Frequently people marry and they often feel that love is enough. It will see them through the tough times. No one really anticipates having problems or serious arguments. But when the realities of life set in, the money worries or the work stresses, the problems with in-laws or health concerns, that is when the true value of a close sharing marriage and relationship can come into its own.
– Communications are the most important key to a successful relationship. Talking through how you both feel, even when it is unpleasant for one person to hear. Keeping open a non-judgemental channel of communication ensures that you are both confident and able to speak and share openly any issues: stresses, concerns, fears, difficult secrets. When a person feels supported and safe then the relationship can go from strength to strength.
– Spend time together. It is important to share time, fun and experiences together. Even compromising and doing something that is of no particular interest to you on occasion, but is special to your partner, is good because it demonstrates that you care and want to be supportive. That gesture will be appreciated. Shared experiences give you joint memories and topics to talk about together. They build up an important connection between you both in your marriage.
– Spend time apart. You do not have to live in each others pockets and it can feel controlling if one person constantly wants to do everything together. Having separate interests gives you a wider spectrum of things to discuss when you do meet up. It keeps you both fresh, individual and independent.
– Air grievances. If something is becoming an issue bring it out into the open and discuss it. Talk it through without rancour or accusations and take responsibility for the way you feel. It is better to discuss grievances early on or they can grow and gain momentum over time and start to impact on your marriage.
– Laugh together and enjoy each others company. Be able to laugh at yourself. Humour, when used with affection, is a positive tool for healing and closeness. It helps prevent situations from becoming too serious, and can sometimes negate the need for a long in-depth analysis of a problem by bringing in fresh air and a lighter touch.
– Treats are a lovely way of giving attention to your marriage. Buying your partner something for no reason other than you saw it and thought of them is delicious. A little book that they would enjoy, a CD they mentioned, film tickets, a bunch of flowers, even a free leaflet about something they are interested in shows that you care enough to notice it and bring it for them.
– Be sensual. This is not the same as sexual. Sensual is a foot massage or a shoulder rub whilst you are watching TV together, or running a scented bath that you both can share, it is lighting candles and reading your favourite poems to each other.
By thinking about each other you both build a strong powerful friendship as well as a love partnership and this is an important relationship to have in your life.
Susan Leigh, Counsellor and Hypnotherapist