Ten steps you can take to help your marriage thrive
Being married is challenging. It is designed to be challenging. Keeping a marriage healthy requires attention and care. Our lives are so busy and so demanding that it becomes easy to take for granted that our primary relationship is in place and will still be there when we have time to re-engage.
It is important to remember that your relationship is a living, breathing entity in and of itself. It has its own developmental needs. If ignored, it will become stagnant. When that occurs, your relationship no longer has any vitality and nourishment to provide you and your spouse. It’s no wonder that married couples can feel bored and empty in their marriages. It’s not that the marriage is necessarily “bad”; it may simply be that the marriage is malnourished.
Just as you wouldn’t deprive your plants, pets, and children of what they need to grow and flourish, you should not neglect your marriage. It doesn’t necessarily take a lot of time. Sometimes a little effort goes a long way. Here are some basic steps you can take to feed and nourish your marriage:
1. Say “thank you” and show appreciation for the little things
2. Make sure you create time to go out and do something fun
3. Make requests of each other, not demands
4. Redefine the purpose and meaning of your relationship; create a vision
5. Laugh together
6. Make sex a priority and spice it up from time to time
7. Put your relationship’s needs first, not your own
8. Be honest with each other at all times
9. Tolerate differences
10. Accept your spouse for who he or she truly is
Once your relationship has the nutrients it needs to thrive, you and your spouse will thrive as well. If your marriage has been neglected for a long time, however, be patient. It takes time for a malnourished relationship to turn around. Just remember to shift your perspective. It’s not what your spouse can do for you; it’s what you and your spouse can do for the marriage. When the marriage is healthy, it gives a lot back to both of you. And most important of all, have fun!
Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery
Create Relationships in Your Life That Work — learn more at www.julieorlov.com
This article was originally published at Julie Orlov
. Reprinted with permission from the author.