Five Marriage Habits You Need To Know
Probably the MOST important thing that no one tells you about marriage is that marriage is work. Both partners need to know that each one should work on their marriage every day. Does this mean marriage is all work and no play? Of course not! In fact, some of the most important work that each partner should commit to doing to keep their marriage alive and healthy IS play.
Our everyday lives after the wedding ceremony is over can become routine and even dull. After all, many of the things we must do in our adult lives are repetitive, such as our careers, in many cases. It is wonderful if you love your job and it is fulfilling and exciting, but not everyone is that blessed. Many of us work to provide our income only, and pursue our dreams when we are not at work in our daily jobs. Many tasks of daily life – cleaning the house, yard work, cooking, shopping, etc. – are boring and routine as well, but must be done to survive and stay healthy. When our lives seem to become routine and old hat, we need to remember the work we should put into keeping our marriages healthy! Below are five important habits to instill into your everyday lives as a couple to keep your marriage happy and long-lasting.
- Always keep the lines of communication open. Even if you are angry, you should feel safe talking to each other. When you come home from work dog-tired, you should still be willing to listen to your partner if they need or want to talk to you. Remember to always try to practice active listening. Active listening is when you actually hear what your partner is saying, rather than simply waiting for them to finish speaking so that you can say your piece. Be honest with yourself – haven’t we all done that sometimes in our lives? Sometimes we don’t even pay attention to what someone else is saying because we are so eager to state our own viewpoint. Don’t do that to your spouse. Listen to what they are saying and try to understand. Remember, you are each other’s chosen mate for life. Shouldn’t you value what they think and feel and show them that? Respecting each other’s feelings and thoughts goes a long way toward keeping a marriage together. No rolling eyes while your partner is speaking either.
- Make time to enjoy life together. Be playful. Have fun. Even if you have little spare time together, you can pencil in time every week to do fun and enjoyable activities together. This doesn’t have to be expensive activities – there are so many things that couples can do together that cost little or nothing. Take a walk on the beach or in the park or even just through your neighborhood. Chat, joke, share stories from work, even dance! All of those things are completely free and easy. Take in a movie. Go out to eat. Go to a museum. Take an art class. You can find free and cheap local events online – remember, Google is your friend.
- Try to divide responsibilities at home and out in your community errand-running as equally as possible. If you can discuss and agree which one of you will do what as far as tasks and chores are concerned, neither should feel frustrated and overwhelmed. If it doesn’t work well for both of you the first time, simply discuss the assignments and rearrange them to suit you both better. Traditional male-female roles need not apply – if you’re a guy who loves to cook and your partner loves to clean the house spic and span, then roll with that. As long as everything gets done, who cares who does what? The main thing is to ensure that the chores are divided fairly.
- Keep the romance alive. We all age if we live long enough – physically and in every way. Still, we need to keep alive the feelings that drew us to want to spend our lives together in the first place. Remember that it takes very little effort, money, or time to show someone how much you care. Some ideas to try? A back run or foot rub when your spouse is tired and sore is free and only takes a few minutes. A bonus with that idea is that you just might get one in return! Pick some wildflowers or buy a small bouquet or perhaps a small box of candy. Buy a nice takeout dinner on the way home so neither of you has to cook. Rent a favorite movie that means something to you both and have microwave popcorn and a glass of wine while watching the show. Take a moment while doing chores at home and hug your partner, or dance for just a moment. Little things truly do mean a lot, and showing your love for one another in romantic and kind ways keeps that fire burning in your hearts.
- Be honest, respectful, and loyal. A marriage is a team. Your spouse should have your back and vice versa. Telling each other the truth – even when difficult – goes a long way toward building trust, which is a necessity in any long-term relationship. Being respectful to each other is a must. If your partner disrespects you, it slowly hurts your heart to the point that bitterness and fighting will eventually occur. Just be kind and considerate, and do not be selfish and thoughtless. These are things that are really not that hard to do – it just takes some thought and common courtesy.
In short, anyone can at least try these five ideas to keep their marriage alive and successful. It just takes a little work in your everyday lives and accomplishes so much within your relationship. After all, aren’t you both worth it?