Wouldn't you agree that in any long-term committed marriage/relationship, the one constant that remains the same is change? Learn 3 foolproof ways you can keep your marriage strong in the midst of change!
1. Take care of your own needs. In a world filled with selfie obsessions and an “it’s all about me” attitude, I hesitate to write this. However, many people, especially women, are totally selfless. They put their own needs and desires on the backburner. They meet the needs and desires of everyone in their life but themselves.
During a turbulent airplane flight we are taught to put on our own oxygen mask before we try to help anyone else. This is because we can’t help anyone if we are gasping for air.
Taking care of yourself during an emergency leaves you in the best possible position to take care of others.
Therefore, regardless of whether you are a married wife, husband, mother, father, full-time worker, stay-at-home mom, volunteer, etc., it is very important you do not neglect your own self-care.
Life is a marathon, not a sprint. If you do nothing with your time other than take care of everyone other than yourself, you will eventually get sick, burn out or both. As a result, you will no longer be able to take care of yourself - let alone anyone else.
Many times it is your marriage that becomes the first casualty of neglecting yourself!
Therefore, do not neglect yourself by making sure you schedule time for yourself on a consistent basis. Use this time to engage in your hobbies (remember those?), relax or just hang out doing not much of anything! Any of these activities, and plenty of others, will re-energize your body and soul!
2. Prioritize your marriage/relationship. With the passage of time we tend to put everything before our relationship.
We commit to our kids, our jobs, our community, our friendships, everything but our relationship. We don’t do this intentionally. It just, well, it just happens.
Let’s be totally honest. We are all overburdened with so many roles and responsibilities that there simply isn’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.
The easy thing to put on the bottom of our “to do” list is our relationship. This makes it easy for our relationship to fall right off the list. Consequently, we can go on for years not making any time for our relationship and/or partner.
Not prioritizing our marriage is a major red flag for the health of our relationship.
As I’ve seen in my work with couples for over three decades, lack of quality time spent together as a couple directly correlates to couples “growing apart.”
As I‘ve told many couples I’ve helped: “Of course you’ve grown apart over the years, you haven’t made time to be together!”
Therefore, make it your priority to schedule alone time with your partner as often as possible.
At least once a week would be great! You can call it “date night”, “couple time”, whatever you like. It doesn’t matter.
Prioritize this scheduled time and resist the temptation to “bump” it off your calendar for what you falsely believe to be a more urgent matter.
Nothing is more urgent than nourishing your marriage/relationship!
During this time together make sure you stay focused on each other. Keep it free from distractions by turning off all technology. If possible, keep your phones and other electronic devices in the car or at home. (It really won’t kill you, I promise!)
Avoid talking about problems with the kids, your jobs, etc. The goal is to keep the conversation positive and focused on each other so you can emotionally re-connect with each other!
3. Find the delicate balance between being together and being apart from each other. In other words, do not expect your partner to be all things to you at all times.
That’s an impossible, burdensome task and one in which your partner will eventually fail.
No one person can be all things to any other one person.
Yes, it’s important to share common friends and interests with your partner. But it’s just as important to maintain your independence by having friends and interests that you don’t share with your partner.
This allows you the very important task of maintaining your individuality within your marriage; this will help keep your marriage strong and healthy.
Making these three (3) foolproof habits a part of your life will help your marriage stand the test of time – keeping your marriage healthy and strong!
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