In many cases, people often think that marriages are good only during the first few years. Married couples have a feeling they have lost the fire they once had during the courting stage. It seems like as couples get closer and become more familiar with each other, the spark and romance fades out. Suddenly, what is left are daily routines, obligations with the kids, the pressure to provide, and all the stressful to-do’s. This situation is what therapists confront day in, day out when it comes to marriage counseling. According to Dr. Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, “even though love is one of the most important elements of a satisfying relationship, it’s not the only factor to be considered.”
However, what people do not often realize, strengthening marriages does not mean that you need to make all the grand gestures once again. Here are 5 of these many simple ways to keep your married life full of love:
- Say “I Love You” As Often As You Can
As necessary as this may seem, a lot of married couples forget to say “I love you” over time. They set it aside, thinking that they can always show that they love their partner through acts of service. While there is nothing wrong with saying ‘I love you,’ it remains to be an essential reminder of the love that you both built together. There is always something special about it between couples. So make it a point to say “I love you” at least every day. When you wake up, before you go to work, when you are about to go home, before going to sleep, or anytime you feel like it, say it. You never know when it will be the last.
- Talk Over A Cup Of Coffee
As couples get deeply engrossed in the responsibilities confronting their marriages, it is effortless to get distracted. Most of the time, couples overlook the importance of taking time to sit down with their partners and talk. Aside from saying “I love you,” it is imperative that you ask your partner how their day went, what was it about their day that made it unique or stressful or even the mundane things like what they had for lunch. It makes your partner feel that you are interested in them and what they do. It makes them feel important and valued.
- Sit Together Quietly
If you ever run out of things to talk about or you are just not the type of couple who loves long conversations, take the time to sit together and spend time quietly. Look for your happy place – whether it be on the balcony, on top of the roof, out in your garden, or just in your room. It serves as a great reminder to your partner that you will be there no matter what. It sends a particular message of love that brings forth comfort and security, thereby making your partner feel safe in your company. It lets you spend quality time together without thinking of all the stressful activities from the world and have you celebrate the fact that you have each other at the end of the day.
- Express Your Appreciation
Another common issue among married couples is focusing on wrongdoings and not appreciating the good ones. Many wives and husbands feel neglected by their spouses because of the failure to say appreciative words. So even amid difficulties, and more so in good times, do not forget to appreciate your partner for trying, for being there, for giving their all, and for never giving up. According to Kurt Smith, Psy.D., “Falling in love is easy to do, almost effortless, but losing that loving feeling is not that hard to do, either.” Sometimes, when times are rough, all it takes are kind words to help your spouse to keep going.
- Hold Your Partner’s Hands
Physical intimacy is another critical factor in keeping your married life happy. A lot of couples also seem to set this aside as time goes by, even if they live under the same roof. When trials come, you may go and give your best advice; but often, when all has been said and done, all that your partner needs is a hand to hold. Cliche as it may seem, the simple gesture of holding your partner’s hand or hugging them makes such a huge difference. Besides, nothing is ever cliche when you are in love.
Married life, like any other thing in the world, needs to be cultivated and nurtured. According to clinical psychologist Susan Heitler Ph.D., “Marriage problems need fixing, not ignoring.” You cannot expect it to grow on its own involuntarily without any effort. It needs work – a lot of it even – to keep the marriage going on for a long time. These simple gestures are only a few of the many things that you can do to strengthen your marriage and prove that after all these years, you “still do.”