Being married and spending a life with someone takes a lot of commitment and work. Sometimes, the couple has to face adversities. Still, the willingness to adapt and compromise and the determination to go through hard times together can be the saving grace of the relationship. It isn’t always so easy, and maintaining a healthy relationship with your spouse may take effort. Couples with a strong understanding and connection are better equipped to work through the issues. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if you are newly married or if you are looking to rekindle the romantic feelings again. You can take steps to build a strong connection with your spouse and help your marriage stay strong.
1. Learn to negotiate conflict
Having conflicts with the people you’re close to is a normal part of life. However, what isn’t normal is when the intensity escalates, and the situation becomes emotionally unsafe. The most crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy married life is to learn to know when the issue is getting out of hand and stop before it escalates. In such cases, understanding the issue, its roots, and learning to see from a different point of view as yours can be the saving grace of your marriage. However, consult with a marriage and family therapist if you believe that you cannot understand your spouse’s feelings and the matters keep getting worse. As the COAMFTE accredited MFT programs have become a more accessible and in-demand choice for therapists, more qualified marriage and family counselors are available than before. You can use these resources to learn how you can understand, discuss, compromise, make your relationship stronger, and even save your marriage.
2. Spend time with each other
Once you promise to spend your lives together, it may sound weird about advising someone to spend more time with their spouse. But the key to a healthy married life is the time you and your spouse spend together. This time strengthens the relationship, promotes love and understanding, and allows the emotional bonds to grow.
For this purpose, you can plan weekly date nights or indulge in some activities on the weekend. A good rule is to have one date night each week, one weekend getaway after a month, and one weekly vacation a year. If you believe that getaways are impossible, work towards this goal. Keep in mind that your marriage needs the quantity and quality of time you and your spouse spend together.
3. Show respect for each other
Respect is the crucial ingredient in every healthy relationship. When couples don’t respect their spouse or their space and boundaries, they tend to slip into habits that can potentially destroy their relationship. You must treat your spouse the way you would like to be treated, with respect and love. If you begin acting on this advice, you will strengthen the marital bond. Ask yourself if you would like to be criticized or treated with negativity and criticism before you complain about your spouse. Instead, shower them with love and compliments, and respect them as equal human beings.
4. Learn about yourself
Personal growth halts if you stop making efforts towards self-discovery. When many people get married or start a relationship without fully understanding themselves, the issue arises. Their internal confusion and conflicts then translate into their surroundings, and they have a difficult time understanding their spouse. For this reason, you must first learn about yourself to become a better spouse. After all, sharing beliefs and values is the biggest strength in a marriage. If you don’t know where you stand regarding this aspect, where does your marriage stand? Hence, the first step is to determine your fears, insecurities, flaws, future aspirations, etc., and keep them in mind when bonding with your spouse.
5. Maintain intimacy
Marital intimacy is one of the most crucial aspects of a marriage that can either make it or break it. The reason is that it opens the door for closeness, enjoyment, and excitement in marriage. However, intimacy is not only limited to sexuality. The main focus lies in the emotional aspects of intimacy. It includes making your spouse feel loved, cared for, and protected. You must create a space for yourself and your spouse where you both can be vulnerable without the fear of looking weak or getting judged. Make sure that you offer both types of intimacy to your partner in a relationship.
6. Keep outside interests and relationships alive
You cannot find complete fulfillment from one person only. Expecting your partner to fulfill all of your needs can have a very unhealthy impact on your marriage. These unrealistic expectations can put pressure and strain on your relationship and increase conflict. For this reason, it is important that you main your outside relationships and interests alongside. Maintain your relationships with friends and family, and take out some time to enjoy your interests and hobbies. Find out some shared hobbies and interests that you both can enjoy and indulge in them to deepen your bond and love.
7. Communicate openly and honestly
A lack of communication and dishonesty often becomes the bane of a healthy relationship. For this reason, you must communicate your thoughts, desires, needs, and concerns with your spouse openly and honestly. Moreover, it would be best if you also focused on creating a safe space for your spouse where they can feel comfortable and trust you.
8. Focus on the positive
Make a habit of discussing five positive aspects of your spouse and the relationship whenever a problem arises. By redirecting your focus on the positive rather than the negative, you can stop the matter from escalating and resolve the issue completely in some situations. Having a rich dose of positivity and recounting good aspects of your married life can help you get through tough times.
There is no one-size-fits-all guidance or formula that a couple can use to ensure a happy and fulfilling marriage. The reason is that each person’s requirements for a relationship are different. In such a scenario, your responsibility as a spouse is to understand your partner’s needs and find ways to fulfill them. With practice and time, you will be able to find the perfect balance in your relationship that keeps you both happy and fulfilled. It may take a lot of work and commitment to reach that point, but the results are worth the struggle.