As anyone in a marriage can tell you, it takes work. Once that honeymoon period is over, you’re left with a partner that you need to find a way to live with for the rest of your life. If you don’t put the work in, you could soon find that your marriage isn’t as strong as you would like. So whether you’re looking to rescue a marriage that looks to be heading in the wrong direction, or you just want to improve your already strong marriage, here are some tips you can use.
Find Common Hobbies
Spending time together is an important part of any healthy marriage. But spending time together is about more than just being in the same home. You should also look for hobbies that you both enjoy so that you can do them together. This will give you something to bond over, to look forward to, and to talk about. Consider binge-watching that show everyone is talking about over a weekend, or look for some hiking spots in your local area. Think about what it is you both like to do, then find set aside some time each month to make sure you do it together.
Spend Some Time Apart
While spending time together is good, you’ll also want to spend some time apart. Everyone needs their personal space and people in a marriage are no different. Each person should have their own hobbies that they can do on their own or a group of friends they can hang out with without the other. If you spend every single moment you have together, without doing your own thing, you will quickly drive each other crazy. So pick a hobby or two that your partner has no interest in, then find some time to do it on your own.
Take Care of Yourselves
Taking care of yourself is an important part of a healthy marriage. There are two key ways in which you should do this. The first is managing stress. Many people, when they are stressed, tend to take it out on those around them. You may not even notice it, but when you are stressed, you could be opening yourself up less to your partner or not enjoying their company as much as you once did. By getting your stress under control, you can be in a better mental space for your partner.
The other way to take care of yourself is physically. This means doing things like regularly exercising, taking pride in your appearance and eating right. It’s easy to become so comfortable with your partner that you stop caring about how you look around them. And while your partner likely won’t divorce you if you put on a few pounds, it also doesn’t hurt to keep trying to impress them. Putting in an effort for your partner is always appreciated, so start buying some sexier dresses or learning how to manscape.
Make Sure to Listen
Another common problem in marriages is that couples stop listening to one another. On the surface, this can seem like it’s because one person does not care what the other has to say, but it’s actually the opposite. In many cases, partners stop listening because they have grown so comfortable they feel like they know exactly what you are going to say already. They love you so much, their minds tell them they don’t need to listen. Unfortunately, this isn’t usually how it’s received on the other end. So, if you find your mind wandering when your partner is talking, force yourself back to attention and engage more in the conversation.
Don’t Overestimate the Importance of a Small Gesture
Small gestures and surprises are a great way to show you care no matter how long you’ve been married. Every once in a while, surprise your spouse by cooking dinner or taking them out. Maybe pick up their favorite snack at the store without them having to ask, or take them out for a surprise date night. Little gestures keep things fresh and go a long way towards a healthier marriage.
Talk to a Therapist
Finally, if your marriage is really struggling, you should consider talking to a therapist. According to this provider of couples counseling in Alpharetta, GA, “Couples therapy can be beneficial for partners that are looking to change their behavior within the relationship and solve issues or problems that are emotionally charged.” Sometimes a small gesture or a common hobby isn’t enough if you have more serious problems. Make the step of going to see a therapist and you may just save your marriage before it’s too late.