I’ve been reading a lot of posts on social media about the “perfect man.” They have merit but there’s something missing from them, and that is what it takes to keep a relationship together. I’ve only been married for 6 years so I didn’t think I was qualified to speak on this subject until we had reached the 10 year mark. But the truth is whether it’s 2 years or 10 years, marriage and relationships are hard. Two people may be fully meant for each other and have all the “perfect” qualities, but if they don’t work on the relationship, it will die. In the past 6 years of marriage, these are the little things that I have found that work to
strengthen the bond between my Husband and I.
1. Compliment Each Other
When my husband and I first started dating, we complimented each other all the time. We continue this habit into our marriage. What often happens when a couple gets married is they think that their spouse knows what they think of him or her – that they don’t have to say nice things because they’ve shown their love by committing their life to the other person. That is far from the truth. Compliments never get old, and when they are said from a genuine place, they keep the spark alive.
2. Always Say I Love You
This is similar to complimenting each other, but my experience is it’s even more important. My husband and I say I Love You all the time, whenever we feel like it. It’s not as if we don’t know that we love each other, but saying it makes it more special and it’s nice to hear.
3. Be Honest About Issues
Whenever my husband and I have an issue to go over, we take the time to communicate it with each other. That way it’s out in the open and we deal with it head on. This isn’t always easy, but necessary. If we were to bottle up our grievances and never communicate what bothered us, then one day one of us would explode and say something we regret.
4. Pick Your Battles
It’s important to talk about issues, as I said in #3, but what is just as important is to choose what is important to bring up and what can be ignored. A good rule of thumb is think about what is non-negotiable – what you must work out or it will affect the health of your marriage. Everything that doesn’t fit into this category can be ignored. For example, if my husband does something that just gets on my nerves but I can ignore, I ask myself if it’s necessary to bring it up. If the answer is no, I let it go. I’d rather say something nice to my husband than bring up a habit of his that I can tolerate.
5. Always Show Each Other Respect
This is the most important thing you can do in your marriage. When my husband and I were dating, we would respect each other and be considerate at all times. When we first got married, I got lazy and began to be less considerate. I didn’t do this on purpose, but I just got complacent. To his credit, my husband brought this up to me and shared how much it bothered him. So from that point on, I made a conscious effort to always be considerate of his needs, and he does the same for me. What often happens when two people get married is they begin to take each other for granted and forget to be respectful with each other. This is a downward spiral because a relationship can’t last without respect.
6. Have Fun
Most of all, don’t forget to have fun! My husband and I have a very busy schedule, but we designate one day out of the week as our “chill day.” We do something fun, like watch movies, take a drive or go out to eat. We continue to date each other, well into our marriage. Designating fun with your spouse is one of the best things you can do to keep the spark alive.
Marriage is meant to be a beautiful union between two people, but often in the rush of life we forget how to nurture it correctly. By getting back to the basics, and combining love, respect, honesty and fun, we can have the long and happy marriage that we’ve always wanted.