From the archives: More tips for keeping your marriage fresh

Marriage isn’t easy. With each passing year, more demands are placed upon us — from mortgages to children to career demands. So, coinciding with my previous post, here are more tips for keeping you marriage fresh. 

From the archives

Tips for keeping a marriage fresh

Keep your marriage alive and vibrant!  Below is a list of tips on marriage that have proven to be helpful in keeping that spark alive!  

The key in keeping your marriage fresh and exciting is to add fresh and exciting things to it. You have to be creative and find ways in which to take the boredom out of your married life. This does not relate only to the bedroom but to all aspects of your life together.

Frankly speaking, any relationship takes effort. Marriages actually take more effort than other relationships. In order to keep your marriage fresh you need to constantly work at it. This is true whether you have been married for six months or 60 years. Everyone’s marriage is different but there are a few universal things that you can do to put the spark back into a dim marriage or to ensure that your flame keeps burning as brightly as ever. 

1). Compromise – When you’re married to someone, you’ll discover your partner has a few irritating habits (i.e. men leave the toilet seat up, women “borrow” their husband’s razors to shave their legs). Whatever your gripes may be, try to civilly talk to your spouse about their habits. If they aren’t that important, let it go! In other words, compromise!!  Also, be open to change if your spouse approaches you about your habits.

2). Be Considerate – Always be considerate of your spouse! Never talk down to them or humiliate them in  public. Don’t throw your day’s frustrations on to them.

3). Be Compassionate Ask about their day, be available to offer support. Be interested in what is going on in their lives. Offer a shoulder to cry on, be the first one to congratulate them if they have achieved a personal or professional goal. Compassion goes a long way in marriage.

4). Compliment – Try to offer small compliments to your spouse on a daily basis.  Do not wait until your spouse asks you for a compliment, surprise them! It doesn’t take a lot of effort. Also, when they have achieved something truly wonderful, state how proud you are of them – mentioning this goes a long way. It has been proven that couples that verbally state how proud they are of one another increases the love between them.

5). Be Creative – Buy an occasional gift; just a spontaneous little something such as flowers, a card, a decadent dessert, a fabulous bottle of wine.  You don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day, a birthday or holiday to show your love.  Also, make time for a “date night.”  It could be like when you were first dating. Call him/her up and ask for a date.  It could be for a movie, or dinner, or a drive to watch the sunset with cocktails.

6). Celebrate Try and remember why you fell in love in the first place and try and keep those feelings alive!  One of the best ways I keep my marriage alive is to celebrate our time together by booking little mini vacations. It could be a two night stay at an inn two hours away from home or something more extravagant. We all get caught up in the daily stresses of life and take our spouses for granted. By getting away more than once a year, we can celebrate our lives together by simply slowing down, relaxing and spending quality time with one another.

7). Canoodle A surprise afternoon tryst or a romantic evening at a hotel; a spontaneous “public display of affection.”  All these things are wonderful and keep your marriage healthy.

Did I miss anything? What have you done to keep your marriage fresh?

Fighting Fair

When you’re in a relationship, arguments are bound to happen. They may feel annoying at the time, but it’s important to remember that having a disagreement now and then can be healthy. Bringing issues into the open forces you and your partner to learn how to resolve problems together. The most important thing to always remember is to fight fair. Here are a few important tips on what to avoid in an argument.

1) NAME-CALLING/BELITTLING: When you let anger get the best of you, it may be difficult to remember not to call your partner “an idiot” for not agreeing with you. Fight this urge! Your partner may eventually forget about the topic of the argument, but forgetting that you verbally eviscerated him or her may prove to be more difficult. Be nice.

2) PLAYING THE BLAME GAME: Pointing fingers can be an easy trap to fall into when you’re hashing out a problem:

You told me the party was on Saturday!”

“But we saw the invitation together, and neither of us noticed it was Sunday’s date.”

“Well… you were supposed to RSVP anyway, so you should have noticed!”

Rather than focusing on who dropped the ball here (especially if fault can be found on both sides), focus on the issue itself. You want to work together as a team to find a solution, whether it’s something tangible like the above scenario, or someone simply feels neglected or nitpicked. Stick to the topic and not on who is to blame.

3) BRINGING UP THE PAST/OTHER ISSUES: One of the biggest argument faux pas is snowballing your current concern into a dozen others you may have in the relationship or have had in the past. Not only does this weaken how important the matter at hand is, but it also begins a free-for-all with everything else you should avoid in an argument. Sometimes it’s too easy to jump from leaving dirty dishes in the sink to that time you cleaned up the entire house/apartment before the party and your-partner-didn’t-lift-a-finger-to-help-because-she -doesn’t-love-you-and-never-shows-you-appreciation-and-what-ever-happened-to-date-night-anyway? You get the point.

If you have an issue to resolve, fix it. Forget about any other problems you may have. A time and a place exist for those too — ideally when you’re not already arguing, but when things are calm and pleasant between you and your partner.

The thing to remember when you’re fighting is that, ultimately, you and your partner care for each other. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be together. If you can keep that in mind during an argument, then you should be able to refrain from being nasty so you can get to a solution. Get back to the fun part – being in love.