With New Year’s Eve on the horizon, most of us start turning our minds to our new year resolutions. Setting goals for the coming year and figuring out how to make them happen is a positive, proactive way to start the new year off on a good foot. But what about your marriage? Your marriage is one of the most important things in your life and, like other areas such as career and health, it needs regular nurturing to stay strong.
Try out the following resolutions and watch your marriage go from strength to strength in the next year.
Learn Healthy Ways Of Disagreeing
All spouses disagree sometimes – it’s only natural. However, learning to disagree in a healthy way makes all the difference in a marriage. A healthy disagreement is one in which each party feels heard and valued, and neither party feels attacked or invalidated. Realize that when you disagree, your partner is not your enemy. You’re having a difference of opinion, but you are still very much on the same team. Make a resolution to take the time to listen to and understand one another, and set aside your respective pride to work on a solution that serves your marriage.
Assume The Best
People can be thoughtless sometimes. Maybe your partner forget an event that really mattered to you, or didn’t do a chore they’d promised to do. It’s easy to get irritated when your partner does things that needle at you, but before you get angry, take a moment to assume the best. Assuming the best means assuming that your partner had a reason for their actions that wasn’t intended to hurt you. Perhaps they genuinely forgot, or didn’t realize it mattered to you so much. Perhaps they had something on their mind, or were feeling unwell. Always assume the best before you start communicating – it will make the new year a lot smoother.
Respect Each Other
Respect means being mindful of the way you speak to and treat one another. Your partner deserves to have an important place in your life, and to expect openness, honesty and kindness. You have those rights too. You’ve chosen to spend your life with your spouse, and they deserve your respect. You deserve their respect, too. Make a resolution to respect each other more in the coming year – your marriage will get stronger as a result.
Look For The Good
Marriage is wonderful, but it’s also hard work. It can be easy to get caught up in all the things your partner does that irritate you, or that you don’t like about them. Be careful though! That way lies resentment and a stressed new year. Instead, look for the good in your partner. Pay attention to all the things they do that show their love for you. Focus on the times you have fun together, or the times when you’re a fantastic team. The more you look for the good, the more you’ll find. And those irritating things? They won’t seem so irritating after all.
Set Goals Together
When was the last time you sat down and set some goals with your spouse? Being married means navigating life together, and setting mutual goals is part of any shared journey. Is there something you want to achieve together? Perhaps a home project, a trip you want to take, or even a hobby you’d like to take up together. Maybe you’d like to get your finances in better order, or plan for an addition to your family. Whatever it is, make a resolution to work on those goals together in the coming year. You’ll become an even better team, and feel closer to each other.
Make The Best Of Where You Are
Sometimes in life you’re not quite where you want to be. Maybe one of you is working to many long hours, or working in a job you don’t really like. Perhaps your finances aren’t ship shape yet, or your current home is far from your dream home. It’s good to know what you want to change, but don’t get caught in the trap of dwelling on the bad. You’ll soon start to feel out of sorts and more apt to snap at your spouse. Instead, take some time together to focus on and celebrate all the good things about where you are right now.
Spend Quality Time Together
Between work, kids, social events and local or community involvement, it’s all too easy to forget to spend quality time together. A hurried dinner with the kids or a quick rant about work before bed doesn’t count as quality time. Make a resolution that in the next year you’ll have at least a little quality time together every day. Just sharing a beverage and a chat will make a difference. Remember to make time each week or month for a proper date night or afternoon together, too.
Set some marriage resolutions and make this next year one where your marriage is stronger and more enjoyable than ever before.