If you are concerned about the strength of your marriage, you are not alone. With more than 50% of first marriages, and 60% of second marriages, ending in divorce, couples have every reason to wonder if their relationship will become part of the statistics. While there are many reasons why marriages fail, there is one major reason why the do not: a couple’s ability to resolve conflicts arising in their relationship. Differences appear in all marriages, and those couples who can work together to reconcile them stand a much better chance of staying together.
How can you and your spouse or partner position yourselves for resolving conflicts and bettering your chances for long-term marital success? Here are a few suggestions:
1) Make every day like the first day
If you want to maintain a happy and strong marriage, start each day by making a personal commitment to it. On the day you were married, the vows you exchanged filled you with inspiration and thoughts for the future. Hold on to those memories and try your best to uphold them through good times and bad.
2) Verbalize your love and appreciation
What were your spouse’s characteristics that made you fall in love with them? Bring these to mind frequently and then think about the ways he or she has grown since then. Maybe your spouse has attained a personal goal, tackled a difficult problem, or seized an important opportunity. If so, be sure to tell him (or her) how proud you are to be a part of their life.
3) Address resentment as soon as possible
When you’re married or in a long-term partnership, it’s only a matter of time before something happens and you find yourself annoyed with each other. While nagging is never productive, it’s also not healthy to let annoyances and small problems fester unaddressed. Find a calm and collected way to talk about these small grievances without judgement or blame and commit to working through it until a solution is mutually agreed upon.
4) Enjoy the romance of dating
When your relationship is new, it’s easy to spend time with one another doing activities you enjoy – going to a movie, taking a walk or hike, getting tickets for a sporting or cultural event, even just heading over to your neighborhood pizzeria for a bite to eat can bring great happiness. However, as time passes, work, kids, and life responsibilities get in the way, and soon you can find yourself going days or weeks without any significant time alone together. This is why it’s essential to set aside “date time” with your spouse or partner. When you make the commitment to keep the spark of love and attraction alive, you’ll enjoy all the benefits of having a happy and healthy marriage.
5) Sometimes, you need to “sweat the small stuff”
Small actions aren’t going to solve serious relationship issues, but paying attention to a few simple, daily actions can make a big difference in letting your spouse know how much you care. Everyone wants to feel loved and appreciated, and it doesn’t always have to mean an expensive gift of fancy vacation. Here are a few small actions that can make a big difference:
- Noticing their effort on a particular task (cooking, fixing something, playing a game with the children…) and sincerely thanking them for it.
- When you’re both with family or close friends, take a moment to brag a little bit about something they just did very well such as a work success or a personal accomplishment.
- Both men and women often feel insecure about their physical appearance, so be sure to let your spouse know how beautiful or handsome you find them.
- When was the last time you told your partner, “You make me so happy!” ? Saying this will not only make them happy, but you as well!
- Small physical gestures such as holding hands, walking arm in arm, or laying your hand on their knee can offer a calming connection that makes both of you feel loved.
- Surprise your spouse with a voice mail, e-mail, or text saying how much you love and appreciate them.
The early days of a relationship can be full of easy romance and fun, but that’s only a small part of what creates a successful, long-term marriage. When your and your spouse commit to putting daily effort and thought into your relationship, you’ll stand a much better chance of weathering the storms that will eventually come your way.
Feeling as though you have reached the tipping point and recovery is not possible? Contacting a Fort Collins divorce attorney or a divorce lawyer in your area is a logical next step. Reach out to Laura Monty Law to schedule an initial consultation today.