Having a spouse has a lot of benefits other than having a standing weekend-nights date or an exercise partner or someone who will reliably do the dishes when you don’t feel like it. Being happily married also has a lot of perks physiologically. It can reduce your stress levels, lower down your risk for Alzheimer’s disease and even improve cancer survival rates. It looks really good – but noticed that the key word is happy. It has been proven that it takes a blissful union to reap the most of the mentioned benefits.
It is hard to maintain a healthy relationship after several years together, so here are some strategies to remember in order stay connected with your partner to help save your marriage and achieve a healthier relationship:
- Fight Fairly. Dealing with conflict is a big part of any long-term relationship. You need to learn how to air your grievances productively. More often than not, a disagreement devolves into proving you’re right and that you have a point. Being right is almost overrated. A good suggestion to tell if you’re resolving your argument in a civilized manner is to record and play it back later. Did you fight clean or did you come off like Hades?
- Have the ‘TALK’. The first time you and your husband got together, you didn’t spend your nights discussing the bills, the kids and the broken faucet. Although checking off everything on your to-do list is a nice objective, it is not as important as staying emotionally in tune with each other. Of course, it is not always easy, but try to find time at least ten minutes every day to talk something more meaningful than fixing the leaking roof. If your partner has a hard time not looking at his BlackBerry while talking to you, engage him in another appealing activity like taking a walk or working out together. Once your partner is physically occupied, it is easier for him or her to hear what’s on your mind.
- Be Responsible. If you want to change something about your marriage, do something about it. If you wanted your partner to work less and play – especially with you — more, make an effort. If you wanted to be entertained in life, you need to find the entertainment yourself. Stop blaming your spouse for your boredom; instead make your own fun. Enroll in special classes, go out with your friends and find a new hobby. After all, your world doesn’t have to revolve around him or her alone. The universe is a wide, open space!
Reality check: although you may have super fun with your spouse, marriage is not all the time a party. However, what makes a healthy partnership is sharing goals and growing together as a team. Focus on the life you want to put up together, and you will realize that all the small things you think you need – dates in a fancy hotel or a cozy weekend without the children – seems unimportant.
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