As you make your New Year's Resolutions this time around, you might consider including “improving my marriage” to your list. Sure, you and your spouse might get along pretty well. You two may have fun together and even make time for occasional date nights, but...
Is your marriage blissful?
“Bliss” can sound too good to be true in a long-term love relationship or marriage. After all, the predominant belief is that things like bliss are for those honeymoon months or, if you're lucky, years. The level of passion, intimacy and sheer pleasure with your partner seems destined to dwindle.
The most a person can hope for is that the love doesn't completely die out, right?
We know that bliss is possible in a marriage, regardless of how long the couple has been together and despite how busy they are with family, career, chores, pets, hobbies, interests and other things. While you might not feel that sense of complete satisfaction and pleasure 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it can be an easily accessed and frequent experience.
This year, alongside your resolution to exercise more and eat healthier, include resolutions like these...
#1: Find and fuel bliss within yourself.
You simply cannot feel the kind of passion in your marriage that you might desire if you're dull and essentially lifeless on the inside. Want bliss in your marriage? Start with yourself.
Don't shelve your dreams and those aspirations that get you stoked up just because you believe there's no time/money/resources/energy for them. It might not be practical or doable at this moment for you to follow your dreams, but don't forget or abandon them.
If you've already forgotten what your dreams were or if what you used to dream about isn't exciting to you anymore, set aside regular time to dream-- remove limits and “yes, buts.”
Find ways to feel blissful where you are while you keep an eye out for opportunities to actually do those things you've always wanted to do while keeping up with your marriage and other responsibilities.
#2: Be more present.
This second resolution is one that will serve not only your relationship, but you individually. There is magic in living fully in the present moment. So many of us spend the majority of our time re-hashing the past or projecting into the future.
Re-train yourself so that you are more present more of the time.
Does this mean that you can't dream about the future (as in resolution #1)? No!
What it means is that you allow yourself to dream and envision the future you want AND you then come back to where you are now. You really listen to the words coming from your partner's mouth. You notice the way it feels when your love touches you or kisses you.
When you're present and you pay attention to the now, you can experience the bliss that is already here in your relationship and life.
#3: Clean up the past.
As you're trying to be present, you might realize some curious things coming up within you. There may be times when you're irritated and unhappy and it just doesn't make sense. You overreact and mystify your partner and yourself about what that was all about.
Chances are, that was all about the past that you're still carrying around.
Old resentments, hurt feelings and disagreements yet to be resolved can build up. Something that you chose not to talk about or deal with at some point in the past just stays there inside of you and has quietly grown. Now it comes out standing in the way of happiness and connection.
Be courageous and willing to “go there” to the uncomfortable and even painful places that are boiling up and festering within you.
We're not suggesting that you air your grievances in one big complain-fest directed at your partner.
We DO encourage you to get clear about what still needs to be resolved. The resolution might be your decision to forgive and let it go. Or, it might involve you and your partner talking about what happened and coming to agreements and some peace about it.
#4: Take an appreciation approach.
Appreciation and bliss go hand in hand. When you can appreciate another person, yourself, an action or spoken words, you can almost instantly open up to pleasure and satisfaction.
Appreciation is not about pretending that you are okay with something when you're not. It's also not saying that your partner or a situation is perfect. Instead, it is intentionally finding things that you can genuinely feel gratitude about. Be specific and really feel it.
Invite yourself to find at least 1 action or aspect of your partner that you can truly appreciate each day in the coming year. Start now. Notice what happens when your appreciation approach becomes a habit.
#5: Adventure into bliss with your partner.
Step out of your comfort zone with your partner and experience life as a grand adventure. Just about any situation can be potentially fun and maybe even positively thrilling...if you are open to it.
We're talking about time in and out of the bedroom, by the way.
Cultivate an attitude of appreciation, an expectation that you will have fun and be excited by everyday life with your mate and a focus on thoroughly enjoying the bliss you have (or are on your way to having) in your marriage.
Susie and Otto Collins are relationship coaches and authors who help couples communicate, connect and create the relationship they desire. Click here to get their free ebook, Passionate Heart-Lasting Love.