It’s 5 a.m.
The alarm clock jolts you awake. A deluge of thoughts and “must-dos” demand your immediate attention the second your eyes open. Kids, lunches, school, work. You hit the ground running as the world, once again, comes crashing in. In other words, it’s a typical day in the life.
If that scenario rings a bell, then you understand the challenge of keeping your marriage in the spotlight. After all, focusing on your relationship is hard when there are so many other things demanding your attention. It’s easy to put your marriage on autopilot and allow things to just happen, not realizing you’re off course until it’s too late. There is a way to step off the never-ending treadmill, and you can make that decision today—right this moment. If it feels overwhelming, like there’s simply too much that needs to change and it seems pointless to even begin, take heart. American author, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn once said, “You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.”
So, what does that mean? It means you don’t have to worry about changing everything all at once. It seldom happens like that anyway. All you have to do is decide to change your direction, and that you can do in an instant. That one decision will alter your course, and get you moving in the direction you want to go. Another piece of good news is this: making your marriage a priority doesn’t mean planning monumental monthly events with your spouse. The changes you desire come about by the “little” things you do every day.
Here are five examples of daily actions that can help keep your marriage a top priority:
Talk to Your Spouse
Okay, I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but hear me out. When you first got together with your spouse, way before marriage and kids, you spent a lot of time just talking to each other. You weren’t scrolling through social media, texting friends, or binge watching your favorite show. Your partner had your undivided attention, and this is perhaps the most valuable gift you can give to another. Doing those other things is fine, but be sure to have time every day when you and your partner communicate with each other without distractions.
Envision Your Marriage
Every beautiful dream or goal begins with a vision. Visualization works because neurons in your brain, the cells that transmit information, interpret the images you hold in your brain as real-life action. When you visualize an act, your brain generates an impulse that tells your neurons to perform the movement. This isn’t a gimmick, or wishing and hoping something will happen. It’s a genuine technique backed by science. A powerful exercise you can do with your spouse is to write down exactly what you want your marriage to look like. Call it your mission statement, manifesto, or whatever, but write it down. Knowing your partner is on the same page greatly enhances the power of visualization. Once you’ve done this, you can picture in your mind daily what it is you want and are working towards. This is something you can both do even when things get hectic and it will help you stay the course.
No relationship is perfect. Even the best relationships have challenges, and what sets apart relationships that work from the ones that don’t is acknowledging that fact and being intentional. Intentional about what? Well, about pretty much everything. It’s vital that you check in with each other daily and ensure each other’s needs are being met. Tackle household chores together, or create a plan to get things done. Instead of leaving the finances up to just one person, actively plan, build, and dream together.
It’s important that you are both on the same page when it comes to dealing with challenges and obstacles—including conflicts in your relationship. The quicker you resolve conflicts the better. Remember that it’s far better to let go of small annoyances than to sacrifice your marriage over trivial matters.
The Power of Touch
Touch is a huge and necessary part of how we connect with others, especially within intimate relationships. Modern society keeps us busier than ever before, and if you happen to be a parent as well, time spent together is limited. This is why it’s crucial to take the time to show affection to your partner every day. A hug or a kiss may seem like a small act, but what it’ll do for your relationship is anything but small. When you take the time to show affection toward each other you’re telling one another, “You are important to me, and I cherish our relationship.”
Gratitude is the key to so many good things in life, and relationships are no different. If you’re thankful for the partner with whom you’re walking through life, let them know. You could even develop a nightly habit of telling each other one thing about the other person for which you’re grateful. It literally takes five seconds, but it’s one way to strengthen your bond on a daily basis. There aren’t many things in life that feel as good as receiving a genuine, heartfelt compliment from your favorite person.
You don’t need large sums of cash, gems, extravagant vacations, or other worldly valuables to have a happy marriage. Large gestures are great and can be a lot of fun, but it’s the small, everyday things you do that will always make the biggest difference.
For more tips, advice and strategies on how to make the most of your marriage, contact Candice at firstname.lastname@example.org.