As of May this year, I will have been married for 10 years. Yes, ten whole years! Wow, it doesn’t even feel that long! Marriage is a multitude of things, but the best way to describe it would be a harmonious balance of all things beautiful and chaotic in life. You know, the good, the bad, and the ugly. People ask me all the time what the key is to Marriage. I have to say; my favorite advice is to treat your spouse like your best friend literally. I tried to think about why we enjoy our friendships so much and many of them out last most of the romantic relationships in our lives. It is we love, care, support, and enjoy the company of our besties. We have girl’s nights or guy’s night out and its soothes our soul. This led me to believe that if I thought of my husband the same way I thought of my friends my relationship would prosper. It has worked thus far through the rough patches and all. Investing in your marriage is key to making marriage work for you and yours. When speaking of investing in your marriage we are not talking monetary but time, respect, thoughtfulness and more.
Here are eight tips highly recommended.
Acceptance of each other's imperfections is golden. We all have our imperfections. No need to make a big deal out of an imperfection which was present before taking your vows. Learn to embrace the imperfection and talk about it gently.
Bonding as a couple is priceless. Bonding as a couple makes you stronger and keeps you stronger. There are so many distractions with everyday life that you truly have to bond on a regular basis to stay truly connected. Take weekly walks together. Shower together. Have movie time together at home. Cooking together. Set aside an activity you both enjoy at least bi-weekly or once a month.
Always present each other with common courtesy no matter what. When you give each other common courtesy, no matter what it leaves little room for feeling disrespected and goes a long way for feeling appreciated and valued.
Date nights are golden for the success of the relationship. Whether you can go out or you have to stay in please make sure to have regular date nights. This carved out time for just the two of you is needed to bond further. Make this happen whether it is weekly, bi-weekly or monthly make it happen. Remind yourself of why you started dating and how exciting it was. Make date night a no drama zone and just focus on each other in a positive way.
Celebrate the friendships which were already established before the marriage and have some couples you add to the friendship rotation. Friendships are golden and it is important to maintain them without disrespecting your spouse. Friendships do not have to be tricky during your marriage however you do need to establish boundaries.
● Allow your spouse alone time with their friends.
● Make sure you know each other's friends.
● Go out with your friend every now and then as a couple.
● Gently communicate your concerns should they arise.
Pampering and taking care of each other is golden to the success of your marriage. Plan mental vacations, day trips, vacations etc.… to ensure they know you appreciate them and care about their well-being and the well-being of you as a couple. There are many simple ways to explore.
Respect each other no matter what even if you disagree. You should have a united front no matter what especially with outside sources. Do not allow anyone to discuss your spouse in a negative light with you. Show your spouse respect and support on every level and communicate gently about the concerns should they arrive.
Reading together will be beneficial as well. I love to suggest reading The 5 Love Languages and The Wisdom of Florence Shinn. I will not give a spoiler however I do want you to read these two books and I will go ahead and say you are welcome.
Investing in the longevity of your marriage can be challenging and worth it. What other tips would you add? What works for you?