7 Small Things You Can Do Today to Improve Your Marriage

“Keeping the Sparks Alive” Series
Due to a very hectic week, I’m reposting this from May of 2009. Have a great weekend!

Sometimes people are looking for the magic pill or the one right answer that will improve their marriage. The successful couples I have interviewed have not always followed the same path to success. Many of them have faced extreme adversity. However, most of them share some common behaviors and attitudes. There are plenty of simple things you can do—this very day, requiring very little time or effort—to improve your marriage. Here are some ideas:

  1. Perform a very small kindness for your partner. Leave a sticky note on the mirror that says I love you. Send them a quick email with appreciation for something they did. Give them a genuine compliment. Call a babysitter and book him or her for a future night out. One man I interviewed mails his wife notes from the office even when he is not traveling. He sometimes leaves a note under her pillow if he is going on a trip.
  2. Find something to laugh about together. Is there something one of your kids or pets did that was amusing? Call and tell them. Rent a funny movie, or tell him a funny story from work. Share a private joke at a party. A well-developed sense of humor can carry you through some tough times together.
  3. Spend five or 10 minutes during the day or just before bed talking/connecting—with no TV or kids nearby.
  4. Consider holding back one criticism today, especially if it really isn’t that big of a deal. If something is really bothering you, find the right time and place to have that discussion.
  5. Touch is important. Kiss him hello or goodbye (a real kiss); hug her after the dishes are done. Rub your partner’s back, or run your fingers through his hair. Hold hands while you take a walk. Sit close while you’re watching TV.
  6. Plan something fun for the future. It may be planned for 15 years when the kids are grown or next weekend, but have something you both look forward to. Make a list of places you would like to go or things you would like to do together “one day.”
  7. Be consciously grateful for the good things in your life, even when you have some very bad things happening. Talk to your partner about what you are thankful for in life in general and in your marriage and family. Many couples found this to be a conscious decision during a difficult time, that they would focus on the good in their lives.

Which one are you going to do today? Make a mental note of your spouse’s reaction and try another one tomorrow. Do you find your spouse is responsive?

LINK:
Do you think too much, overanalyzing your marital issues? I think we all have a tendency to do this at times.

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7 responses to “7 Small Things You Can Do Today to Improve Your Marriage

  1. I love these tips Lori. Thanks for reposting!

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  4. Numbers 4 and 7 are especially good. Positive feedback/encouragement is so great for a relationship! We are surrounded and bombarded with so much negativity on a daily basis that we have to make the conscious effort to take that out of our relationships. Our relationships need to be a place where can go and recover from the negativity that we can’t escape.

    • I couldn’t agree more with the need to use positive comments and encouragement on a daily basis. Expressing gratitude helps the sender and the receiver to feel better about the relationship, and it encourages more of the same behavior. I also agree that home should be a place of refuge where we can recharge and rejuvenate from outside influences. Thanks for the comment!

  5. Marriage is a lifetime promise but keeping it I guess is the difficult part. It depends on the couple if how they are going to handle situations concerning their married life. Complications are part of it but as long as you hold hand of one another, I think it will make things easy for both of you.

  6. Pingback: My new motto? « Struggling For (Happily) Ever After

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