It is no secret that marriage is hard work. It might not be as clear that the hard work of marriage occurs minute by minute, day by day, hour by hour, week by week, year by year. The work doesn’t just happen in the “Big Moments”, it happens day in and day out. It is in these day and day out moments, that usually don’t seem very exciting, that love grows. So how do we make love grow, and enjoy being married, in the sometimes mundane reality of daily life?
Consider your spouse’s needs before your own, or at least along with your own. We live in a culture that tells that we not only should marriage fulfill all of our needs, but that our own needs are primary. Happy healthy marriages are marked by selflessness, rather than selfishness. Consider making one small self sacrifice for the sake of your spouse. Do you and your spouse both hate some particular chore? Then do it for him or her without complaint, and without seeking praise. If that is too much, ask your spouse if you can tackle the task together, and approach it cheerfully. Either way, you will be increasing the love between you in a small way, that does make a difference.
Touch your spouse in a nurturing way that isn’t meant to be a prelude to sexual intimacy. Hold his or her hand. Rub his or her shoulders. Give him or her a hug for “no reason”. Sit closer to him or her on the couch when you are watching TV. It doesn’t really matter what that touch looks like, just make that loving, physical connection in a way that is comfortable for you both. We live in a sexually charged culture which, for some people, has tainted the simple, physical, non-sexual touch that we all need every day to be fully human and fully connected.
Create a separation and return ritual for yourselves. This is a great place to incorporate simple, loving touch too. Don’t leave the house without saying goodbye in a way that says that it matters that you are separating, even if just for the day or for a short while. When you return to each other greet one another and reconnect. These rituals don’t have to be long or elaborate but let one another know that you each notice, and that it matters, when someone leaves and returns.
If your marriage is already reaping the benefits these small things, or similar things, then I encourage you to be creative and find more ways to “Enjoy Being Married” in the day to day moments.
Are these small things going to repair a deeply hurting marriage? No, not in and of themselves, but they can begin to build bridges and send signals that your spouse matters to you, and we all want to matter to the one we love the most.
No matter the state of you marriage, if you would like to talk more about how to Reconnect, Heal, and Enjoy Being Married then please contact me today to schedule an appointment.