Who doesn’t love the idea of sharing your life with another human being and having a deep connection with him? Yet after your husband does that annoying habit of his for the umpteenth time, you can start to forget why you ever got married in the first place. Here are some tips to help you stay happy and fulfilled in your marriage:
1. Remember who you are – Yes, you are a wife, but you are also an individual with your own interests and dreams. Retaining as much of ‘you’ as you can and not losing yourself entirely in the ‘we’ will help you keep your marriage fresh and exciting.
2. Do things together and do things separately – Have experiences that are yours as a couple and yours as an individual. Maybe you have a date night together as well as a girls’ night out for you and a poker night for him.
3. Focus on what you love about your husband – What you focus on expands, so if you concentrate only on his negative qualities, they’ll start to overtake your vision of him.
4. Accept your husband for who he is – Loving your husband exactly as he is, faults and all, can free you from a lot of pain and suffering caused by unrealistic expectations of who you think he should be. Nobody is perfect, and you inevitably do things that drive him nuts just like he does you. Besides, what you see as his faults may very well complement you and keep you balanced.
5. Keep your sexual relationship a priority – Sex is very important to men. They view it as a way to connect and be close with their partner. So make time for intimacy, and if problems in the bedroom crop up, address them.
6. Spend time together as a family – Research shows that the one thing that consistently makes us happy above all else is spending time with the people we love.
7. Communicate with your husband – Misunderstandings often stem from a lack of communication. By sharing how you feel, not only will you understand each other better, you can prevent anger and resentment from building up.
8. Get counseling if necessary – Marriage counselors, therapists and psychics can salvage troubled marriages and make working ones even better by giving you tools to strengthen your marriage and foster communication.
9. Don’t compare your marriage or your husband to others – What you see on the outside isn’t always what goes on behind closed doors. Maybe Brenda’s husband does the dishes every night, but he can’t relate to his children nearly as well as your husband can.
10. Avoid the temptation to create drama to ‘keep things exciting’ – You entered into a lifelong commitment with your husband, and life isn’t always action-packed and filled with craziness. Marriage might feel monotonous or even a little boring sometimes, and that’s okay. It’s still worth it.
11. Try to avoid being completely dependent financially – Though working while you have small children can be difficult, there are creative ways to make money that you may not think of at first glance, like teaching art or giving cooking or writing lessons to children. By contributing monetarily, you’ll give your self-esteem a boost as well as the family finances.
12. Be your husband’s biggest fan – You and your husband are a team. If you constantly complain about him to your friends, you weaken that bond and can start to forget that you’re both on the same side.
13. Don’t fight dirty – In the heat of the moment, you can say things you don’t mean. And even if you apologize afterward, your words will stick in your husband’s head. So keep low blows off the table, and argue with kindness and compassion as much as you can.
14. Continue thinking of yourself as a woman – You may get so caught up in the role of ‘Mom’, ‘chauffeur’ or ’employee’ that you forget you are also a beautiful woman, with feminine powers and wisdom to draw from. Reveling in your femininity and taking time to feel good about your appearance can help you feel good in your marriage as well.
15. Realize that marriage isn’t always 50/50 – Sometimes your husband will need you to put in 75% of the effort, and other times, you’ll need him to put forth 90%. And isn’t that kind of the beauty of marriage, that you’ll always have someone to count on no matter what?