There are many reasons why couples slip apart. If often happens over time as everyone gets busy with work, family, and other commitments. All the sudden, you look at the other end of the couch and realize that you don’t quite know this person anymore.
You love your partner though, and you do not want this to happen. How do you prevent this slow separation? Or how do you repair it? How do you maintain or get back to the loving relationship you had when you married?
Prevention is always easier than repair, but both are possible. In my opinion, now days people give up too easily when things get rough. The amazing marriage stories you hear are from the couples that have made it through decades and often fought to keep things together. But How?
I am not a marriage counselor, and if you have serious problems, you really should consult someone trained professionally to help. But I do have years of experience, observation, and some education.
So, what are some of my tips?
- Stay honest with each other.
Remember you married your lover and best friend. This is the one person you can be vulnerable to, share honestly with and support each other when life is beating you up. Do not start hiding things that you think may displease. You will strain the relationship and trust.
2. Do not let the kids overtake your life.
When children enter the relationship, you first think this will bond you together as a couple. In some ways, it does. Children require so much time and attention, for at least 18 years. They have high demand needs, busy schedules, and require a lot of time and attention. After a while, the children’s needs and wants can take over a household.
What happens when the kids finally move out or go off to college? You realize that the only conversations you know how to have with your partner are about the kids, but they are not there anymore, and you can now find that the kids were what was holding you two together. You lost each other.
Keep each other a priority remembering that when the kids are grown and gone you need to still have a relationship with your partner.
Bedtimes were always enforced in our house. When the kids were young, they went to bed at 7 and as they got older the times got later, but they had to respect that the evenings the adults spent time as adults. They still had to be in their rooms reading, studying, or spending some time winding down their day.
3. Spend time alone together
When you do this, don’t talk about the kids only. Share your dreams as partners. Look to the future, make plans share hopes. Communicate as you did before you had small people in your life. Remind each other why you got married and how much that love has grown, and why.
4. Communicate – and listen fully
Do not talk to each other with a dialogue going through your head of how you will respond. Just listen. Not everything needs an answer. Sometimes we can give the gift of just listening. I know my husband does not expect me to fix his difficulties. He comes to me just to be able to talk them out loud so he can sort and figure If he wants my advice, he asks for it.
5. Make the other feel special
We always have the intention of planning date nights, but they rarely happen. Usually just because we are tired. But I am convinced that my husband and I spend more time together than the average couple. Every afternoon when we get home from work, we sit on the back porch and spend a few minutes together. I married him because I want to spend more time with him. But then after a few and a little talking about our days apart we go our separate ways for a while to “Decompress” as he calls it. I love this about us.
I guess the most important of trying to keep a relationship sacred is remembering that it is. Make a point of having an adult relationship with your partner. Don’t let the kids take over the house. Remember who was there first and who will be there when they leave. Communicate openly and honestly. Don’t forget to express how special they are to you and why. Not because they are a good parent, why are they special as an individual.
If you would like to know more about my relationship ideas and tips tune in each Thursday. Next week we will look at some date night ideas.
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Ashley J Spurgeon
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