Remember your wedding day? That beautiful, blissful day when you wished you could just freeze time and live in the fantasy forever? And then there was your honeymoon: days or even weeks of luxurious pampering. Then real life hit, and at some point, you were reminded of why you took that “for better or for worse” vow. Sure, marriage veterans – those who’d survived and those who hadn’t – warned you that marriage wasn’t easy, that it took work, but wow — who knew you would hit humps like these? Fear no more: There’s no marriage hump you can’t get over if you’re armed with the right tools.
Get on the same page.
Many marriages dissolve because partners are on opposite pages about what the core issues are and therefore can’t work together to resolve them. Take the time and have the courage to communicate about what isn’t working so you can create plans for change.
Action item: Weekly check-ins
Spend time together.
No matter how hectic life gets, prioritizing your marriage is key if you want it to thrive. Leading parallel lives results in drifting, and the more you drift, the harder it is to reconnect. To keep the love between you from slipping through the cracks, make sure that interdependence is the name of your game.
Action item: Schedule date nights
Hate the problem, not your hubby.
Launching into attack mode and pointing fingers when things aren’t going your way is oh-so-easy. If you think about it, though, you’ll find that, often, you aren’t angry with him; you are upset with the situation. Take it out on him and you’ll wind up with twice as big a problem.
Action item: Before you get mad, take a 10-second deep breath break to refocus your energy so that your anger is directed properly.
Put his shoe on your foot… no matter how stinky.
Empathy is key in a healthful marriage. Think about how he feels about a situation, even if it involves you. This helps show that you care more about his feelings than you do the problem.
Action item: Before you respond or react, imagine yourself in your husband’s place and how you would want to be treated.
Agree to disagree sometimes.
Once in a while, there’s just no fair way to settle an argument. Sometimes, it is best to conserve your energy by agreeing to disagree. This makes both of you winners.
Action item: Develop a cease-fire ritual that ends an argument nicely.
Fairytale expectations set you up for some serious dissapointment, but realistic expectations of your partner and your relationship reduce that risk dramatically. This doesn’t mean you should have low standards; it just means you should be reasonable.
Action item: Think before you speak and act to ensure that your emotions are in line with reality.
More couple time ideas
Two-hour dates for busy parents
De-stressing for couples
How to keep the romance alive (& hot!)
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