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These 10 Simple Things You Do Are Making Your Marriage Last, Even Though You’re Not Aware Of It

These 10 Simple Things You Do Are Making Your Marriage Last, Even Though You’re Not Aware Of It

A happy, healthy, and lasting marriage is the goal of every couple. We have all heard that half of all marriages end in divorce, and nobody wants their marriage to be another statistic. But take heart! It’s probable that many of the small daily things that you’re already doing are helping strengthen your marital bond. So don’t take these activities for granted, because they are ensuring that your relationship remains satisfying for the long haul. Here are the main ways you’re already putting your marriage first.

1. You kiss.

More frequent kissing has been linked to increased relationship satisfaction, particularly for women in long-term relationships. So make sure you kiss hello, goodbye, and a few other times each day for good measure. Not only does kissing have emotional benefits, it even improves immunity and physical health!

2. You express gratitude.

Couples who express appreciation reciprocally are less likely to break up, according to relationship researchers. So make sure to let your husband know how much you appreciate him mowing the lawn, or let your wife know how happy you are with the way she keeps track of all the kids’ activities.

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3. You touch each other.

Marital satisfaction isn’t linked with how often you touch, but how reciprocal the touch is. This means, when your spouse touches your arm, do you respond by touching their arm, hugging them, or moving your body next to theirs? Hopefully so, because this is correlated with increased marital happiness.

4. You talk.

A study of 1,000 married Americans found that having 10 emotionally meaningful conversations a month is linked with marital satisfaction. This doesn’t mean just checking in about how the kids are doing at school. Why not try asking some questions that you don’t know the answer to, like when your partner’s first kiss was, or what they wanted to be when they grew up when they were a child, or when the first moment was that they knew they loved you.

5. You go on date nights.

According to research, one way that date night helps your marriage is that you’re experiencing something new and different with your spouse. Couples who engage in a range of new and exciting activities report higher marital satisfaction than those who do the same old activities all the time. When you engage in something new, your brain releases more dopamine and norepinephine, which is the same thing that happens at the start of a new romantic relationship. So, you’ll feel like you’re in the honeymoon phase again, and who doesn’t want that?

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6. You fight.

Fighting can be cathartic, and is a good way to get issues out on the table where they can be examined and discussed productively. As long as you resolve your fights, you can count arguing as a way you may actually be helping your marriage.

7. You plan things.

Whether vacations, dinners out, having friends over, or anything else, having events to look forward to is a great thing for your marriage. Your anticipation can build together, and you have something fun to talk about besides the mundane minutiae of house and kids.

8. You do nice things.

Research shows that, in order to have a happy marriage, you must do five positive things to balance out every negative thing you do. These can be as small as putting a note in your wife’s lunchbag, or making sure to make your husband’s favorite dessert. Anything that shows that you really care and are taking time out of your day to acknowledge your partner’s needs and wants.

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9.  You laugh.

Couples who use humor have happier marriages than those who don’t. Humor can defuse stressful situations and allow a couple to feel close even during times of tension. Laughing together can make you feel connected even during conflict.

10. You grow together.

When one partner takes up a new interest, the other is not only supportive, but becomes interested as well. This growing and sharing has been shown to be linked to happy and long-lasting marriages. So when your partner finds a new TV show they really like, why not try it and see if you get hooked too?

If you’re already doing these things, pat yourself on the back for keeping your marriage alive and happy. And if you’re not doing them, what better time to start than now?

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Featured photo credit: Indiscreet camera via mrg.bz

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Last Updated on February 25, 2020

5 Rules for Overcoming Adversity and Emotional Pain

5 Rules for Overcoming Adversity and Emotional Pain

“Some people choose to see the ugliness in this world, the disarray. I choose to see the beauty. To believe there is an order to our days. A purpose.” – from the popular show, “Westworld”

It’s different for us all. My personal quest for purpose began with five stages of grief and one startling realization that everything’s endlessly fragile. Adversity, as it happens by rule, found me terribly unprepared, so I decided to take my time. Today, I can honestly say that I’ve grown.

Ugliness and beauty, good and evil, pain and laughter – everything in the universe consists of two forces that are opposing but complementary. In the face of difficulty, that is the only mantra you need.

Here’s how I learned it and why you should too, with five simple rules.

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1. Embrace the Complexity

Quite insidiously, adversities come in all shapes and sizes. Paralyzing physical disabilities, mind-wracking mental problems, ruthless emotional havocs, all leading to the same painful acknowledgement: all the beauty in the world cannot possibly make up for the ugliness that surrounds us. Shattered to pieces, helpless and bare naked, we sit in our therapy chairs, apologizing for being so negative.

Eventually, what it all comes down to is the nature of negative emotion. Our positives overshadow our negatives, thus wrongly teaching us that the road to well-being is paved with nothing but positive feelings and thoughts. How utterly wrong!

