Can you look back at this year and honestly say your marriage looks a little different than it did this time last year? Can you see improvement or growth in the way you and your wife relate? More importantly, if your wife was asked this question what would she say? When you began the year, you may have had high hopes for your marriage, but then life hit. When life hits your marriage, it can come in different forms – disagreements, arguments with your wife, financial setbacks, or very little quality time spent together. All can be very challenging, but they can also be stepping stones for growth in your marriage. This year, be intentional starting now. Start thinking about how to improve your marriage now, so you can look back one year from now and say your marriage looks better. Here are a few ways to improve your marriage:
Words of affirmation
People love to hear things like: “I love you”, “you mean the world to me”, “great job on the golf course”, “nice effort in that exercise class”. Verbal compliments are great, but also try love notes of the old-fashioned way, or I guess a text would work too! Put a sweet note in spouse’s lunch bag that says, “I love you. Have a great day!” Or leave a Post-it note on a pillow or bathroom counter that says, “You rock my world.” Send a midday text that says, “Just thinking of you.” If your spouse is working on getting into shape, note their progress. If your spouse puts effort into their appearance, acknowledge this, too. Challenge yourself to notice and offer your praise out loud.
If you didn’t notice yet, these first few bullets are all about the love langages and this one is so important because I truly believe that no relationship will survive without quality time invested back into the relationship. People love to feel prioritized by spending meaningful time together. Sharing space with a screen often doesn’t count, unless you are intentionally watching a series or movie together. The key word is intentional. You need to know what your spouse likes to do, then jump in and join. Offer to go on neighborhood dog walks or sit by the fireplace with a cup of tea and no phone. Pull out some board games. Set up a date night. Or just keep your spouse company at the kitchen island and drink a glass of wine while your partner cooks.
There’s something about exercising together that strengthens a relationship. It’s time spent together where you are bonding, improving your health, but it is also a great way to get to see and encourage each other to accomplish something tough.
Eat more meals around the dining room table
I never realized how infrequently the dinner table is used in many families. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to connect with your wife (and kids) by having regular meals together at home.
Talk about going to therapy…and then do it
Last but not leat, the both of you need to make a decision to go to therapy together…and then go. If you are looking for an Atlanta couples therapist to go in Atlanta, try Restorative Counseling Services. According to them, “individuals, couples, and families thrive when they experience excellent therapeutic care in a warm and safe environment.” Restorative Counseling Services uses evidence-based techniques to engage clients in talk therapy, which allows them to gain a deeper understanding of who they really are, where they came from, and where they want to go. “In addition to helping clients gain clarity and understanding, we are incredibly passionate about providing clients with practical, real-life tools to take their newfound insight and create change in their lives immediately. It is this two-pronged approach of process work and skills development that helps our clients not only get better faster, but start living more meaningful and satisfying lives today,” they say.