It can be easy to have a fun and romantic courtship period, but you may worry that your marriage won’t last once the initial spark has died down. However, if you want to live a happy married life, then you have to work on keeping the romance alive and on continuing to grow—both with your partner and as an individual. Though it’s not always easy, you can make your marriage thrive if you and your partner are willing to put in the effort.
- Being Considerate
- Being Loving
- Making it Last
Respect your spouse. If you want to have a healthy marriage, then you have to make your spouse feel like your equal and take his feelings into account whenever you’re making a decision or just going about your day. If you treat your spouse like his opinions don’t really matter or like you always have the final say, then you’re bound to have an imbalance in your marriage. Make sure that you give your spouse’s views the same seriousness that you give your own and that you take the time to listen to your spouse and make him feel like you care.
- Work to be kind, loving, and understanding to your spouse. If you’re having a bad day and snap at him, make sure you apologize; give him the basic respect he deserves instead of thinking you can do whatever you want because you’re married.
- You should also respect your spouse’s privacy. Don’t go snooping through his phone or computer if you expect him to feel respected.
Work to keep your relationship in the present. If you care about your spouse and want to have a healthy and productive relationship, then you should avoid getting hung up on past mistakes you both made or keep reminding your spouse of his failures; instead, work on reinforcing positive behavior, enjoying your present time together, and thinking of all you have to look forward to. If you really care about your spouse, then you will be considerate of his feelings and won’t bring up the past just to get a reaction out of him.
- Though it’s not always easy to let go of the past, you shouldn’t bring it up out of spite. Remember that your spouse is a living, breathing person too and that you shouldn’t bring up the past just to hurt him.
Take the time to listen. Listening is one of the best ways to be considerate toward your spouse. Don’t just zone out when your spouse is talking about his day or wait for him to finish talking so you can say what you want to say; make an effort to really hear him out and to care about what he’s telling you. When you’re having a real conversation, put away your phone, make eye contact, and be considerate enough to really listen.
- Of course, we all zone out from time to time. If that happens during a conversation, don’t pretend like you’re following; apologize and figure out what your spouse was really saying.
- Ask your spouse questions to show that you really do care; you don’t want him to feel like he’s boring you.
- Sometimes, all your spouse needs after a hard day is for someone to listen to him. You don’t have to feel compelled to give advice all the time.
Give priority to your spouse. Though you don’t need to make your life revolve completely around your spouse, you have to remember that when you and your spouse decided to get married, you wanted to be a priority in each other’s lives. You should make sure to honor that decision and to make all of your big decisions with your spouse in mind, making sure that you try to do what’s best for you as well as for the person you are married to.
- If your family or friends aren’t getting along with your spouse, don’t take sides against your spouse, even if you think that your spouse is being unreasonable ; make sure you’re considerate of your spouse’s feelings and that you give him the love and support he deserves.
Maintain strong communication. If you want your marriage to be a happy one, then communication is key. You and your partner should be able to talk graciously to each other about your thoughts—especially about things for the two of you to agree upon or do together. Doing this daily helps foster communication and maintain trust between partners to keep your marriage healthy and strong.
- Never say things in anger intentionally meaning to hurt your partner. Cruel words you said but didn’t mean may be hard for your spouse to forget—they can cause lasting damage to your relationship. If you do end up saying something you don’t mean, make sure you apologize.
- When arguing, keep to the subject and don’t personally attack your partner.
- In order to have strong communication, you have to be aware of your partner’s thoughts and moods even before you have a conversation. You should be able to read your partner’s body language and expression to be able to tell whether something is wrong and to feel comfortable bringing it up.
Don’t break marital confidences or use them as a weapon during an argument. If your partner trusted you with something very private and important, then you shouldn’t undermine that trust by reporting it to someone else just because you didn’t really think about it. If it was something painful and personal, then don’t use it as ammunition during an argument, or your partner will be betrayed. Be considerate of the fact that your partner trusted you with important information and make sure to honor that trust.
- You should be the person your spouse trusts more than anyone in the world. Don’t do anything to jeopardize that trust. If you do make a mistake, make sure to apologize for it.
Be attuned to your partner’s moods. If you sense that something is wrong with your partner, take time to embrace him and ask what’s the matter—maybe that’s the time he or she needs your attention the most. Don’t ignore that opportunity. If your partner isn’t ready to talk, then you don’t have to push it and make things worse, but you should show that you’ll be there when he is ready and willing to open up.
- If you and your partner are out in a social setting and you notice that something isn’t quite right, don’t ask about it in front of everyone; pull your partner aside to show that you’re really paying attention.
Don’t forget to say “I love you”. Don’t ever think that you don’t have to say “I love you” because your partner should already know how you feel. Make an effort to tell your partner how much you love him or her at least once or twice a day and make sure you slow down, look your partner in the eyes, and say it like you really mean it. Don’t just say “Love ya!” as you leave the house or say “love you” in a text message—take the time to let your partner know how much he really means to you, in person.
