Have you ever seen a couple with that special relationship and wondered to yourself, ‘what is their secret?’ Having a loving and healthy marriage is one of those things that can add to a fuller and happier life. Having deep meaningful relationships can also contribute to a longer life. So, is there a magic formula or a special pill you can take to have that kind of relationship?
A wonderful relationship is not a destination, it is a path that you follow together. Taking that path together allows t to grow with time. So what does that path look like? I have included 8 tips to move you along that path together and help nurture your relationship.
1. Develop traditions that are your own; invest in doing things that you both enjoy doing together. For some couples this might be getting up on Saturday mornings, getting a cup of coffee and going around to garage sales. Some people might choose to go on a walk around the neighborhood, to Art Exhibits together or it can even be going Skydiving together. What is important is that this becomes ‘that thing’ that we like to do to enjoy our time together. For my wife and me, we like to go out for breakfast one day per week to relax together and catch up on our week.
2. The Cheap Date; I am a fan of the cheap date because it takes all the focus away from what we are doing and places it where it needs to be, on each other. When you do something special like eating at a nice restaurant together, you can get wrapped up on the service, the food, and the atmosphere, with all the distractions you don’t really have to be present with one another. When you go on a Cheap Date, you are really saying that it doesn’t matter what you do because you enjoy spending time together. What is our Cheap Date? Going out for a 7-11 coffee and chatting in the car for 20 minutes.
3. Make sure that your spouse knows that you are in her corner; she will make a mistake, we all do. It’s inevitable. Don’t beat her up about it, let her know that you will figure it out together. Learning to work through problems together can be a hidden blessing to you because it can solidify your marriage. Those things communicate ‘I am with you through thick and thin.’ They say, ‘when you fall I will be here to catch you.’
4. Laugh together; take the time to share a laugh together. Laughter in infectious, it is an expression of joy and a celebration of life.
5. Touch each other; touching is a way of acknowledging on another. Touching is a way to say I am interested in you, I am comfortable with you, it says, ‘we belong to each other.’
6. Do something small that says I am thinking of you; it is in the small things that we do that reveal what is really important to us. If I buy my wife an expensive gift, I might be doing it for her or I might be doing it to feed my own ego or to control her. If on the other hand, I leave work early during lunch so that I can swing by and drop off coffee and dessert for my wife at her job, I am really saying ‘I was thinking of you and thought you might like this.’ Take advantage of the small things to say you are important to me.
7. Speak highly of each other; especially to other people. When you talk about your spouse, build them up. If you bash your spouse in the company of others it says, ‘I don’t really want to be with you.’ Speaking highly of each other is an expression of love and respect.
In this list, one thing that might stand out is how simple all of this is. The difficulty is in being mindful and making time for each other. Make time, do the small things that say you care, Cultivate a Loving Marriage.