Being married has turned out to be harder than I thought it would be. I know that the start of my marriage was a little different to a lot of other people’s, considering that within 11 months of meeting my husband we were married with a new baby and I relocated as soon as we got married..
Then two years later number two arrived. I had also started a new business within months of my first baby being born.
Now 5+ years down the line of married and family life I am starting to realize a few things. The first is that while I thought I was an easy going relaxed person that compromises easily that has not actually been the case (to put it mildly). I can now look back and see that there have been so many times that I refused point blank to bend even a little and forced things my way.
I was so absorbed in how tough I had found all the changes (and new babies) that it never occurred to me that my husband was dealing with these changes, plus a cranky wife. I have to be realistic here and say that I am not always the easiest person to live with.
It has taken me a while to get into this marriage thing, but here we are still married and 3 months away from our 6 year wedding anniversary, so we have had to have gotten something right in a society where divorce is so prevalent.
I am happy in my marriage and I love my husband dearly, here are some tips for a healthy marriage that I have followed that may help you find more happiness and togetherness in your marriage.
1 Marriage Takes Constant Work and Dedication
Just like you need to keep exercising and eating properly to maintain a healthy body and mind your marriage also needs constant care and attention. One of the mistakes I have made in my marriage is to only work on it when things start going wrong.
It is important for me to constantly maintain my relationship with my husband. When I do this we have less conflict and when we do have a disagreement it is resolved much easier and faster.
2 Love The Person You Married
Always remember why you married your spouse and remember to cherish those characteristics that made you fall for him in the first place. Everyone has character defects so try and focus on all the positives and instead of trying to change your husband remember why you love him so much.
Always look for the best in each other and focus on that.
3 Learn Each Other’s Love Languages
Every person shows love in their own way and they also want to receive love in a certain way in order to feel loved. Explore this with your partner and find out about each other’s love languages so you know how to give and receive love that will make your marriage stronger.
Instead of just assuming your spouse knows how you expect to be loved tell him and ask him what you can do that will make him feel loved in return. Something as simple as that can make massive changes to both of your happiness and strengthen your marriage.
4 Learn How To Communicate and Resolve Conflict
Learn how to communicate in a healthy way. It is essential that you both learn how to listen and talk to each other.
The fact is that even the best marriages have some conflict. It is important to be able to resolve conflict in a healthy way. Learn how to fight fair and know when to compromise. You won’t always be able to have your own way so you will need to compromise at times, as will your spouse.
You can also agree to disagree on some things and still get along.
5 Sexual & Emotional Intimacy
Learn to be emotionally open and intimate with your spouse. Talk about your feelings and try to encourage your spouse to open up too. It is important that you are able to feel safe and secure with each other.
Yes sex is important too, and while sex after kids may become a sore point between married couples, it is important to talk about it and to have sex regularly. It will bring you closer together as a couple.
6 Say Sorry, Forgive and Forget
Saying sorry is not a sign of weakness or losing. Saying sorry is so important in your marriage, so learn how to do it in the right way.
At the same time it is important to forgive your partner when they are trying to make amends for something and to not hold a grudge and open up old wounds.
Try and resolve conflict at the time, to say sorry or offer forgiveness and then move on.
Yes I totally understand that some situations will be harder than others, so things like dealing with infidelity is not a simple solution and will take a little more work, possibly marriage counseling.
7 Respect Each Other
Always treat your spouse with respect. Words can have long lasting damages that are hard to repair. Watch how you speak to your spouse and how you speak about him to other people.
8 Spend Quality Time Together
While it may not be easy to spend much time alone when you have small kids, try and make some time for each other even if it is not a lot of time.
Try to get a babysitter and go on a date every now and then, schedule movie nights in and if you have to, make set nights every week for sex and physical intimacy to ensure you get those in!
9 You Are A Team, You Are A Family
Always remember that you and your spouse are a team. Your family unit is a team. It is not you against anyone else. It is you, your spouse and your children that need to be the most important things in your life.
10 Be True To Your Spouse All The Time
Be faithful to your spouse. Being faithful is not just about sexual fidelity, it is much deeper than that.
Don’t flirt with other people. Don’t be emotionally unfaithful to your spouse by saying things to other people that you should be sharing only with your husband. Don’t spend huge amounts of time outside the home with other people, thereby neglecting spending any quality time with your husband.
If you are feeling lonely in your marriage give these tips a try and see if you can turn things around. A marriage can be an amazing bond or it can be a miserable affair, the choice is up to you and your spouse.
I’ve recently come across some articles about the seven stages of marriage which was really interesting, and it looks like my husband I have gone through the Honeymoon phase, the Realization Stage, the Rebellion Stage and now we appear to be in stage four which is the Cooperation Stage – phew… but it is interesting to note that my marriage certainly moved through all of those stages.
Maybe the seven stages of marriage should be my next topic on marriage!
For myself I find the thought of growing old with my husband really romantic, I want to make sure that we have a strong and lasting bond as we journey through this life together.
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