This is true even if the start of the relationship was bumpy. Hence, not setting things right at the very beginning is not insurmountable.
For the relationship to work, both partners need to maintain and improve their relationship continuously. The answers to “how to maintain a healthy married life” might differ significantly from one couple to the next.
There is no universal recipe as no two couples are the same. However, some pieces of advice can be of help to the majority of partners learning how to maintain a healthy married life.
What is a healthy relationship?
A healthy relationship contains a balance of power between both partners. It involves trust, respect, honesty, etc. It takes continuous efforts and compromises from both people to maintain it.
When partners respect each other’s independence, decisions, privacy, space, and opinions completely, they build a healthy relationship.
Here are some characteristics that can help you understand that a healthy relationship is more than feeling or caring for each other.
1. You respect each other
Respect is the most important characteristic of a healthy relationship. It helps you overcome most issues as you consider your partner before speaking hurtful words and actions.
2.You share vulnerability
When you are willing to share your heart and most profound feelings, it helps you build a strong foundation of your relationship. Being vulnerable helps you admit what you want from your partner at all stages of life.
3. You both are empathetic
Empathy allows you to understand your partner’s feelings better. It may not give you the solution to every problem, but when there is mutual empathy, you can be there to support your partner and understand their point of view.
Watch this video about the power of empathy to know how it can help you build a strong relationship:
4. You are kind to each other
Be as kind to your partner as you want them to be. You both should practice kindness to maintain a healthy married life. Kindness helps you uplift your partner, and that works both ways.
15 Tips to build & maintain healthy relationships and marriage
Even the strongest relationships need effort, and without it, a relationship can lose its charm in no time. If you want to know how to maintain a healthy married life or relationship, you need to work on maintaining and improving the relationship constantly.
Here are some detailed tips to maintain a healthy relationship.
1. Put partner’s glasses on to understand
The fatal mistake we, as humans, can commit is to assume instead of checking. We think that only because we think about a specific topic in one way, the other is seeing it the same.
Try to recall how often you have said, “Take me, for example? I would have done it differently.”
Although that is true, you are not in a relationship with yourself, and the other person you are with has a different thinking process and a view of the world. Their actions stem from their perspective of the issue and life itself.
Based on our previous experiences with the world and people, we modify our assumptions accordingly.
For example, if we had a situation where we were betrayed, we are most likely going to try to exercise control to prevent analogous hurt. Without such experience, we might be more open towards others.
Our thoughts drive our behavior, and they are developed based on our life so far. Therefore, there is a significant chance your partner sees things differently than you are since their life experience was different.
Hence, the first and foremost advice is to try their shoes on for size and check out how it feels.
Be that as it may, understanding doesn’t mean conforming. It is about figuring out what something means for our partner, not behaving as they would expect us to or how they would act.
Partners should be capable of compromising and tolerate some of the actions they don’t like in the other. However, those should not be the ones they find crucial to remain in a relationship in general. Additionally, they should only expect the other to compromise on items not part of their identity and vice versa.
Altering your partner to fit your expectations will merely make your partner unhappy and eventually you too.
For starters, you will not respect them since they act as clay, allowing you to reshape them as you desire. Compromise is necessary for a relationship to work, but both partners should not tolerate any identity change requests.
We might argue that best is to find a person that doesn’t need to change the core things that make us who we are, though to make a relationship work, some level of adjustment is necessary.
Nevertheless, we need to be alright with any change we make about ourselves, and those should not be characteristics that define us. For this reason, a safe road to take is to focus on yourself and your change.
Once you alter your behavior, your partner will have to adjust theirs too. This way, you can accomplish the change you would like to see in others’ behavior, but you focus on what you can control – your actions.
4. Have a wide support system
Do you consistently go to your partner to satisfy your needs for comfort, fun, sex, etc.? Are they the sole person you share sadness, worry, and happiness with? If your answer is “yes,” you might consider expanding your social circle.
One person alone can’t and should not be the sole provider for our needs.
Even so, there are some needs that we should rely solely on our partner for, such as sex. This is only true for some relationships, though, and it doesn’t go for open relationships in which partners agree to date multiple people simultaneously.
Why do we want to have a wider social circle if our partner is excellent in providing what we need? There should be friends that can be there for us when our partner is unable.
No one can be there for us forever. They can try, but in case they can’t, you should be able to turn to someone else instead of trying to extort it for your partner.
5. Demonstrate appreciation instead of taking them for granted
Let’s face it – nothing is made to last forever, and everything needs maintenance. An unmanaged house will fall apart after some years. One might argue a house could be repaired for sure.
While this might be accurate, the investment required for the repairs could be significantly higher than the one required for routine maintenance. Not to mention the neglect could make it damaged beyond repair. We could say similar goes for relationships.
Express appreciation to your partner as often as you can. We talk about intimate and small actions like breakfast in bed, preparing a romantic surprise, or buying their favorite candy. Do it as and when you can, but it is also important to do it as often as possible.
On the other hand, there will be times when you are too tired or stressed to focus on the other. While this is normal, those periods should not last too long. What is considered too long? This depends on you, your partner, and your communication.
Communicating that something is consuming your energy and focus away could help them be more patient and provide you with the needed support.
6. Fight smarter and fight fair
There will be fights. No relationship is prone to this. Some will be more and some less dangerous to the relationship. If you allow yourself to insult your partner and speak out of anger, you are inevitably endangering the relationship.
This will wound them, and even though you might want to take those words back later, you won’t be able to.
Alternatively, fight smarter by making a “fighting break” when you notice you are about to say something you will regret.
Use this time to call your friend and vent before going back to talk to your partner. This is also one of the reasons you should have other people you can rely on who can calm you down when you are fighting with your partner.
One crucial piece of advice on how to maintain a healthy married life is to remember – it is you two against the world, not one against the other.
Sometimes, it is best to write your emotions down, especially if you feel overwhelmed about something. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to write about something terrible, a fight, or your partner’s negative points.
Try to focus on the silver lining and write down positive things. It will help you look beyond the flaws.
9. Practice saying thank you
When you start living together, a regular expression of gratitude gets lost as you assume that your partner already knows how grateful you are for everything they do. However, that’s not true.
It helps to express gratitude regularly to build a strong marriage. It provides a sense of satisfaction.
10.Celebrate small things
Be it a small promotion of a new purchase or a new weight goal. Anything that you and your partner achieve, even if it’s not that big, please celebrate it together. Make it a rule to appreciate every little thing.
Most couples who have different work shifts tend to drift apart because they don’t have enough time to sit down and communicate about their day or anything related to their lives.
Make a rule to eat at least one meal together and communicate for 15 minutes everyday, even if it’s raining fire in your work universe. When people take a day or two off of their communication with their partner, they slowly grow apart as it feels too much to start a conversation after a gap.
Make sure that you don’t let that communication gap come between you and your partner, and you regularly communicate about all the essential and personal information.
It would be best to avoid being on your phone around your partner as it divides your focus and narrows your chances of having a meaningful conversation or making an impactful memory.
If you are around your phone, your partner will slowly start to think that you are more attached to your phone than them. It can impact your relationship negatively.
13. Plan regular dates
So what if you have been together for years? To maintain a marriage, you have to put in some genuine efforts. It would be best if you plan two dates a month. You both can choose a place of your choice of one date each.
Also, it would be best to rule that no office or household conversations will be a part of this date. It would give you a needed break from your regular life and make you both feel like lovers.
To make a marriage work, you also have to accept the people in your partner’s life. Include each other’s friends on special occasions and make sure you attend to them. Build a comfortable environment so that your partner feels comfortable with you around them.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.