10 Habits to Build a Strong Marriage

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10 Habits to Build a Strong Marriage

Unlike our Disney-inspired counterparts, we all have to be concerned about “life after the sunset” or what happens when “happily ever after” credits roll. A marriage that will last is hard work as it should be – all the best things require great effort. The best way to instil consistency into your “ever after” is to employ these 10 habits to build a strong marriage.

Bond with your spouse’s circle of friends

This is crucial for a strong marriage – most of us have already forged life-long friendships by the time we get married, so it is up to you and your spouse to bond with each other’s friends. Occasional but regular outings with a mixed group can actually be an exciting chance to create a clique that knows how to have a good time.

Boundaries are important

You have created a life together and you became companions for life – this means you will spend the rest of your days in each other’s company, so it is healthy to create certain boundaries. Each of you should have personal hobbies and interests that warrant some alone time. Additionally, even if you are besties with your spouse’s friends, this still means you should give them some alone time. Your spouse is bound to notice and appreciate this – and return the favour.

Keep in touch

ouple holding hands by index tattoo fingers with a anchor

Now, as much as it is important to keep certain aspects of your conjoined life separate, consistent intimate contact is the other side of that coin. Whenever you are together and alone, you should touch as often as possible. Physical contact releases oxytocin which is also known as the happy hormone. It does not have to be innuendo or any sort of sexual contact, it can be enough to simply caress, massage or hold hands during otherwise mundane daily activities.

You cannot be right all the time

Having different opinions is normal, but once the “facts” start to clash during a conversation, you know that things might head into a tense territory. If the conversation gets heated, you’ll start defending your position with the increasing need to be right. This is a completely normal response – escalating arguments are common among friends, family, and acquaintances. However, in the case of marriage, it can really damage your relationship in the long run, especially if it turns into a bad habit. This is why it is important to accept the fact that you do not have to be right all the time. Handling such situations without resentment can save a lot of time and energy, and it can also convince your spouse to try and see things your way.

Turn back the time

Couple taking a picture of their reflection in the mirror

They say that living off memories is not healthy. While some might recommend you to spark conversations about “glory days” of your relationship and the first years of marriage, it is much smarter to evoke the feeling of early days than reminisce about concrete events. If you want to turn back the time, it can be the rekindling of the activity you used to enjoy. Take your significant other to your favourite restaurant, adorn the evening with flowers and delicious chocolate hampers to evoke the honeymoon magic. Enjoy the now by echoing the past.

Have a lovable cooking session

On the other hand, cooking a romantic meal together might be a better alternative. If you turn this into a habit, it can do wonders for your marriage. In a way, it is a form of multi-tasking.

Smile and laugh

Couple embracing in the park

This tip sounds like something that should be obvious, but as the years roll by and obligations start piling up, both you and your spouse can forget to smile. This is a pity considering a simple smile directed at your loved one can have a significant impact on their day. Also, don’t forget to laugh. Try to loosen up and don’t be overly sensitive or uptight. Crack a few jokes here and there – it won’t take any time out of your daily schedule and it will reflect positively on your marriage.

Do not walk on eggshells

Leaving things unsaid is very dangerous. This is not uncommon because your spouse knows you well and he or she senses the issues even without outright knowing them. A direct conversation without mincing words is the best course of action no matter what. Of course, you should try not to hurt each other’s feelings, but honesty is the best medicine. Nothing festers over the years like lies.

Family time

We choose our significant other but we don’t choose our families – or theirs. Spending time with your spouse’s family can be quite a chore, but you have to make it work in order to have a successful marriage. If a particular family member rubs you the wrong way, you need to communicate this, but also find the redeeming qualities. A few hours every two weeks will not have a significant impact on your marriage as long as you both agree to keep your families out of your own business.

Be grateful

keyring with I love grateful

Finally, the most important thing is to keep reminding yourself of all the lasting qualities that made you fall in love with your spouse. This gratitude will strengthen the bond between you and keep your marriage blissful. A simple “thank you” is like a love letter to your partner’s effort, and appreciating the things each of you do every day to make a home takes the marriage to another level.

Olivia is psychologist from Brisbane. She is passionate about writing and always inspiring her readers to be clever in their lives.

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