One of the keys to maintaining a healthy relationship over many years, not losing the thrill of the relationship, and not getting burned out, is to find ways to continue to create the relationship every day.
A marriage is basically a created relationship between two people. If one doesn’t continue to create that relationship as time goes by, then the relationship will cease to exist. The same is true of a family. If you stop creating a family as a unit, the family will cease to exist.
So how do you create a marriage continually so that you have a healthy relationship for years and years? Well, here are ten ideas that will definitely help:
- Schedule time to spend with your spouse every day. In today’s hectic lifestyle, this can sometimes be difficult. But it’s important. Have dinner together at home, or spend some time talking each day.
- Schedule time to go out on a “date” every so often, i.e. dinner and a movie, or a play, or a concert, or some other recreational activity that you do together. If you have kids, at least some of the time this should be done without the kids.
- Tell your spouse that you love them. This is harder for guys, but this is very helpful to a marriage. Other shows of affection are also important on a regular basis.
- Come up with ideas of nice things to do for your spouse. This doesn’t have to be flowers and chocolates and gifts. It can be just something nice you do for him or her.
- Thank your spouse for things that they do for you. This can be as simple as thanking your wife for making a nice dinner, which took time and effort, especially if it is something you really like. Or thank your husband for washing the car. Or for walking the dog. It makes them feel that their efforts in keeping the relationship or family going are appreciated and important.
- When either your spouse or one of your children accomplishes something important to them, find a way to celebrate that, like going out on a special celebratory dinner for instance.
- Remember special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, and find some way to celebrate these. This doesn’t have to be expensive.
- Always make holidays a family time or time to spend with your spouse.
- Keep communication lines open with your spouse. Discuss problems and upsets instead of letting them simmer. Some people have a policy of “never going to bed angry,” i.e. without discussing the upset and working things out.
- Turn off the TV. Incredibly, Americans watch an average of 4 hours of TV per day. Turn the TV off and spend some of that time talking to your spouse and/or your kids. They’re more important.
These are just some suggestions and are not a full list of course. The key is to find ways to create the relationship on an ongoing basis. If you can both do that, you have an improved chance at many years of happiness together.
This article was written by Stan Dubin. Additional information can be found at the blog: Marriage Success and in the book: When the Thrill Is Gone. You may republish this article in your newsletter or at your web site or blog providing the entire article is kept intact, including the contact links.