Saying “I do” is more than two words – it is a promise to love and support your spouse unconditionally. However, once the honeymoon is over, reality sets in. Kids enter the picture, bills need to be paid, the house needs to be taken care of…it can become a struggle. To keep the happy connection that made you say “I do” in the first place, it’s time to get back to the basics.
If you have found that your marriage isn’t what it once was, you’re not alone. This doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem. However, this is where people with the “marriage shouldn’t be work” mantra can get into trouble. If there is an expectation that marriage and long-term relationships will be easy, then there is a good chance your marriage will not live up to your expectations. Times get tough – there is no way around that. It can be far too easy to jump ship with unrealistic thinking.
Want a happy marriage? Get back to the basics.
- Remind yourself of why you married in the first place. Hard times can make us forget why we initially picked our partner.
- Brush up on elementary communication techniques such as “I feel” statements, active listening, and shaping your language in a softer way.
- Get familiar with the elements of emotional safety; where couples feel heard, validated, prioritized, and respected by each other (among other things).
- Check in on your relationship balance. Are you each getting time for “you,” “me” and “we” of the relationship or marriage?
- Are you each content with the logistics of the marriage? Do you feel things are fair?
- Be familiar and sensitive to each other’s childhood wounds. They are likely areas that get triggered between you.
- Discuss goals; individual, marriage and family. How do you both see the future together? How can you support each other?
Many couples find themselves emotionally disconnected at various time in the relationship. Those who are successful at navigating these rough waters, making repairs when needed, and coming towards each other when things are uncomfortable tend to have a greater chance of getting through it. If you get back to the basics as mentioned above, the foundation on which your marriage or relationship stands can only be more solid as you move forward together.