How to Improve the Relationship with Your Spouse


Marriage starts with vows. Yet, as the honeymoon phase passes, those declarations may be pushed aside, letting bad habits creep in.Your relationship started with putting each other ahead of all else but, over time, this closeness may be eroded by the demands of daily life. However, it is possible to recover the romance with your spouse and improve your relationship, as these simple steps reveal.

Communication

Communication in a marriage is on a whole different level from sharing with anyone else because it is an intimate relationship. It is important to share your dreams and hopes with your partner, to be vulnerable and open, as this increases intimacy. Along with passion, friendship is a vital element in your relationship and your partner should be your best friend.

It is perfectly normal to disagree with your spouse, but how you handle it is what counts. Cut off the urge to yell immediately as you will only end up saying things you later wish you could retract. It also disrespects your partner. Remember, good manners are never wasted. And when you are calmer, you can choose better how to approach the argument.

The first rule of putting your point across is to use “I” statements instead of sentences starting with “you”. In this way, you avoid provoking a defensive reaction when what you really want is for your partner to listen to you. For example, “I’m aware that you’re fidgeting, and it makes me feel that you are not open to what I’m saying”, is better than, “You never listen to me”.

Like anything worth doing well, effective communication takes practice. If you want to gain mental mastery,Ed Latimoreprovides skills and mindset content on a variety of life issues. Topics covered include issues such as controlling your emotions and letting go of the need to win every argument.

Going to Bed Angry

There is an old wives’ tale that says you should never go to bed angry with your spouse. If you do, you miss the chance to settle your differences and rekindle intimacy. Otherwise, chances are that you’ll pick up the fight in the morning and carry on.

As with a lot of advice, there are exceptions to the rules. Perhaps one partner is still figuring things out in their mind and isn’t ready to talk about it. For example, men like to find and offer solutions and perhaps he is still working through options before being ready to talk. Or she may secretly feel she is overreacting and wants to examine her own motives. It is okay to postpone the argument.

What is important is that you both agree to shelve the discussion and not let it get in the way of your relationship. Set a time for when you will be ready to talk and stick to it; don’t procrastinate because you haven’t figured it all out yet. It means putting aside resentment and being able to show your spouse affection in the meanwhile, then having the discussion when you have scheduled it. This is important because it demonstrates that your word is gold in your marriage and therefore fosters trust.

Acceptance

When you met your partner and fell in love with them, they were perfect and there was nothing you wanted to change about them. However, certain traits and habits of your spouse might set your teeth on edge, such as them leaving dirty socks lying around. No matter how many times you ask, your partner never alters hisbehaviour. This works both ways as you are sure to be doing something that really annoys him too.

The truth is that people seldom change, or only with great difficulty. But if something your spouse is doing is upsetting you, then it is important to be honest. Be specific about what you are asking your partner to do instead and ask for a commitment. Be patient as it takes a few weeks to change a habit. However, in the long run, you may have to accept that this trait is part and parcel of your spouse. Ask yourself if it is more important than your spouse or the marriage. If not, let it go.

Staying in Love

Find something new about your partner to fall in love with every day! Look back to when you first met and recall what attracted you to you partner, how every meeting was filled with excitement and new things to discover.

We think love should be spontaneous. But a relationship needs attention and is too important to be taken for granted. This means making time for each other and the marriage.

A popular strategy is to plan date nights. These should be something to look forward to and worth a bit of thinking about before jumping in. Consider what you used to do as a couple before you got married and try to recreate that atmosphere. Or find new activities to explore together.

Being Fulfilled

A person who is unfulfilled in themselves becomes stagnant. It is important that you have your own goals in life and put in the effort to make them a success.

You should always have something of your own that you can chat to your husband about and so keep the interest in your marriage high. This way, you can be exciting strangers for a few moments every day.

Shared Values

Music tastes may differ but, when it comes to values, you and your spouse need to be on the same page. Hopefully, you discussed your values before you got married and found you agreed on the ones that matter most to each of you.

One of the key areas where your values should be aligned is when it comes to raising children. For example, if one of you prefers home schooling and the other values a traditional education, this might not be resolved easily. Children should always see their parents united in core matters as it provides them with stability and helps them to develop their value systems.

A solid marriage is based on shared values. If this is not the case and it is causing a rift in your relationship, then it may be time for counselling so that you can continue to strengthen your marriage.

Compromise

Compromise is not always equal because situations differ. If your husband comes home exhausted from work and it is his turn to cook, you may have to step up to the plate. By the same token, he should do the same for you.

But when you are the only one compromising, that is not okay. Then it becomes necessary to have a serious discussion about the allocation of tasks and both partners contributing more equally. As with any disagreement, plan how you are going to approach your spouse. Choose a time when the kids are in bed and there are no distractions. Turn your phone off and ask your spouse to do the same. Remember to use “I” statements.

Effective communication is not mastered overnight. But using these strategies will enable you to deal with whatever has caused your marriage to stall or simply fall into boredom. It is well worth fighting for your marriage because this is the foundation on which society is built and where your children learn how to relate to others.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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