs.
5. Do you really understand what your partner needs from you?
One of the most common reasons couples struggle is because neither person truly understands what they each need from each other.
Do you know what your partner needs the most from you? If not, how will you figure that out? And how will you explain what you need more than anything from them?
Improving a marriage is easy when you are already happy together. Making changes when you have lots of communication problems or are feeling neglected is harder. If there are trust issues or long-held resentments, it might even seem impossible at times.
In order to have a happier marriage in 2017, you must focus on your priorities.
You need to be willing to let some of the smaller issues go.
It's a mistake to rehash issue by issue debating the merits of your version vs. their version if you are interested in making any real progress, as that only leads to more dysfunction.
The focus that’s needed isn't always easy, so take a realistic look at whether this is something you can do on your own. Sometimes it’s just wishful thinking, and people stay stuck.
Wishing you a love filled and Happy New Year!
If you want a clearer understanding of how quickly marriage can change, read The 90-Minute Marriage Miracle. There are step-by-step examples of many couples who completely turned their marriages around. If you are thinking about having an expert help you, fill in the contact form on Jeff Forte's website to learn more.