Marriage is amazing and beautiful and tough. It takes a lot of work to maintain a strong and loving relationship. If you think about it, your spouse knows you on a more personal level than anyone. This can be a blessing and a curse at times.
These days strong relationships are few and far between and I often hear people say things like I wish my relationship was like yours. I need a man like yours. I am here to say that it isn’t always as perfect as it seems, but we remain strong by doing many small things for each other ALL the time. No exceptions.
#1. ALWAYS Say I love you back. Even when you don’t feel like it.
It’s important that your spouse knows that you love them even when you are upset and maybe not feeling the love quite so much. It isn’t always the easiest thing to say I love you when you’re mad, but it will help. I promise. You HAVE to know that no matter how bad it gets, you still feel the same.
#2. Don’t talk badly about each other to your friends and family when you’re having issues.
This causes distrust with your spouse if they end up finding out that you’ve been saying things to other people. If my husband and I have issues, we confront each other and talk it out instead of involving everyone else. This didn’t happen right away. We learned to do this after a few years of being together. But I really feel like this one is SUPER important. You and your spouse are in this marriage together and no one else is. Leave them out of it.
#3. Make sure you can laugh and joke around.
Life can be hard. It can bring people down. Stress is very common. Don’t let everything get to you. Make sure you can laugh and play and joke around with each other. The more you let every little thing bother you, the more miserable you will be. When you live with someone who is miserable YOU become miserable. So just be silly once in a while.
#4. Don’t let anyone hinder how you feel about your spouse.
It’s been my experience that if someone is unhappy with their own life, they’ll try and make you miserable about your own. They’ll try to make you feel like your spouse isn’t good enough, or doesn’t love you enough. Everyone is different and has different views. Here again they only see what’s on the outside. They’re not there to see every day life. Do NOT allow someone to make you feel like your choice in husband or wife isn’t good enough. If you’re happy and they love you, they will support you. Period.
#5. ALWAYS tell the truth, even when it hurts.
This one is HUGE. When our relationship was new, we sometimes would say white lies because we wouldn’t want to upset each other. We both learned fast that this was not the best idea. When one of us would find out later on that the truth wasn’t completely there, it would cause pain and distrust. Pain and distrust that was never really needed. I have made it sort of a new motto that even if I get pissed off and lose it for a little while, I would rather you hit me with the truth as soon as possible. Keeping things or not telling the whole truths just hurt way worse later on when they finally come out. Because they will. Everything comes out sooner or later.
#6. Take care of each other.
If your husband works a long day, make dinner for him when he gets home. Give him a massage. If your wife spends all day with the kids and is mentally exhausted when you get home from work, draw her a hot bath and take the kids outside so she can enjoy a quiet house. It’s these small things that make you appreciate each other just that little bit more. It lets you know you’re important. That it’s okay to feel tired or burnt out.
#7. Don’t make him/her feel guilty for wanting to relax.
There’s so much pressure to do things. We are always on the go. Working long hours to barely make enough to survive. Cleaning the house a million times a day because there is always something to be done. Bills to pay. Sporting events to attend. Birthday parties, grocery shopping, and everything else. Sometimes it is needed and okay to say lets do nothing today. I’ve grown up with the impression that you’re lazy if you take time for yourself. It’s something that I STILL need to try and get past in my own head. Even when I am sick, I feel like I need to be doing things. But life goes on no matter what you do. You will always have time to clean, do sports, pay bills, etc. If your spouse wants to play video games or watch movies for a day, let him. As long as that isn’t ALL he does, by all means let him. If you’re always on top of your significant other and making them do this and that for you, there will come a time where they resent you.
#8. Try new things for each other.
I’m guilty of not wanting to try things that don’t interest me. Most people are. But my husband has asked me before to give things a shot, I do and to my surprise, I like it. Don’t shoot them down just because you don’t think you’ll like it. I feel extremely loved when my husband does things with me that most men wouldn’t do, like going shopping or helping me with my direct sales company events. Even watching a chick flick or something that he normally wouldn’t pick out.
#9. Don’t go to bed angry.
I hear this one a lot. This isn’t just something that I came up with. But it really never is good to go to bed angry. It usually makes you sleep like crap, feel like crap, and usually intensifies the bad feelings the next morning. Even if you can’t come to a resolution, at least let them know you love them and you will make sure you talk in the morning.
#10. Just enjoy each other.
Do not get in the “ball and chain” mindset just because you’ve been together a few years. It’s okay to be comfortable with someone without feeling like they’re burdening you. Happiness is definitely a mindset. Life may not always be perfect, but it doesn’t have to be when you have someone who is perfect for you. This too shall pass.