Marriage is a continuous learning process and something you constantly have to work at. The longer you are married, the more you realize that there is just so much more to learn about your spouse and about being the best husband or wife you can be. I asked some happily married couples–newlyweds, couples with young families, and empty nesters–to share a few marriage practices that helped them build a happier and stronger relationship with each other. Let’s take a look at what they had to say!
When making decisions, no matter how big or small they are, keep your partner in mind. Think of how it will affect them. You never know if your actions will have a negative effect on your partner, so try to be sensitive to how they are feeling.
To avoid misunderstandings, it’s important to be transparent with each other when it comes to your thoughts and how you feel. If something upsets you, then say it, talk about it, and try to arrive at a solution together.
There’s always room for improvement, especially in marriage. No one is perfect, and there is always something to learn. Acknowledge and accept your faults and shortcomings, and work on improving yourself in order to become the best partner you can be. When you ask this question be sure you are ready humbly listen. Sometimes we can get defensive when our partners share how we can improve. It may sting a bit, but overcoming the initial pride will do wonders for your marriage.
Small fights can eventually lead to big fights. So to help avoid this, ask yourself, “Will I still be mad about it days from now?” Decide if what you’re arguing about is really worth the fight, or if there is a better way to approach the issue, like reaching a compromise with your partner.
For newlyweds, the feeling of newness is exhilarating–the first time you come home to your husband or wife, the first time you go grocery shopping together, and the first time you visit each other’s families after the wedding. Be open to exploring new and different experiences so that you never let go of the exciting feeling of newness and firsts!
Whether it’s a road trip or a trip abroad, it’s also important to spend some alone time together. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of every day life, go on an adventure, and focus on each other.
You have to remember that your partner might not always act, think, or understand things the same way you do. Having different personalities is not a bad thing. Use it to make your marriage stronger by complementing each other, knowing each other’s weak points, and helping your partner be better.
No kids, and no distractions, like phones. This can also be a great time to share your heart with your partner, and let them know what’s going on in your life. Alone time is always valuable and can help build a closer relationship.