I dedicated last week's blog about divorce parties and what Santorini has to offer for a post-divorce rejuvenation trip. Although it is nice to start your new life after the divorce with a positive attitude, it is even better not to get to the point where you will need a divorce.
This Monday, I would like to write some tips on how to keep your marriage strong and everlasting. Let's get back to the positive side of life!
1. Don't rush into getting married
One good trick for keeping your marriage for ever, is to know who you are marrying, and for that you need time. Don't rush into marriage if you've only been together for six months or a year. If you believe you have finally met you other half, he or she won't run away if you don't start planning your wedding from the very beginning of your relationship. Invest a couple of years or more into getting to know your significant other, so that you won't have to face any unpleasant surprises once you are a family.
2. Share compliments
Everyone loves a compliment, especially when it comes from your spouse. Even though you have been together forever, and you have exchanged every possible compliment there is, this does not mean that you should stop! Tell your wife that she looks amazing when you see her in the morning, and tell your husband how handsome he looks in his new suit. A small compliment now and then will keep the love in your marriage and make the day of your loved one.
3. Show appreciation
Appreciate the little things your spouse does for you and around the house. Ok, it is really annoying when your are the only person who does the dishes in the house, but your significant other won't appreciate your ironic comment when he or she finally decides to do the dishes. Instead, thank him or her, give a kiss. Not only your spouse will feel good that such a little action was greatly appreciated, but he or she will also be more willing to do the dishes more often.
4. Speak & Listen
Speaking, is proven to be one of the best way to pass information to another person, and listening is the best way to receive this information. If something bothers you, speak to your spouse. If your special someone wants to talk to you about something, listen. Don't let negative thoughts and feelings bottle up. Yes, what you want to say or hear, might not be really pleasant, but it is better to discuss any problems you might have when you are calm, not when you'll burst into uncontrollable anger because you couldn't take it anymore.
5. Have humor and be patient
No one is perfect, we all have our annoying habits, and your significant other is not an exception. What if he never puts the new toilet paper roll at the holder, no matter how many times you told him to do so. Print out a funny instruction about how the holder works and put in the bathroom, for example. It will work as a funny hint, and might actually have a better result than angrily reminding him of that. All of our small habits make us into what we really are, and when marrying your other half, you are agreeing to marry all of those small, annoying habits as well. Instead of fighting over them, laugh about them and be patient… after all you have some of those habits as well.
If he or she is having a bad day, and is acting up without a reason, don't try to prove that he/she is wrong and you are right. Instead, offer a massage, a hot cup of chocolate, give a hug. Your special someone probably needs someone to grumble about things, not someone to argue with.
6. Spend time together
The older we grow, the more responsibilities we have. Be that your career, your children, a new hobby, or your daily chores. This does not mean that you shouldn't try and find some time to spend with your spouse. Enjoy a movie together, cuddle on the couch on a rainy day, set a date night once a week. This will help you relax, get away from your everyday problems, and will keep you close to each other.
7. Share your likes
Along with the habits, all of us have our interests in life. You and your significant other probably already have shared interests. This does not mean that you shouldn't take interest in the other things he or she likes to do. No need to become an expert in the field, but your other half will most certainly appreciate that you wish to learn more about his wood carving hobby. Even better, start a new hobby together, and bond even more by learning something new together.
8. Be supportive
We all have to face small or big challenges in our lives, and take hard decisions. Don't you love when you get the support of your lovely husband or wife over a decision in your life? You probably do, and I bet he or she feels the same way when you are supportive yourself. Even if you feel that you already have enough problems to think about yourself, don't be selfish and spend time to discuss your other half's problems. If your significant other turned to you for an advice and support, it means he or she really needs it. Don't take it away.
9. Stay kinky
This could be a delicate issue for some, but it is still an important subject to keep in mind. It has proven, even scientifically, that getting intimate with your special someone improves your mood, your marriage, your day in general, and it helps you feel close to each other. No matter how long you have been together, you shouldn't take the intimacy away from your life. Keep the romance alive!
10. "I love you honey!"
This is probably the most important of all the above. Don't be shy on telling your spouse you love him or her. Show him or her you love, and appreciate his or her love. There isn't a better thing in the world than being loved by someone you love back. It is not bad or harmful to say "I love you". On the contrary, it is the most beautiful thing you can tell your significant other.
Marriage is not easy. It never was, and probably never will be, but it is in our hands to make it the best adventure of your life, and not seem like an obligation. You married your significant other for a reason, so don't forget that reason when times are hard.
Thank you very much for reading, and I hope you are happy and loved!