In the past five years, statistics show that marriage rates have declined and divorce rates have practically stayed the same. In Florida, divorce rates have recently started to rise. University professor and researcher, John M. Gottman, referenced in his book a study which found that “an unhappy marriage can increase your chances of getting sick by roughly 35 percent…” In contrast, his own research led him to discover that a good marriage directly benefits your immune system. If you are married or thinking of marriage, have no fear; love, like a muscle can be exercised and strengthened. There are countless of marriage tips, but here are 5 simple ways that can make you feel like newlyweds throughout your marriage.
- Communicate the good, not just the bad. Next time you come home to your loved one pay attention to the first thoughts you share out loud. Is it about an accomplishment or about what went wrong with your day? To invite more positive conversations find other ways to unleash your frustrations before you wind down your day, such as writing a journal entry, listening to uplifting music, or exercising. Sharing joys and successes brings great happiness to both of you.
- Have frequent date nights. Going on dates is likely how you fell in love in the first place. Rekindle that romance and relive those fun memories by going out together at least once a week. For couples with children, it may seem more difficult, but it is still important to have that one-on-one time. It does not always have to be extravagant and expensive. Use your imagination and be creative, or go online and look up free events that may be happening in your area.
- Consider each other’s hobbies. Each of you likely had your own hobbies before marriage. Make time to not only let your spouse continue his hobby, but to also participate with him on occasion even if that is a small sacrifice on your part. That small sacrifice will score you major brownie points. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages, emphasized that “when an action doesn't come naturally to you, it is a greater expression of love.” You may also find new hobbies that you enjoy doing together which will give you a great opportunity to spend quality time doing something fun.
- Share small surprises. Leave a love note in his work bag or on his windshield. Make his favorite meal or dessert even when it is not a special occasion. Bring home her favorite flowers on a random day. Give each other a full body massage in the middle of the week. These small surprises will give your relationship a renewed sense of excitement.
- End your day every day on a good note. No matter what issues come up each day, find a way to end on something positive. Do not hold grudges or let problems carry over for weeks to come. Doing so creates tension, inability to communicate, and restrains you from showing affection. Remember you are not enemies. You are on the same team.