I truly am so lucky that I got to marry my best friend (yep, it’s as cliche as it gets), but that doesn’t mean that we are constantly in a state of wedded bliss. We work on our relationship every single day. Some days are easy, and some days are just plain brutal!
I am a marriage and family therapist, which means I am technically considered an “expert” on marriage. Guess what? I’m not. I learn new things in my own marriage and in the observance of other people’s marriages every day.
In my semi-expert opinion, here are some things that will help you have a healthy and happy marriage.
1. Never go to bed angry.
I am sure you are already rolling your eyes, but going to bed angry adds unnecessary stress that you end up starting your next day with. Who in their right mind needs or wants to start their morning with an ongoing argument, in addition to making sure all you and your kids get out of the door fed and dressed.
Use “I” statements and ask questions. Even if you have been together for a long time, you would be surprised to know that there are always things that you can learn about your partner. Not to say there will not be times where you feel like your talking to a wall or saying something for the 100th time, but sometimes, we have to cut our partners some slack.
I know sometimes it’s so hard to let things go. As the person who knows you best, your partner knows exactly what buttons to push, and forgiving is the last thing you want to do when you feel so angry. I promise that letting things go, even when you may not want to, will lighten the load we already carry each day.
4. Always laugh.
Always, always make each other laugh. It releases stress, and it’s just straight-up fun. Don’t ever take anything too seriously. Smiles and laughter help to make a marriage go round. Have inside jokes with your partner. It’s fun to make each other laugh at any given time.
5. Be respectful.
Bring it back to kindergarten with the golden rule; “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” Treat your partner to the caliber that you would like to be treated. I bet you will be happy with the results!
6. Physical touch.
Whether it’s a hand-hold, a cuddle, a kiss, or sex, having physical intimacy with your partner will keep a healthy balance in your relationship. Have you ever tried an intimacy challenge?