“If you’re not failing every now and then, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything innovative”, Woody Allen said.

It’s a classic “learn from your mistakes” rule, but in this case, it implies growing from negative experiences. Make peace with your negativities and embrace beauty and ugliness alike! Accepting this marvellously complex world just as it is will allow you to find purpose in adversity and meaning in misery.

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2. Find Balance, Regain Control

Still, accepting adversity is only the first step toward eventual victory. One can endure only so much trauma in life; if we’re not prepared to deal with difficulties in a productive way, even the minor setbacks can get us off track. Our strengths come from learning, and the best way to learn is through a series of trials and errors. Just like phases of grief or stages of drug addiction, adversities suggest a disabling loss of control, so find your way to regain it.

Some call it the coping mechanism; for others, it’s a spiritual will. However you choose to name yours, know that not all supporting systems are equally beneficial, though each is effective in its own way. Escapism was mine, but it only helped me retain the illusion of beauty. It wasn’t until I opened up toward the ugliness and accepted the naked truth that I was finally free. Whether you choose to dwell in art, religion and spiritualism, thus feeding your resilience from within or to reach out to others for help, choose wisely.

Whatever the means, the second rule is a golden one: find your inner balance and stick to it. Eventually, it will lead you out of the vicious circle.

3. Fight with Patience

My bargaining turned in depression with a single touch. Fearless and free, my dance instructor timidly put her hands on my shoulders and I realized, for the first time, just how tense, stiff and cloistered I was. And just like that, I started letting go. Adversities have their sneaky ways, but in my experience, becoming aware is what hurts the worst. It took me a year to recover from this little moment of self-discovery, and I know remember it as the edge of the rabbit hole.

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Some sufferings are impossible to console; I know that now. The only way to get through is to, well, get through. Depression and despair are only the beginning of the excruciatingly unnerving process that ravages the mind and shrivels the soul, and once they strike, there is no easy way back. So, fight them with patience. When your head starts spinning and your feet lose ground, go to your happy place. Over there, you’ll be reminded that nothing is forever, not even our little existential psychosis.

Take a deep breath and say “om”. When things cannot be combated, they have to be endured, so practice patience and learn to let go. Finally, keep repeating to yourself that this too shall pass.

4. Keep Swimming

Nothing is impossible, in the end. Your negative thoughts will gently pour into your positive ones, just as two streams come together to become a river. In the event of the inevitable disaster, one can only be as calm as still water. Suffering teaches patience, and the latter gives rise to flexibility. Ultimately, what is life than a series of unfortunate events and a handful of bright moments in between? If adversities are impossible to avoid, than learn to glide through as smoothly and patiently as water does with rocks.

Even if spirituality isn’t exactly your cup of tea, you have to admit that this is one solid metaphor. Staying adaptable in the face of change will soothe your panic attacks and keep you sane and sober-blooded. Even if you fail, you’ll know exactly how to breathe and face what’s in front of you once it eventually strikes again. Stay calm and visualize a better tomorrow; if anything else, it will give you strength to dive deep and weather the storm. And, in case there’s somebody’s hand to reach out to, grab it firmly and don’t let go.

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Being flexible against adversities takes a lot of learning, just as staying brave demands a lot of courage. It’s a long, arduous step-by-step routine, and you can reach the end only by swimming on. Persist, even when you fall.

5. Never Stop Searching for Inspiration

And, if it’s a guidance you need, where else to seek it than in experiences of others? Find it in art, in people around you, in chance encounters. The pure beauty of perseverance can be discovered where you expect it the least, so never stop searching for inspiration. If self-help literature soothes your pains and clears your mind, don’t let cynics discourage you. Your path toward reconciliation is nobody’s but yours to choose.

Ever heard of Nick Vujicic? Or Nando Parado? Inspiring people sound their yawps over the roofs of the world, sometimes voiceless, sometimes limbless, sometimes both. Born without arms, Jessica Cox became the most unusual certified pilot in the world, and you can rarely see her without a smile on her face. If you’ve already ripped all of your bucket lists and said goodbye to your dreams and plans, meet Sean Swarner, who’s officially became the first cancer survivor to climb Mount Everest. The stories just go on.

Make your own guidebook! Pen down your positive thoughts, cover your walls with quotes and devise your personal mantras. Whenever things get hard, they’ll be there to remind you of what you need to do. It’s the simplest of all life hacks, and one of the most effective ones.

Find beauty in the world, but never stay blind for its ugliness. However daunting, adversities and emotional pain challenge our inner strength, thus making us resilient and allowing us to grow. As soon as you recognize them as the wind in your sails instead of the devastating storm, the purpose will become simple and clear.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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