Most therapists agree that, regardless of what’s ailing it, any marriage can be salvaged and improved if the two people involved are willing to fight for it. While many couples today are often overwhelmed by the demands of modern day life, it’s important to take some time to prioritize the marriage and make time for each other, as this will pay off in a big way. Studies show that couples who dedicate weekly time to their relationship report a much higher level of happiness, in spite of financial and family pressures, regardless of how long they have been married. So if you are looking to heal a troubled marriage or improve a good one, here are some tips for a happier, healthier marriage today:
1. Go away together. While everyone dreams of an exotic vacation, whether a first or second honeymoon, often times a single night away can rekindle a spark in the marriage. Check into rates at your area hotels or a bed and breakfast since they often offer a locals only rate. Watch the sunrise together and enjoy being a couple.
2. Take a hot bath together-Enough said!
3. Write love letters to each other. Some of the greatest romances in history are chronicled through love letters. For inspiration, think about a recent event or situation where your spouse did something that made you proud of them. Take a moment and put down in words what your partner means to you as this not only demonstrates your feelings, it also shows them you are willing to make the effort to say it.
4. Really make a concerted effort to listen to your partner then re-state and summarize what you’ve just been told as this does two important things: 1) it validates to your partner that they have been heard and 2) it allows you to verify that you’re both on the same page. Pay close attention to what he or she is saying, and not saying. Too often we are caught up in what we want to say and forget to really listen to our spouse.
5. Make sure that you are surrounding yourself with other married couples who also support your marriage. Often a friend or family member’s discontent with their marriage can affect yours. Having friends and family who support your marriage, and marriage in general, goes a long way towards affecting your happiness.
6. In today’s over-scheduled, demanding world sometimes the hardest thing to do is to make time for your partner; this is not optional, it’s a must for a healthy marriage. Scheduling time with your partner reflects your priorities and makes your partner feel special. Sadly, many people treat their colleagues and co-workers better than they treat their mate. An easy rule related to this issue: No matter how your day went, always remember to bring your best home. Period.
7. Be kind! While this tip may seem overly simple, in a world where kindness seems rare, remembering to be nice goes a long way toward making your marriage happier and healthier. Remember, it is all about the person you love.
8. Be honest. Honesty has been characterized as the cornerstone of a happy and healthy marriage. Always tell your partner the truth so that he or she will know how to handle any situation properly. Being honest is about doing the right thing. When faced with choices, always make the choice that will strengthen the marriage.
9. Never stop communicating. Always communicate openly with your partner and share your feelings. Nothing else deepens the connection between partners like open and honest communication.
10. Surprise your partner. Whether large or small, surprise your partner with a gift. This shows that you are thinking of them and that you desire to please them.
11. Look at your wedding album or reminisce about earlier days in your relationship. Too often couples forget to share the good times they have had, choosing instead to focus on the here and now, which might not be so great from time to time. By sharing happy memories, you’ll re-awaken the special connection between the two of you and you’ll see that your life together has been a good one.