Much like when baking a cake or cooking a fancy dinner, the right ingredients or the wrong combination can make all the difference in the dish that you bring to the table and serve to your family. In the same respect, what we put into our marriage is exactly how it will turn out whether bitter or sweet. There is positively a right and wrong way in which to cook up a marriage where the outcomes of your relationship will be vastly different. Here is a list of advice that if applied can be as simple as pie to follow and enjoy together as husband and wife. Let's talk about what we as individuals can bring to the marriage table.
It is extremely important that your partner feels heard and valued. Communicate daily and regularly. Share with one another your thoughts feelings, fears, hopes and dreams. This key ingredient can help the spouses to connect on a deeper level. Set aside a sharing time throughout the day even just for a few minutes where the couple can feel as if they are truly one with each other's needs values and desires. You will be amazed at what can be revealed and the bond strengthening that can occur during this daily talk time. Make it a practice to talk to each other not at each other.
No matter how big or small a lie might seem, this can be detrimental in building upon a healthy marriage and connection on a deeper level. Marriage should provide a trusting and honest safe place, not one of betrayal and deceit on any level whatsoever! It is of paramount importance that each person knows that they can believe in one another's ability to look them in the eyes with sincerity and respect. Remember omission is betrayal as well. Be very mindful of telling the truth in all instances. Once the walls of trust are broken down this can cause resentment and frustration and become very hard to rebuild.
Both males and females tend to feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside when we are given a kiss or a hug. Find the time to kiss before bed at night and before going off to your work days in the morning. Hug your spouse as he/she is cooking dinner or washing the dishes. Hold hands while watching tv on the couch or shopping at the mall. Touch is a very affirming expression of love and we all deserve that kind of attention. Intimacy and sex are not the same and we must appreciate the distinction. A fulfilling sex life will be extremely challenging to achieve if the building blocks of intimacy aren't solidified such as communication, laughter, trust, honesty, respect, kindness and understanding.
We all know how busy life can become and how many hats so many of us wear throughout the average day such as full time mom, provider, business owner, student etc. However, by allocating a time during the week to go for walk in your local park, enjoy dinner at your favorite restaurant, enjoy a couples massage or rent a hotel room for the night as an escape to keep the romance alive can go a long way. Passion, desire and attraction are part of the spicy ingredients marriage has to offer. Don't let that ingredient go stale on you. Keep it fresh.
Surprises are always exciting and if you are truly listening and paying attention to likes and dislikes, then you can do something sweet for your partner just because you love them and it makes you happy to see them smile. There is definite intrinsic reward in giving to others and we don't have to wait for a birthday or holiday in order to come home with your spouse's favorite flower, chocolates or item they've been eyeing at the department or jewelry store. This thoughtfulness can reinforce for your partner just how much they mean to you and can promote intimacy.
Some say that the true mark of a good sense of humor is being able to laugh at yourself. Be light and easy with each other. Learn to clown around sometimes and help make each other laugh. Don't take everything so personally or get so easily offended if your spouse is making a light hearted non offensive joke. Remember there is a difference between poking fun at someone and enjoying a good laugh together. Laughter is the best medicine. Laughter can help the bond grow as you become best friends first, then you can truly become better lovers. Strong friendship in a marriage is a true tie that binds. You will look forward to spending time with the person you have genuine fun with.
Sometimes an argument can get out of hand and you may feel as if it's easier to just sleep at a relative’s or friend’s, or perhaps in separate beds in the same house. Unless your safety is threatened or compromised in anyway, it would not be advisable to create this dynamic of division. Sleeping apart will tear down the closeness and can become a habitual coping mechanism during fights which can be very challenging to change.
Many couples fall into the trap of assuming that it's easier to stay quiet in order to avoid an argument. In actuality, this type of ignoring of your partner can cause resentment to fester and actually create a whole new fight since both are boiling inside like tea kettles waiting to explode during the duration of hours or perhaps days of silence. Stonewalling is actually a method of punishing your partner and love should never hurt on that deep of a level.
When a person is demeaned or criticized by the very person who is supposed to be their biggest fan in life, this can cause hostility, inferiority, defensiveness, lack of confidence and a decreased desire to be together both in and out of bedroom. Nobody wants to spend time or make love to the person who is expressing negative feedback toward them. Words hurt at any age and we should find respectful ways to express our feelings and opinions to our spouse. Criticism will never serve as a motivator, but rather only a wedge between the two that will take a lot of work to repair.
It is crucial to be mature enough to accept responsibility for your own actions, attitudes and reactions. Blaming your partner can have irreparable ramifications. This can perpetuate a cycle of denial and dismissal of the role you actually play in the marriage and can force your partner to retreat and feel devalued by their inability to do right from your perspective.
The power to create a successful marriage lies in our very own hands. Divorce can truly be avoided if we each do our part to foster a climate of love, devotion and commitment. We must recognize the part we play as a wife or husband which can contribute to the delicious dishes we serve up and the behavior we are modelling for our children to emulate when they get married. Seeking the assistance of a trained therapist can have a great impact upon facilitating this process in a non judgemental, confidential, encouraging environment.
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