Like most good things in life, healthy marriages take work. While at first the newlywed phase can make it seem as though the connection between husband and wife will span effortlessly across decades, as those years pass by; most couples realize there is a good deal of dedication necessary in order to keep the love alive. Enriching a marriage isn’t always easy, but those efforts become the glue that can hold a couple together.
Focus on Intimacy
True intimacy is essential to maintaining a healthy relationship, but it is important to remember that intimacy is not only found in sexual encounters, according to the article, “10 Things You Can Do to Have a Healthy Marriage” on Twoofus.org, a website produced by the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center. While sexual intimacy can certainly help to bind a couple together, achieving emotional intimacy is equally important to a lasting union. Nurture your ability to talk to each other openly and honestly without fear of judgment and criticism in order to create an intimacy between you that exceeds beyond the sexual.
Highlight Those Special Days
In long-lasting marriages, one way to combat the negative influences of life is to focus on those special days meant to celebrate your partner and your union, advises Marie Hartwell-Walker, psychologist and marriage and family counselor, in the Psych Central article, “How to Beat the Odds: Tips from the Very Married." Make a big deal out of anniversaries and birthdays, latching upon the excuse to honor what you have. Those celebrations don’t have to be expensive or involve elaborate plans; simply devoting the day to your partner can show how much you care.
Turn to Other Couples
By forming a group of other couples you can openly discuss your marriage with, you learn that your experiences are normal and can find ways to work through problems together, explains Geoffrey Grief, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, in the Psychology Today article “Couples, Friendships and Marriage Enrichment." This can be an informal setting with friends, or found in couples groups at your local church or counseling center. Remember to maintain boundaries when it comes to not sharing issues your partner would not be comfortable with, but embrace the safe sounding board these groups can provide to you both.
Pursue Shared Interests
Finding activities outside the home that you both enjoy doing together can help strengthen the bond of married couples, according to Twoofus.org. Perhaps you each have a passion for hiking, or maybe you have both always wanted to attempt a pottery class. Latch upon those interests that you each have, and find ways to incorporate them into your daily life. Make plans for outings and adventures that you can pursue together, enriching your marriage while creating memories that will last a lifetime.