If you’re married, you know it’s not all daffodils and buttercups. Your spouse, that wonderful man or woman you married, can drive you absolutely crazy. From leaving the toilet seat up to insisting the lid be down, even little habits can become a source of strife. When it comes to happily ever after, hard work is involved--but it’s totally worth it. To grow your marriage every day, take a look at some of these tips.
We often expect other people to guess what we’re thinking--especially our spouse. We mope or put on airs, assuming they’ll figure it out… sooner or later. Instead of putting this kind of pressure on your mate, be upfront. No one should have to guess what you’re thinking. Ask for what you want directly, and be open about how you really feel. Besides being upfront, try to stay positive. Life is hard, and we all deal with negativity on a regular basis. Try to never criticize your spouse, even when he or she is legitimately frustrating you. Instead, say something encouraging daily, and communicate in a positive way. Last but not least, be good at saying you’re sorry. You may have heard it said, “Never marry someone who won’t apologize,” and it's good advice. While neither you nor your spouse might be good at saying sorry, you can start today. A man or woman who’s quick to apologize is a valuable mate indeed. Celebrate Your Relationship
As humans, we value the things we spend time on, so spending time on your marriage will help remind you of its worth. From regular date nights to canvas prints of your wedding day, find ways to celebrate your love. If you haven’t heard of the five love languages, you should look them up. Take a quiz and find out what your primary love language is, and find out your spouse’s. We all feel love in different ways, so knowing love languages helps--otherwise your attempts could pass like ships in the night. Also, never stop holding hands with your spouse. Those little frustrations seem to melt away when you’re regularly affectionate, so go ahead and share those bonding hormones. Even a regular backrub or hug can go a long way. Keep Your Individuality
A lot of people think of marriage like “the blob,” that old science fiction monster. It comes along and engulfs you, and your true self gets gobbled away. Instead of giving up all your separate hobbies and interests, have a life together and a life apart. Usually, when you walk into a house, the decor is all the wife’s. While a lot of husbands are fine with this arrangement, the feel of the house shouldn’t be 100% hers. Instead, the living room, bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen should incorporate some of both of you, so the house feels like “yours.” Talk to OthersYour marriage (and its problems) shouldn’t stay a secret. While you shouldn’t be posting about marital strife on facebook, have a trusted friend or two who can share your marriage stories. No struggle should stay in the dark, and the more you’re able to communicate about marital problems with someone outside the issue, the better chance your marriage has of riding out the tough times. Never Stop KnowingIt may seem like you know everything there is to know about your spouse--but really, as people, we’re constantly changing. You’ll probably be married to six or seven “different” spouses throughout a single marriage. Never stop exploring new things, and having those “dating-stage” conversations. There’s a world of wonder in every person, and your spouse is someone you can always treasure knowing!