Be Happier in Your Marriage in 2011
The word resolution- I know, it kind of sticks in my craw too because honestly how many of us actually follow through with our resolutions past January 2. Sure we have great intentions but like so many other things- life kind of gets in the way. As a wife I want to resolve never to yell at my husband-and then he’ll do something that will have every fiber of my being seething- and I will likely forget that resolution and will end up raising my voice. Or a more “fun” resolution- to have more sex with my husband- will go unfulfilled because a) we’ll fall asleep or b) our son will once again creep into our bed and stir the minute we try to move him. But of course the whole point of resolutions is not that they are set in stone, but that they are ephemeral and more often than not a loosely-based wish list. In fact, I see resolutions as my incentive to do better in the New Year and if I get three out of five right- well then I’ve accomplished something. And when it comes to marriage- we can all use a few resolutions to refer back to every now and again, especially as we get knee-deep into the depths of winter here in the Northeast, cabin fever sets in like the plague and the bickering ensues.
So if you’re ready to take a leap of faith, and invest in the possibility of a resolution and its power to transform your marriage, keep reading for my top five ways to be happier in your marriage in 2011.
#1 Be a team. The old saying there is no I in team is true. When you’re married- you vow to unite with this person and work through your issues and any stumbling blocks life throws your way together. Whether it’s backing the other one up when one of you punishes a kid, or giving up your Sunday and going on that family bike ride your husband’s been itching to take ( so that the following Sunday he’ll go antiquing ) well that’s part of the deal. Sometimes, you need to remind yourself that marriage is a daily compromise, but one that if the two of you vow to work through- will ultimately make your marriage more solid in the long run.
#2 Have more sex. I know this one is SO much easier said than done, especially when you’ve got little ones, who like to take up residence in your marital bed on a nightly basis. So get creative, master the art of a quickie! Sometimes, you just need to reconnect with your spouse on a physical level, and get as close as physically possible to reignite that palpable chemistry that is right there below the surface just waiting to be recharged.
#3 Encourage your partner to pursue their passion As much as you humanly can, barring that your partner’s passion is not flirting with the opposite sex ( in which case NO amount of resolutions are going to help you be happier in this union) reminding your partner to do something they're passionate about can go a long way. If your spouse used to love basket ball, but in the ten plus years you’ve been married hasn’t so much as played a pick-up game, force him out the door and into a local basket ball group at the nearest gym. If he loves building, but just never seems to find the time—offer to drive your kid to his extracurricular activities one weekend so that your man can spread out his tools and get his hands dirty. And of course-hopefully your spouse will do the same for you. When a person is happy and pursuing their passion, especially if their lackluster career is not the most fulfilling, it will certainly revitalize their happiness, which can only end up benefitting you and your marriage
#4 Don’t forget to have fun. I too am guilty of being a “no time for fun there’s to much to be done” kind of mother and wife. Really, who has the time to stop mid dish washing and slow dance in the middle of the kitchen floor. Or pop open a bottle of wine on a Wednesday night after the kids are asleep and enjoy a glass and some conversation, or even take the time to watch a sitcom together and howl at the punchy one-liners. But carving out time to have fun and let your business all the time guard down will allow the two of you to bond over what may seem like inane surface stuff, and yet laughter and fun, can be just one more venue to solidify your deep rooted connection to one another.
#5 Listen to each other. The ability to listen to both verbal and non verbal cues is quite possibly one of the most underrated attributes one can possess in a marriage. When your spouse feels he can talk to you, and really have you hear him- it’s the most incredible form of validation. And although my husband usually doesn’t have all that much to say most of the time, I know he appreciates that I take the time to hear and validate what his needs and opinions are (whether or not I agree with them!). Being your spouse’s listener, will confirm your status as “their soft place to fall” and that person they go to when they need someone to make them feel good. And isn’t that what all of us really want out of marriage in the end?!