Improving a marriage doesn’t have to be as hard as it may seem; changing a few daily habits can make a HUGE difference in how you feel about your marriage. If you are looking to keep your marriage healthy or you need to re-light your flame, check out these tips.
1. Treat Your Bedroom like a Romantic Paradise
The ambiance in your bedroom can have more of an effect on your relationship than you may think. If your laundry is piled to the ceiling or there are piles of ignored papers laying around, chances are you will not be feeling the romance when you enter your room. Oftentimes, the master bedroom is neglected because you spend your time picking up the kid's toys, washing dishes, and cleaning areas where you entertain guests. By the time you are done with all that, inspiration to clean your own bedroom is likely gone. However, if you want to spark some romance, it is important to put some time and energy into fixing up and cleaning the master bedroom. It could be great for building teamwork and moral within your marriage or it could be a great surprise to treat your lover to.
2. Commit to a Date Night Each Week
I know, we've all heard this one before, but this is a big one! If you don’t schedule a date night, it’s probably not going to happen. If you don’t make the time for your relationship on a regular basis then it can begin to deteriorate. Pick the same day each week and commit to it (ex. Monday night after kids go to bed) or, if your schedule does not allow a set time, sit down at the beginning of each week and pick a day and time and write it into your schedule. Treat date night like a commitment just as important as any work meeting or doctor's appointment.
Get creative each week with your date nights and try to explore all different things to do. Talk about new hobbies you'd like to try, what's on your bucket lists, what's been challenging you..do a puzzle together or try something crafty..bake something..play your own version of 'Newleyweds'..search online for more ideas! Try to have technology-free date nights so you are really unplugging and focusing on one another.
3. Focus on Your Behavior
Imagine if you only went into work on the days you actually felt like working. How would your attendance would be? Most likely, it wouldn't be looking so good. But you need to make a pay check and you can't lose your job, so off to work you go - even when you don't want to. Now imagine if you treated your marriage the same. Instead of only helping your spouse when you felt like or only showing your spouse affection when you wanted to, you did it anyway because you value your marriage. Your spouse is the most important person in your life and they need your support and attention just as much as you need theirs.
4. Practice Active Listening
If only one of you is doing all the talking to the other all the time, this will damage the communication flow in your relationship. Be sure you practice active listening and really hear what your spouse has to say. Ask questions and show interest in what your spouse has to say and you will feel closer each day. You will learn more about your spouse and your relationship will grow stronger with each productive conversation.
5. Use Encouragement over Criticism
Sometimes criticism is easier to blurt out than helpful encouragement. Remember, your spouse needs your support; you should be there for them to encourage them whether they had the best or worst day ever. Praise your spouse when they achieve something or try something new, encourage them to be their best, and fight through the worst with them. Positivity is contagious, but so is negativity. Always remember to be your spouse's biggest fan.