Marriage is the ultimate commitment between two people who have fallen in love. It binds two people together in a way that a thousand “I love yous” simply cannot. Saying “I do” is only the beginning, though. A lifetime commitment to your spouse does involve a lot of love, but it also takes hard work for years to come.
Keeping your marriage life happy is essential to keeping the two of you feeling fulfilled and content together. When you share your life with someone, things aren’t always going to be pleasant: that’s just reality. So the two of you have to both put in effort to keep your commitment to one another a happy one.
Have a happy marriage life with these four tips for being there for each other and reminding your spouse how much they mean to you.
1. Be available to listen
Sometimes life events put us and our loved ones in tough spots emotionally. Either we want to talk about them as they unfold or we don’t. Eventually, though, talking through something with someone you can trust is the healthiest, most constructive way of coping with frustration or disappointment or loss, even if it doesn’t involve that person directly.
For a happy marriage life, always make it a point to be available and willing to listen if and when your spouse needs to talk through something or vent their feelings. Even if you aren’t involved, they just might need someone present.
Sit with them. Mirror their words to make sure you are understanding what they are trying to say or the feelings they are trying to communicate. They might ask for your advice, but they might not, and that’s okay. If you are there for them when they need you to be, they will be more likely to return the favor.
Here are some more tips on both ineffective and effective listening strategies to make sure both you and your spouse are both heard and understood.
2. Go on a date every once in awhile
You might think that just because you’ve made a life-long commitment to one another, you no longer need to take the time to go out together like you used to. Why make time to do that when you’re already living, eating, sleeping and watching dumb late night T.V. together every day anyway?
Actually, planning occasional (or frequent, if you want) “date nights” as a married couple can actually make your marriage much happier and stronger. If you never stop going on dates, and do what you can to come up with creative outings you will both love, things will never get old or dull.
These dates don’t have to be expensive. They can be as simple as having a picnic in the park or taking a walk through your neighborhood. The only requirement is that you agree on a time and place and do your best to have a good time together, no matter what else might be going on in your lives.
Check out these fun and unique free and cheap dates for you and your spouse to try.
3. Show a little gratitude
Everyone likes to be reminded that what they are doing matters to those around them. So it’s understandable that one reason happiness in marriages starts to flicker over time is a lack of displaying gratitude for each other and the things you do for one another on a day-to-day basis.
Maybe at one point one of you said, “You don’t have to thank me for that,” and the other listened. Or showing your appreciation for each other, as time went on, just stopped seeming necessary. After all, you’re married. That must mean you appreciate each other, right? Why do you have to keep saying so?
Showing gratitude for one another is essential for living a happy marriage life together. It isn’t complicated. Thank them for the small, seemingly unimportant things, like handing you the remote or helping you find your keys. Thank them for doing something nice, even if you asked them to do it and they obliged.
Saying “I appreciate you” is a little like saying “I love you.” After awhile, the words don’t quite carry the same depth of meaning as they used to. Or so it seems. Still do what you can to show them you love having them around and sharing a life together. It means more to them than you might realize.
4. Come up with unique ways to say, “I love you”
You love them. Of course you do; you made a promise to be with them forever. That’s not a light commitment. Love is something not easily lost, which is why, early on, we’re sure to tell them we love them every chance we get.
Holding onto the love you have for your spouse as time goes on isn’t the hardest part, believe it or not. The hardest part is coming up with new ways to show them you love them, instead of just saying, “I love you.” No matter how much you mean it, those words can lose their meaning if you don’t supplement them with something more.
Much of the time, it’s the little things that whisper, “I love you” in the most heartfelt way. It’s the things you don’t think matter all that much, like picking up the dry cleaning or making dinner or renting their favorite movie no matter how many times the two of you have watched it together.
If you are in need of some more creative ideas for showing your spouse how much you love them, check out these suggestions.
Marriage is not always easy, but if the two of you work together, it is possible to stay happy and in love for a lifetime.
Always be able and willing to listen so they will do the same. Take them out on a date. Say thank you. Find new ways to show them you love them. They are worth it, and so are you. Your happiness together is love’s greatest reward.