Marriage requires a lot of understanding on the part of both spouses and a certain degree of compromises too.
You need to accommodate some likes, dislikes, and lifestyles of your partner while expecting them to reciprocate.
If you are feeling like your marriage is not where you want it to be, there are many things you can start to do right now that can contribute to the improving relationship with your spouse.
This article shares time-tested and proven ways for strengthening marriages against storms of life.
What constitutes a strong foundation for a marriage?
To strengthen a marriage couples need to ensure that they nurture their relationship from the beginning. Marriage is a rewarding experience especially for those who built a strong foundation of their relationship.
Listed below are 4 principles essential for building a strong foundation for a marriage:
Commitment is the part of the relationship that provides safety and security, so couples can express their thoughts, feelings, and desires openly.
The commitment you make to your partner to be their other half in life is a huge one.
It is the act of conveying meanings from one entity or group to another through the use of mutually understood signs, symbols, and semiotic rules.
Relationship communication skills don’t come easy for everyone. Some couples will have to work on their techniques for years. But over time, they will be able to speak openly and honestly with one another.
Well, patience is the ability to tolerate or restrain yourself from reacting in anger or frustration.
Patience in marriage is fundamental for your relationship to flourish. To such an extent, that it’s one of the significant marriage skills.
Patience brings a sense of contentment to the family. If both the partners patiently listen to each other or to their children, there are higher chances of the family life to continue with stability.
Intimacy involves the expression of our most profound, and most vulnerable parts of ourselves, which includes our deepest hopes, fears, dreams, thoughts, feelings, and pain. These sensitive feelings are tough to express.
Real intimacy is vital to strengthen a marriage and keep it thriving. Without it, marriages may morph into routine, roommate-like living situations, which is hardly satisfying for either partner.
With the current divorce rate between 40-50%, many couples are in search of ways to strengthening their marriage. With this fact in mind and in hopes of decreasing this rate, we offer the following 10 suggestions below for strengthening a marriage.
1. Rid off the relationships in your life that are “toxic”
A toxic relationship is one that demands more than it gives. These types of relationships can be with family members, friends, and/or others we deal with on a regular basis. Do what it takes to end relationships that are no longer beneficial to you or your marriage with your spouse.
2. Work together as a team instead of competing with one another
Life is a rat race and none of us are going to get out alive, therefore, it is best to face life’s challenges as a team instead of competing to see who can handle difficult situations better or more often.
Pets are known for bringing happiness to a home and can even help strengthening your marriage. Consider adopting a cat or dog from your local shelter. This will provide a fun opportunity for picking out a name for your new pet and taking him, or her, out to play.
7. Plan a date night either once a week or a month
A date night can be as simple as having dinner at a local diner, a picnic, or going on a short walk at your favorite place during the weekend.
Not only will this help to strengthen a marriage but also solidify a friendship as partners. Eventually, it will become an activity that you both look forward to.
8. Make plans that suit both spouses in the relationship
Try finding out what your partner enjoys and try participating in the same – your partner will appreciate the gesture and do the same for you next time.
9. Spice things up in the bedroom
A “happy sex life” is ultimately an underlying key for the success of any marriage. Both partners must be fully satisfied in the bedroom and it is great to try new things or “spice things up.”
Consider visiting a local adult store or perhaps shopping online (for those who are more shy) for new lingerie and/or a sexual game to play with your spouse.
10. Have meaningful and open conversations with your spouse
Build upon your communication skills by allotting a set time for open discussions. During this time, nothing is off-limits and both spouses agree to only use words that are kind and never insulting; neither person can get mad, angry, or upset.
If this were to occur, the conversation should be closed and revisited during the next set time.
Also watch: How to skip the small talk and connect with anyone.
11. Don’t stress about the little things
Regardless of how much you and your partner love each other, you would find yourself bickering and arguing about some silly and inconsequential things.
Stressing about little things that hardly matter is not a good practice and usually emerges in a relationship from either partner’s obsession with those little things.
The results from a study showed that both husband’s and wives’ experience of total daily stress was associated with greater same-day marital conflict and that conflict was greater on days both spouses experienced high levels of stress.
Letting go of excessive stress is one of the best ways to strengthen a marriage.
12. Reminisce together
Reminiscing together can help the two of you reconnect and remember why you fell in love. Build that nostalgia into your future activities and the emotional attachment can reform.
Reminiscing about the good times is one of the best ways to bring romance back into a relationship and strengthen a marriage.
13. Take responsibility for your actions
You don’t want to be in a relationship where one partner is always looking down and feeling sorry for another. It makes more sense to acknowledge your faults and ask for help from your partner.
14. Leave the past in the past
If something happened many years ago, don’t bring it up now. Rather stick to the topic at hand. An essential part of any marriage is being able to forgive each other and move on.
To strengthen a marriage you need to focus more on the present and not be bogged down by the instances in the past.
15. Have fun
Life can be challenging, demanding, busy and I could keep going on and on about the difficulties it brings us sometimes. Despite this, or better yet in spite of this, it’s important to create the time and space in your relationship to have fun.
16. Show unconditional positive regard
Show unconditional positive regard for your partner so they know that your love for them is not dependent on circumstances. This allows your partner to feel safe to share anything with you, even if they know you will not like it.
17. Talk about sex
Don’t just have sex but have conversations about it. Talk about patterns, likes, dislikes, desires, fantasies, etc. Couples who have discussions about intimate topics are more likely to be healthier, happier, and last longer.
A study found a clear association between the use of sexual terms, particularly slang terms, and relationship satisfaction and closeness.
18. Accommodate each other’s needs
Always be flexible; change occurs in every relationship. Accept that you can’t always have things your way, things are not going to always go as planned, or how you want them to go.
19. Learn how to manage conflict
There are some conflicts you may not ever resolve, but you can learn to manage them by coming up with agreeable solutions, compromising, agreeing to disagree, and letting go.
20. Love yourself
For successful relationships, you must love yourself first before you love another. You cannot give what you do not have. Be mindful of how you spend your time, Care about your diet, and Cut off toxic people.
To strengthen a marriage the development of many skills are required – communication skills, emotional intelligence, planning, problem-solving, negotiation, resourcefulness, reliability, and parenting skills.
When all of these elements are combined what you get is a profound connection.
Try these tips and work your best to strengthen a marriage and forge a bond with your partner that can not break easily.
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.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.