- Making this small effort to say these three sacred words can make a big difference in your relationship.
- Don’t just say these words because you want something or because you’re making up after a fight; say them just because you truly feel them. That’s when it means the most.
Start your day with a warm kiss or a hug. Making this effort to be affectionate when you start your day can lead you to feel more loving toward each other for the rest of the day. Though you may want to get started with your morning coffee and grooming routine, just spending a few minutes hugging, kissing, or cuddling your spouse can help you start the day off on the right foot. If you don’t see each other all day, then this affectionate gesture can make a lasting impression until you see each other again.
- Taking the time to kiss your partner for just six seconds in the morning can spark the passion in your relationship. Don’t just give him a perfunctory “Bye, honey” kiss on the cheek; make sure you mean it, even if you’re in a rush.
Make time for each other. As your relationship progresses, you will find that there will be more and more obligations that will keep you from having time alone. However, you should make sure to get that time alone every week, even if you have to sacrifice some time with friends or family to make it happen. Remember that hanging out at your friend’s birthday party or at a barbecue at your parents’ house isn’t the same as just spending time alone together.
- If you feel like your schedules have been insanely busy and you haven’t had time alone together, then you should try to steal even a few minutes of your spouse’s time, whether you go for a quick walk together during a family outing or spend some time alone at a party.
- As for your dates, make sure you plan those well ahead of schedule, so you and your spouse know to keep your schedules clear for those dates.
Don’t underestimate the power of touch. Make sure to hug, touch, reassure, kiss, hold, or just be near your partner as much as you can. That physical connection can help keep your relationship strong and can make you feel close to each other, even if you’re not always on the same page. If you grow distant or cold and don’t even sit near your partner when you’re on the couch together, your relationship will grow distant, too.
- Not everyone likes to be touched the same amount, especially not in public. Even if you’re not a big hugger, or a PDA person, make sure you give your partner reassuring touches at the right moment as much as you can.
- It goes without saying that maintaining a healthy sex life can also help your relationship flourish. Be open and honest with your partner about exploring what you like and don’t like.
Don’t forget to do the little things that make each of you smile and feel loved. Whether it’s giving your partner a kiss on the hand, doing chores for him when he’s having a busy week, or leaving a sweet note on the mirror before you leave for work, you should never stop doing the little things, no matter how tired you are or how comfortable you feel in the relationship. You should never get lazy when it comes to your marriage and make sure to always make your partner feel special and loved.
- If you’ve been too busy to do some of the usual things you do for your partner, try to make up for it when you have a bit more time. Let your partner know that you’re aware that you haven’t been as attentive as usual and that you want to make up for it.
Let your partner know how much you appreciate him. Make sure your partner knows how much you appreciate the little everyday things he does, like doing the washing up or making the bed. Don’t take those things for granted and tell your partner that you really do love and appreciate him and are grateful for all of the help he gives you. Of course, you can also respond by doing things that make your partner appreciate you in return.
- You can even write your partner a love note thanking him for all of the things he’s done for you, from taking care of the dog while you’ve been sick to planning the most amazing birthday party ever for you.
Surprise each other with little gifts or tokens of appreciation. This will make the moment even more special. Gifts need not be extravagant or painfully expensive. It is always the thought that counts. A little something to create warmth and sweet memories can go a long way. Pay attention to your partner to hear what he’s been wanting and to get that unexpected gift for him at the right time.
- Though special occasions, such as birthdays or anniversaries, can be a great time to give a gift, sometimes the most thoughtful gifts of all are given just because. Then your spouse won’t feel like you gave a gift just because you were obligated to do so.
Help your spouse out when he needs it. If your husband has had a busy week, then you should be understanding of that and spend more time cooking or doing work around the house. When you’re having a hectic time, he should do the same for you. Though you should find a balance of work that makes sense for both of you, if you care for your spouse, you should make an extra effort when he really needs you most.
- Your spouse may even deny that he needs extra help, but if you can see that he is stressed out and overwhelmed, make the effort to cook, take care of the dog, or run some basic errands that week.
Make time to do your own thing—and to let your spouse do his. You may think that you and your partner need to do absolutely everything together in order to live a happily married life. However, if you really want to maintain your bond, then you have to keep up some level of independence. If you and your partner do absolutely everything together and have no time to develop your own interests, then you are likely to become codependent and to lose a sense of your own identities.
- If you both spend time pursuing your own hobbies and interests, then you’ll continue and grow as people. You don’t want to be the exact same person you are now twenty years from now, do you?
- Plus, if you and your spouse spend more time apart, then you’ll be able to appreciate the time you spend together more. It’s easier to take each other for granted when you’re always together.
- You don’t have to bring your spouse along every time you hang out with your friends just because you’re married. Though you both should be integrated in each other’s social lives, it’s important to make time for “guy time” or “girl time” too, so you continue to build your friendships and your support network.
Keep the romance alive. If you want your marriage to last, then you have to keep making an effort to be romantic. While things will change after you’ve been with your spouse for a long time or when you have children together, you should still make an effort to make each other feel special, to have date nights, and to keep courting each other long after you’ve said your vows. This can help keep your marriage feeling exciting, sexy, and fun. Here are some things you can do:
- Make sure to keep up with your date nights. Whether you have a date night every week or every other week, keep your dates with your spouse and make sure you don’t do the same old thing every time.
- Find time for romance even when you’re at home. Whether you’re watching a romantic comedy or making dinner together with candles lit everywhere, it’s important to keep things feeling exciting even when you’re just at home from time to time.
- Try writing each other really meaningful cards each year on your anniversary. Take the time to really write down all of the reasons why you love your spouse.
- It can be romantic simply to keep your relationship feeling fresh and spontaneous. Going away on a last-minute weekend trip, signing up for a dance class on a whim, or opening that nice bottle of fancy wine you’ve been saving forever without planning for it can make your relationship feel very romantic and exciting.
Compromise for each other. If you really want your relationship to last, then you have to learn to compromise and to make sacrifices for each other when it’s necessary. Your relationship won’t always be fun and easy, and there will be times when you need to sit down and have a serious conversation about what to do next. Whether you’re deciding where to live, when to have children, or making career decisions that affect you as a family, it’s important that you and your spouse have strong communication and know what your needs are before you make a decision.
- Whether you’re making a big decision or a small one, you should make sure that both of you get to tell your sides of the story before a decision is made.
- Listening is important. Let your spouse express his feelings without interrupting or disagreeing with him. Make sure you hear him out before you say what’s on your mind.
- When it comes to compromising, it’s important to remember that it’s often better to be happy than to be right. Ask yourself whether you really want what you’re fighting for, or if you’re just being stubborn; that said, you want to make sure that you both make compromises for each other.
Incorporate each other’s friends and families into your lives. As you and your spouse move forward in your relationship, it’s important that you can integrate your families and friends into your marriage and everyday lives. Though you don’t have to be the best of friends with each other’s families or to love every single one of each other’s friends, you should work to make it feel like your families are part of one big family, and like your friends are turning into mutual friends. This can help your marriage feel more secure and can make you both feel like you have a strong support network when you need it.
- If you love your spouse, then you have to make an effort to love his family and his friends. If he has a particularly challenging family or group of friends, then do your best to understand where they are coming from and talk to your spouse about how you can build a stronger relationship with them without putting them down.
Be there for the good times and the bad. If you want your marriage to last, then you have to be there when your spouse is going through a rough patch instead of waiting for it to blow over. Whether he’s dealing with a death in the family or doubting his career choices, it’s important that you’re supportive and understanding during this difficult time, knowing that your spouse will do the same for you when you’re having a hard time. You can’t expect your spouse to be in a good mood all the time, and you should make sure to be supportive when he needs you.
- Of course, if you get into a pattern where one spouse is always supporting the other, that can get a bit frustrating and exhausting. If you feel like you’re always in the supportive role, talk about what your spouse can do to help you feel more like an individual.
Maintain realistic expectations. If you want to live a happy married life, then you have to understand that not every day will be a walk in the park. This doesn’t mean that you should expect marriage to be drab, dark, and disappointing, but it does mean that you should be prepared for the fact that there will be some struggles, some days of unhappiness, and some days when you just can’t even be in the same room as your spouse. It’s perfectly normal not to get along 100% of the time, and what’s most important is that you both know that and are willing to put in the work.
- If you expect your marriage to be perfectly blissful every day, then you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment.
- Remember that your spouse has flaws, just like you do. If you expect perfection, then you’ll only get sad or bitter. If your spouse has flaws you’d like him to work on, such as always being late, then have an honest, open conversation about it, and be willing to change the bad habits you can change, too.
Learn to grow together. As the years go on, it’s likely that the person you’re married to won’t be exactly the same as the person you said “I do” to all those years ago. People change, gather knowledge and wisdom, and learn from their experiences as the years go on; they may even change their perspective on a number of things, from their thoughts on having children to their political affiliations. If you want to have a healthy marriage, then you have to accept that both you and your spouse will naturally change over the years; the important thing is that you grow together, not apart.
- Be understanding of the ways in which your spouse is changing. If you feel that there are problems and he or she is turning into a person you don’t quite know anymore, then make sure you talk about it.
- As you grow older, while it’s important to continue your own personal journey, it can also help you to develop interests together. Whether you like cooking together, following your favorite sports team, or watching the same shows year after year, it’s important to find a routine that can give you something to look forward to as a couple.
- What matters most is that you and your spouse continue to love each other and be understanding of the fact that you will both go through ups and downs in your lives; if you’re true partners, then you’ll both grow into stronger, more capable, and more loving people.