Today, we’re picking up with a few more simple (but often overlooked) ways to keep your marriage happy and healthy. These tips don’t cost a dime, but are so valuable for maintaining – and improving – the quality of your relationship.
Incorporate these tips into your daily life, and stick with them long enough to make them habits. If these ideas (and the ideas covered in Part 1) can become a natural, daily part of your marriage, your connection to each other is bound to blossom and grow.
Let’s get right to it!
1. Thank Your Spouse For Choosing You
Being with someone in a long-term romantic way is a choice – and we should all be making that conscious choice each and every day. In fact, we’re making the choice whether or not we realize it!
It’s the decision to choose your spouse instead focusing only on your own interests, choosing deep connection and true intimacy over temporary pleasure, choosing their wellbeing and happiness over your own selfishness… And all the while, they are making these choices about you too!
So, with these daily choices – say thanks! Your spouse is choosing to be with you, to spend their precious time and energy with you specifically. They are choosing to love you, to share a life with you… And the gratitude you express will help remind them that they’re making the right decision.
2. Smiles and Touches
The power of smile and touch cannot be overstated. It doesn’t just make us feel good to see someone smile or be touched – there are all kinds of subconscious and biological things happening too!
Smiles are contagious, and when you smile, you actually have a “happiness response” in your brain! You don’t just smile when you’re happy… You can actually become happier by smiling! Smiling at your spouse makes you feel better, prompts them to smile, and in a way, creates a feedback loop of happy feelings.
The same is true with touch. When you hug and kiss each other, or even just hold hands or snuggle up for sleep, you’re making both conscious and unconscious improvements to your relationship. The hormone oxytocin helps you feel more bonded and more trusting, and is produced in your body when you engage in physical contact!
Touch – especially warm hugs and kisses – is also a reminder that you’re attracted to each other, that you share a certain level of trust and intimacy, and that you want your spouse to know they are loved.
Make it a habit to touch and smile – a goodbye kiss in the morning, a touch on the leg at the dinner table, a long hug at the end of the day… It all adds up.
3. Encourage Achievement
This last tip is a little bit different. It has less to do with the physical and emotional connection between you and your spouse, and more to do with each of your individual sense of fulfillment.
When people feel accomplished, or are at least working toward goals and personal growth, they are that much more invested in everything around them – and generally feel happier too!
Having your own goals and dreams helps you maintain your individuality, and having your spouse’s support can provide the confidence and encouragement needed to face challenges and overcome the obstacles you may face. The strongest marriages are often made of two “complete” individuals who come together to make something greater than the sum of its parts – and a big part of being “complete” is being able to pursue and achieve goals.
Instead of holding your spouse back or telling them the reasons they shouldn’t chase after whatever it is they want to pursue, help them strategize and chip away at progress! If nothing else, help them remember why they wanted to pursue a goal when the going gets tough… Help them stand back up and keep pressing forward.
Even if you think the goal is too lofty or too difficult, help your spouse with whatever progress they can make, and be proud of the results they can achieve… Don’t just tell them they can’t do it.
Sometimes we all need an advocate in our corner, and as a loving spouse, you’re in a perfect position to instill confidence and work ethic in each other. If you’re both doing this, being both supportive AND goal oriented yourself, you can both achieve great things – including a satisfying, strong, and fulfilling marriage.
These are all pretty basic ways you can improve your marriage, just by adjusting your attitude and putting some focus on intentionally developing your bond. Putting these tips at the front of your mind – and putting them into practice each and every day – will draw you closer together, and make all of the other components of your marriage run more smoothly.
A strong foundation of affection, trust, encouragement, and communication is essential, and fortifies your marriage against the troubles you may encounter (or may already be dealing with). These are simple – so start putting them into your marriage today!
For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!
Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com