5 Secret Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage
Emotional closeness is vital in a healthy marriage. One of the practical ways to strengthen your marriage is enhancing the emotional intimacy in your relationship.
But if you are trapped in uncertainty, self-doubt, or in extreme cases, you struggle to even like yourself, it’s incredibly hard to create emotional intimacy with your spouse.
But all’s not lost. There are little ways to make your marriage even stronger.
By consciously doing self-acceptance work, you keep your relationship open, deepening your emotional intimacy, all the while reducing the likelihood of creating unnecessary arguments with your partner.
Here are five key action steps to learn how to deepen your self-acceptance, to strengthen your marriage.
1. Change your mirror and refocus on the positive
Have you ever experienced that moment where someone gave you a compliment, and you followed it up with a, “Thanks, but…” statement?
“Thanks, but I’ve still got more weight to lose.”
“Thanks, but you should see me when the kids are home.”
“Thanks, but I’m still not quite where I want to be.”
People are more inclined to focus on the things that need improvement so you’re constantly growing, rather than on the things that are going well.
So it’s important to make space to appreciate and express gratitude for the aspects of yourself that you like.
Need help? Try this.
What makes you different from other people? Where do you stand out? You don’t have to go directly for the big, obvious traits.
2. Focus on the small things that make you the person that you are
Write down 10-20 things that you are or have accomplished in your life that you can actually be proud of.
You have managed to fall in love. You have managed to get married. And what about the things other people see in you and praise you for?
If you’re still drawing a blank, one of the simple ways to strengthen your marriage is to
ask your partner who cares about you and will tell you what they love about you.
The more you make this a regular practice, the stronger your confidence will grow.
3. Examine your stories and take responsibility
People are champions at creating stories and keeping those stories alive, even if they hold us back.
To reach a higher level of self-acceptance, it’s vital that you examine these stories and test them on their level of truth. Are you really as needy as you see yourself? Or is it something that your parents or first partner always told you?
You cannot heal what you don’t examine, so it’s important to be open and willing to see the stories you’ve created about yourself.
When you actively change your story, your perception of yourself will change. And when you perceive yourself differently, your partner will definitely see the change too.
4. Tackle your shame
Shame and guilt hold you back from who you actually are. It keeps you small and insignificant—makes you feel unworthy.
The key to mastering guilt and shame is to use the key of self-acceptance, examining your stories and whether or not they are true.
Take stock of the things you feel guilt or shame over. Are these things that you’ve truly done wrong, or are you putting too much pressure on yourself to be “the best”, which can leave you feeling like a failure.
Is it really important that you make it to every dance recital or extracurricular event?
Was it really that bad that you couldn’t pull an all-nighter to get the cupcakes baked?
And is it truly awful that your B.S. meter was full, so when someone crossed your boundaries you protested them a little more harshly than normal?
When you take an action you feel guilty or shameful about, do the work to clean it up (with yourself or others) and move on. Hanging on to guilt and shame only create emotional and intimate distance between you and your partner. Be willing to let things go so that there’s more room to bond deeper with your spouse.
5. Be kind to yourself and do the forgiveness work
It’s not always easy to say goodbye to old beliefs or obsolete patterns, even if they’re limiting or toxic. You created them for a reason, often because at some point, they kept you safe.
So when you let them go, you have to step out of your comfort zone so you can be the director of your life instead of the victim.
Take your time to let go of the old and surrender to the new. Realize that your old patterns and beliefs have been of service to you, and forgive them for holding you back or limiting you.
So, what are the best-kept secrets to a long-lasting marriage? Self- acceptance, and self-love. Because a partner who loves and accepts themselves is more compassionate and connected to their spouse.
The keys to self-acceptance are practices you can infuse to your routine that will help you create and maintain a healthier marriage.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
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.