If you’re in a relationship then chances are you’re going to be facing some tough times. It’s easy to say to yourself that you should make it work for the sake of the kids, how about you make it work so that your kids have a happy Mummy?
I decided that with every day I not only need patience and understanding for my wonderful little toddler, but as much patience (more… MORE patience) and understanding for my husband. Now whether you have a husband, a wife, a life partner or whatever, these tips for a healthier marriage will help you get and keep, your relationship on track. I watched my mother be unhappy for a long time when I was very little and it was awful. She was a dreadfully unhappy person and being married to my father (or any of her 3 husbands as it turned out) made her even more unhappy. Her unhappiness had an adverse effect on her kids. Don’t stay together for your kids, you’ll do more long-term harm than good.
Before you give up completely on the love which you once had burning brightly, try the following tips for a healthier marriage:
- Communicate – Communicate healthily, if you feel detached from your spouse, then try reaching out to them. When you have something you need to convey to your partner, if they do something which you aren’t particularly happy about, approach them with I statements only. So instead of saying; “You never help me tidy up.” Try instead saying how you feel; “It makes me feel like you don’t respect me enough to help me with the housework.” or “I feel a little neglected because we never have us time anymore.” Sometimes not only are our words and intent hurtful, but it’s all about how we deliver the message.
- Be Kind – It’s easy to lose your temper or to try to use sarcasm to keep you from screaming or losing your mind! I personally struggle with the sarcasm a lot. But words can be so very hurtful, always ALWAYS always try to be kind.
- Remember the little things – We grow up reading romance novels and watching epic love stories but the reality of a relationship isn’t the big romantic gesture or epic journey of how you met, it’s the everyday mundane bits. My husband always makes me a cup of tea. Honestly, he makes me more tea than I make tea for anyone period. Every morning and every evening my cuppa is there waiting for me. I see this little gesture and I know it’s his way of saying something which I myself formulate into words. So, in turn, I try to do the same for him, just pick up his dirty clothes off the floor for him, instead of giving him a hard time about it. It’s important to not only do the little things but to also acknowledge them! Thank them for washing the dishes or going to the shops or emptying the bins. Find ways of making their life a little easier;
- Wake up 10 minutes earlier and pack their work lunch.
- Wake them up with their morning coffee or tea in bed.
- Leave little notes on the bathroom mirror for them to find
- Heat their slippers up on the radiator before they come home from work or wake up in the mornings.
- Every so often, get them a special treat they love, when doing the grocery shopping.
- Listen to them talk about their favourite things and make a mental note of something special they would appreciate for a birthday or xmas present.
- Compliment each other, even on an ordinary day, knowing you’re looking especially nice in an everyday work shirt or that that new shampoo you’re using makes your hair smell divine, is always nice to hear!
- Honesty is the best policy – This one is a particularly hard one for me, as I detest lies. My husband really is on the other side of the spectrum when it comes to telling the truth about everything. Lies, even tiny white lies, can be a marriage killer. Try to be as open and honest as possible, even when you know you’re heading towards an uncomfortable conversation which will lead you to the dog house. The lie will be worse if it comes out and they tend to have a way of making themselves known.
- Make an effort for each other – Sometimes couples forget that men and woman are different… woman like romance, they want to be wined and dined, they want flowers and candles and dancing. Men want sex. They want what porn offers. Give your partner what they want and in turn, they’ll do the same for you. Also make an effort in other areas, if your partner wants something you’re not usually very good at, say one prefers a night in while the other wants to go out… plan a night out once a month and go to the theatre or even just dinner and a movie. It doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you’re making an effort for the person you love.
- Affection – Be affectionate with each other. Some couples may not like public displays of affection, in which case be affectionate at home. A quick neck rub, or a kiss on the cheek or even just a quick stroke on their hands, lets them know you’re happy to have them nearby.
- Passion – Two types of passion; that in the bedroom and that in your interests. It’s important to share your interests and likes with one another, you should find something you both like doing together and equally so something that you do separately. Find your own friends and activities, so that you are able to be away from one another as well as have some new interesting things to talk to one another about. And if you’re complete opposites, find something that you can do together. This can be tricky, I’m constantly trying to find things for my husband and I to both be excited about doing together. Dance classes, learn a new language together, cooking classes, perhaps there’s a specific genre of movies you both like or find a new hobby for both of you to try out together.
- Passion & Intimacy – The other kind of passion is that thing which ultimately brought you together. You were initially attracted to each other physically and after years of getting to know every aspect of a person, it can be difficult to keep this flame alive. There are so many ways you can keep this flame burning bright! That’s not really what this post is about though, so I won’t go into much detail, but the most important part of this is communication and openness. Talk to each other, find new ways to excite each other and don’t be afraid of trying new things! You don’t want to lose that spark completely one day. Keep it fresh.
- Your Appearance – Ok so this is a tough one. On the one hand, you are beautiful, just the way you are and TV and magazines have painted an unrealistic picture of what people should look like. Equally so, we are all only human and when you are attracted to someone, you can’t really help that you respond if they look a certain way. I sure as heck don’t want my husband to let himself go! Don’t get me wrong, after a long time people get older and with age comes things you can’t avoid like wrinkles, grey hair, a bit of extra weight and well, sagging. And I do love him dearly, even though he no longer has rock hard abs! I still think he looks amazing, but in all fairness, he has looked after himself really really well. He still looks great. Would I still be as attracted to him if he, for example, doubled in size? I honestly don’t know. I think I’d still really want to, but if he stops looking after himself or if he no longers wants to bath every day or look after his teeth so well… well it might become difficult for me to keep wanting to jump his bones. I’m not saying you have to starve yourself and look like a victorias secret model, but look after yourself so you remain as attractive as the day he met you. Keep doing that thing he loves with your hair or using that special shade of lipstick he (or she, this really is aimed at everybody) likes so much. My husband doesn’t wear cologne often but knows I like it so makes an effort to use it more often.
More than anything, relationships are hard. Making them work or even knowing if you’ve chosen the ‘right’ partner, it’s really tough! Keep working at it, there will be days you’ll question every decision you’ve ever made and there’ll be days you are so grateful for one another. But remember you are both human and people make mistakes. Be flexible and forgiving and always be kind to one another.
You might also want to read some of our other posts: