It’s a well-known statistic that almost 50% of marriages end in divorce, but does that mean that your marriage is doomed to end in divorce? There are certain situations where separation or divorce might be the lesser of two evils. However, there are also plenty of successful and happy marriages out there. So, how can you keep your marriage strong and, hopefully, grow old together?
1. Spend Time Together
The saying goes that “absence makes the heart grow fonder”, but that’s not always the case. While some space is beneficial and can make you feel more grateful for one another, it should always be balanced with time spent together.
This time spent together shouldn’t just be time spent ignoring each other, either. Yes, you lead busy lives and may well be both holding down jobs, but that doesn’t mean that your significant other should become unimportant or be pushed aside. While relaxing together and simply existing in the same place can bring you closer to a point, this shouldn’t be the only time you dedicate to your spouse.
Take time to be together actively. Go on dates, or weekends away. While most couples will make sure to put aside time for anniversaries, you shouldn’t neglect each other every other day of the year. Some couples prefer to plan these events, while others might spontaneously decide to do something special. Whichever works best for you, just make sure that you spend time together.
2. The Little Things
As well as taking trips and planning events together, you should also focus on small, everyday expressions of love and affection. A spontaneous kiss, or a small gift that just reminded you of the one you love. Anything that makes them smile, even for a moment. But it doesn’t even have to be romantic expressions that will help you to have a healthy relationship.
Think about it, when was the last time you said, “please”, “thank you”, or “sorry” to your spouse. These are small things, things that you’d say to be polite to a stranger. However, it’s at least as important to be polite to your spouse.
As the years go on, it can get easy to take your partner for granted. But, by speaking in this way to your spouse, you show basic respect and appreciation. Yes, your relationship and your interactions with one another are very different from your relationship with a stranger, but respect and appreciation go a long way.
3. Keep the Romance Alive
Another trap that couples can fall into over years of marriage is the loss of romance. When you got engaged, it was romantic. When you first got married, it was romantic. But twenty years later, when you know practically everything about each other, romance and surprises fall aside.
In some respects, this isn’t awful. The stability and safety that you feel in an established relationship are usually far more satisfying than the odd flutter of excitement and romance. But you can have your cake and eat it too.
Again, small gestures, like handwritten love letters and a bouquet of flowers now and then do wonders for keeping the romance alive. But you should also remember to keep things sexy and exciting. Dress up for each other, either on dates or for the bedroom. For example, sexy tights and bodystocking lingerie can do wonders for your intimacy.
4. Work Things Out
No matter how much you love one another, arguments will crop up. There are several approaches that you can take, and not all of them will be helpful. The two extremes are to blow up or to ignore the issue completely and refuse to talk about it.
The former extreme only causes more hurt, as a small problem gets blown out of proportion and you both say things that you don’t mean so that you can “win the argument”. But ignoring every issue can lead to resentment and may result in either a massive blow-up or just for your love to be chipped away over time.
Instead, be sure to talk things through, but calmly. Let each other speak. If you feel that your emotions are getting the best of you, then walk away for a moment. Rather than dredging up every mistake over the last twenty years, focus on the subject at hand. If you need to, don’t be afraid to apologise.
It’s easier said than done, but if you work together rather than against each other, then you’re more likely to succeed.