Do you remember the day you first met your partner? Do you remember how you felt? Think back to when you were first in love and your relationship was in its infancy and was new and exciting. Unfortunately that feeling of euphoric (walking on clouds) love does not last forever, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot be hopelessly in love with your partner and it doesn’t mean that romance needs to fade.
When a couple become parents, their views and ideals change. It’s all part of growing up and just as our bodies change and grow, our relationships mature and we found ourselves in a new stage of the relationship. It starts off being new and exciting and it matures – just as we do. Rather than trying to recreate or hold onto that feeling of dizzy, euphoric love, couples can find ways to build their current relationship and build it strong enough so that it can withstand the knocks of everyday life.
Tip 1: Don’t sweat the small stuff! You only really get to know a person when you live with them. Rather than nitpicking over the smallest annoyances, learn to live happily with them. This does not mean that couples should overlook or sweep mammoth issues under the carpet. Not sweating the small stuff literally means to grin and bear it and the next time you partner leaves the toilet seat up or tosses his dirty socks into the corner – don’t erupt into a nagging fishwife! Put the seat down yourself and leave his socks where they are, he will eventually run out of clean socks!
I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. ~Rita Rudner
Tip 2: If there are too many big issues – get help! If you find that you and your partner are continually at loggerheads with each other and you are unable to find a solution to your problems, seek professional help. Marriage counsellors are trained experts who are able to offer objective and useful advice to couples. Asking for help is by no means an indication of failure or an indication that the love is lost; it indicates that both parties are serious about working through their differences and strengthening their partnership.
Tip 3: Say how you feel! When last did you say I love you? As relationships mature, couples often assume that the need to say the words -I love you or -Thank you is unnecessary. Say how you feel and say it with meaning. Assuming that your wife or your husband knows how you feel is not good enough – they need to hear the words and they need to know how you feel. Send text messages and express your feelings. It will make you feel happier and your partner will feel appreciated and loved.
A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. ~Mignon McLaughlin
Tip 4: Take time to do things you both enjoy. Couples with kids are often guilty of focusing all their time and energy on their children (this is not a bad thing) but when couples become too focused on their children’s needs they tend to neglect each other’s needs. Take a few hours each week or each month and do an activity that you both enjoy. Go to the movies or to the theatre or better yet, go away for a weekend. Look for hobbies that you can both become involved in, or master a new skill together. It is important to spend a few hours together to reconnect as a couple.
Tip 5: Make love! When couples see intimacy as just another thing to do on their list of chores – relationship problems will arise. Making love is an important part of building a relationship and if you’re not doing it enough, it’s time to pay a visit to your nearest lingerie store and treat yourself and your partner to an evening of pleasure. Touch strengthens bonds and builds relationships and research has shown that a married man who is sexually satisfied is usually a better father and better husband and that sexually fulfilled women have less stress and far more joy in their lives.
Marriage changes passion – suddenly you’re in bed with a relative. ~Author Unknown
Tip 6: Talk about it! Secrets in any relationship are unhealthy. Men are known universally as being guarded but communication is a relationship builder. Couples, who do not spend time talking, feel distant from each other and they are unable to voice their feelings or express their concerns. When this happens, the smallest irritation (think of the socks in the corner) is blown out of proportion.
Tip 7: Do something nice! Surprise your partner with flowers or a romantic dinner. If you have small children, offer to babysit and allow your partner to go out with a friend, or enjoy an uninterrupted hour long bath. If you see your partner is not coping, offer a helping hand – a small gesture will go a long way.
Tip 8: Be true to yourself! Don’t compare your marriage or your partner to your friend’s marriage or to your friend’s partners. In the same vein, don’t try to mirror wives or couples you see on TV or in movies or try to be a wife that you believe your husband wants. As you are you, your marriage is unique and it will only be made stronger if you are true to yourself. Value your husband for the man he is and love him for who is! So many marriages fail because a woman believes or wants her partner to change once they are married – marry a person you don’t want to change.