Most relationships start off strong. It’s not hard to get off on the right foot – you’re eager to learn about each other, willing to put in the extra effort, and excited to see where things go. But once you’ve exchanged vows and the years have started to set in, it can be a little tough to keep things going. The high divorce rate speaks to that struggle.
Having a strong and healthy marriage is often easier said than done, but it’s worth putting in the work for. Not sure what you need to do to make the most of your marriage? Here are just a few keys to having a strong marriage:
FIND TIME FOR FUN
Marriage can be hard work, especially as time wears on. You’re managing kids’ busy schedules, caring for aging parents, keeping up with a house and a yard, and trying to juggle careers, social obligations, and everything else in between. Make having fun together a priority, and your marriage will be stronger for it. Find something that works for you and your schedule – the occasional long weekend away for the two of you, a once-a-month date night, or a weekly Netflix-and-popcorn ritual are all options. As long as you choose something you enjoy together, it’ll work!
RESPECT EACH OTHER
You can’t have a strong marriage without respect – it’s as simple as that. Feel the need to snoop through text messages or emails? Ask yourself why – and have a conversation before breaking that trust. If you can’t be honest with one another (and faithful when you’re apart), your relationship is on incredibly shaky ground.
The strongest couples are strong communicators who can talk their way through any problem and come out stronger on the other side. You should be able to speak openly and honestly with your partner, with no fear of judgment or retaliation. If something is bothering you or weighing you down, you should be able to speak your mind and start a conversation about it.
GIVE EACH OTHER SPACE
As important as it is to spend time together, letting each other have a little room to breathe is a great way to strengthen your relationship as well. After all, you’ve heard the saying: absence makes the heart grow fonder. While it’s totally fine to share friends, hobbies, and interests, make sure you have a few things of your own, too.
DON’T HOLD A GRUDGE
Let’s be honest – things are going to go wrong in your relationship. We’re going to say or do the wrong things. Eventually, you’re going to anger one another. Get into a fight. Hurt each other’s feelings. The important thing isn’t that it happened. The important thing is being able to move past it. Instead of harboring a grudge, try your best to let it go. You love each other – it shouldn’t be so hard!
A strong marriage takes a fair amount of work, care, and persistence, but it’s possible to achieve. Keep these tips in mind as you navigate your relationship, and you will be well on your way to strengthening the bonds that tie the two of you together.