If you and yours have decided that divorce is not an option, already you should be commended! There’s something extremely special and inspiring about two people who’ve made a commitment to one another and honor it, for better or for worse.
But it’s one thing to stay married. It’s another thing entirely to be the kind of couple who is in a
healthy relationship. You know, when you share similar goals and values, you communicate well, you have a fulfilling sex life, you approach matters as a team? And, perhaps the most overlooked point on the planet…you actually like each other!
If this is kind of connection is something that you don’t have or you want more of, it’s all about putting in daily effort. We’ve got a few recommendations that can get you and yours on the road to having the kind of marriage that will inspire the couples around you to have the same.
Do New Things On Those Dates
When you're able to get out on dates, deviate from the norm. If you’ve been together for five years or more, the same activities are going to get boring. Check out a new venue that just opened up. Go to a concert to hear an artist that you’ve never seen live before. Take a dance class that you’re not super good at, or a cooking class that teaches some new recipes. Maybe just do something spontaneous like camping out in the backyard (sans the kids) or getting a babysitter and going on a “rolling picnic” where you can drive to secluded spot, eat in the back of your truck (or on your car’s trunk) and look up at the stars. Creativity is a main ingredient to lasting romance. Never forget that because your wife won’t.
Have Weekly (Smoothie) Dates
When you have tight schedules, kids and a to-do list that’s at least a mile long, sometimes it can be hard to fit in dinner and a movie. We get that. Although it should go on record that with anything in life, it’s not really about “having time” so much as it’s about
making time. But if your budget and schedule makes it close to impossible to have a formal date, at least make time for a smoothie get together.
Agree to meet at a nearby coffee shop, or you can make some at home either right before the kids get up or after they are dropped off. Just 30-minutes alone can give the two of you time to reconnect, get some thoughts off of your mind that you may have been holding in and to make sure you’re both on the same page. (Click
here for some amazing and healthy smoothie recipes.)
More Cuddling Please
Studies show that healthy and happy couples touch. A LOT. Not just sexually, but as a way to express affection towards one another. Cuddling will automatically help the two of you to feel closer because it amps up the feel-good hormone known as oxytocin. That’s what further solidifies the bond between the two of you. It happens with cuddling, kissing and of course, sex. Healthy couples partake in all three, just as much as they possibly can.
Hopefully, you both workout. But do you work out
together? You don’t have to do this all of the time, but there is data suggesting that the couples who bond over exercising have a healthier relationship. It gives you both an accountability partner to reach your fitness goals. It provides you with quality time that might be harder to get elsewhere. It can increase your level of attraction and interest in one another as you both see the work you’re putting in to stay fit. And, doing things in sync—like lifting weights or running together—can bring you closer together because you’re physically doing something in harmony. That can influence the both of you emotionally. (Click here for some exercises you can easily do together.)
Own It. Apologize. Move Forward.
Do you want to be
right? Or do you want to be happy? Dr. Phil may have never said wiser words, especially as it relates to relationships. No one is perfect, including you. When you make a mistake or hurt your spouse’s feelings, own it. Apologize. All that’s necessary is “I’m sorry.” Try and keep the “But you…” from coming after. A man who can admit when he’s wrong is a man who is humble and that’s a sign of truth strength. The stronger a marriage, the healthier it ultimately is.
If Need Be...Go To Counseling
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with going to couple’s counseling. It’s one of the most responsible things that you can do for your marriage. Don’t wait until there are a lot of problems or resentments between the two of you to set an appointment. Schedule it in twice a year, no matter what. Your car gets new oil every 3,000 miles. Your marriage is in for a much longer haul than that. Allow an expert to provide some tips and techniques to keep your marriage strong.