You may think that you make your spouse your number one priority. After all, you’d do anything for them! But do your actions reveal that your spouse really does come first? If you studied your calendar for the month would it show plenty of date nights with your spouse spent connecting, or would it show social events with your friends and work obligations?
What is really taking priority in your life? It’s no secret that marriage requires effort. Even for two people with the same interests, morals, and goals, it can still be difficult to maintain a healthy relationship.
If you want a happy, healthy marriage you need to learn to make your relationship a priority in your life.
If you want to learn how to put your partner first when there are so many other things competing for your attention, keep reading. Here are 6 reasons why not making your relationship a priority may lead to the end of your marriage.
1. The problem: You aren’t connecting
When you fail to make your relationship a priority you start to lack that romantic connection that once made you crazy about each other. Instead of passionate partners, you may start to feel like good roommates.
A lack of communication in your marriage can lead to a host of problems. Misunderstandings that lead to arguments and a feeling of loneliness for one or both partners.
If you can’t talk to your spouse you may start to confide in someone new, which can lead to romantic interests outside the marriage.
The solution: Start and end your day together
Starting your day together doing something as simple as sitting down and having a 10-minute conversation over coffee or breakfast is a great way to connect with your spouse. Use this time to talk about what you’ll be doing that day or catch up.
Another great way to connect with your spouse when you don’t have a lot of time is to go to bed together every night.
Studies show that there is a direct link between relationship problems and sleeping habits. Couples who go to bed at the same time feel safer together, while couples who frequently sleep apart may be avoiding each other.
2. The problem: You’re not devoting time
You may lead a busy life. Taking care of your children, working full-time, and family obligations might leave you exhausted at the end of your day, leaving little time to connect with your spouse.
Your reasons for putting your spouse off may be legitimate, but continuing to prioritize your romantic relationship last can cause a rift between you and your partner.
The solution: Learn to say no
One way you learn to put your partner first is to start prioritizing your time. This may mean learning to say no to certain things, such as invitations to go out with friends.
Of course, spending time with friends and family is not a bad thing, but it can be harmful to your marriage if you haven’t yet devoted any personal time to your spouse.
3. The problem: You don’t check-in
Have you ever felt like your partner never asks how you’re doing, or like they always have something going on that you didn’t know about? Not making your relationship a priority can make you and your partner feel like strangers.
You don’t have a clue what they’re up to and they don’t know
The solution: Keep in touch
Make your relationship a priority by proactively keeping in touch with your spouse. Have a video chat at lunchtime, call, or text throughout the day to keep each other in the know about what’s going on throughout the day.
Get in the habit of staying in touch throughout the day. Couples also benefit from having a ‘marriage check-in’ each week where they discuss what’s going on in their lives, as well as what they appreciate and what could use work in the relationship.
4. The problem: You argue all the time
Not making your relationship a priority can lead to resentment in the marriage. When you resent your partner or do not feel a connection to them you are more inclined to argue instead of communicating about your problems.
The solution: Learn to communicate
Communication is one of, if not the most important aspect of a healthy relationship. In order to prioritize your spouse, you need to learn how to communicate with them. This means sharing your life, your thoughts, and your concerns, even when they are hard or uncomfortable to talk about.
Learning to communicate also means knowing when to talk and when to listen. Let your partner know that they have your undivided attention when they are communicating.
Put your phone down, turn electronics off, make eye contact, and give thoughtful responses. Doing so will help you connect and communicate without argument.
5. The problem: You aren’t partners
Partners consult one another before making decisions, they support one another through thick and thin, and they communicate regularly. The less of a priority you and your spouse become to one another, the less like ‘partners’ you are.
The solution: Consult one another
Let your partner know that they are a priority to you by consulting them before you make decisions.
Big decisions like whether to take a new job or move to a new city are obvious life choices that should be discussed with your spouse.
But don’t forget to include them in smaller decisions such as who picks up the kids tonight, making plans with friends for the weekend, or whether you eat dinner together or grab something for yourself.
6. The problem: You don’t see each other
Think of your marriage like you would think about learning a new language. You can’t get better at it unless you practice, practice, practice. Similarly, in marriage, you can’t create a deeper connection with your spouse if you don’t put in the effort.
The solution: Go on dates
Having a regular date night each week is a great way to reconnect with your spouse. Spend this time dating like you did when you first started your relationship. Use this time to have fun with your spouse, to plan an outing, and to communicate with each other.
Don’t let a busy lifestyle push your marriage to the backburner. Take control today by showing your spouse that their love, happiness, and partnership is important to you. Give your spouse your time and communicate regularly about your lives. These steps will bring you closer to making your relationship a priority.