How Do You Improve Your Relationship with Your Spouse?
How do you improve your relationship with your spouse? I want to share 7 tips you can use to improve your marriage relationship.
If you want to improve your relationship with your spouse, it is a very good thing to regularly look within yourself and ask yourself certain pertinent questions, such as whether you are a good spouse or not. If you are performing well as a spouse, you should know by the way your spouse reacts to you, and the number of complaints he or she makes to you about your behavior.
Find a quiet day, find a quiet place like a deserted park or a school soccer field, sit down under trees, and spend time alone reflecting on whether you are making your spouse happy.
If you are treating your spouse well, you should know. If you are treating him or her well, come up with strategies you can use to maintain your good treatment of your spouse.
If you realize you are a lousy spouse, try to remember some of the things you think have not made you a worthy spouse. What are some of the things you can do to correct those mistakes? For example, if you realize you find it difficult controlling your temper when you have arguments, think about what you can do to control yourself better. If you discover that you treat your spouse in a condescending manner, then take steps to develop a humble attitude so that you can make your spouse happy.
This exercise should make you decide to become a better spouse, and that decision will motivate you to make efforts to make your spouse more comfortable in the relationship, which ultimately will lead to a better relationship.
Do Regular Stock Taking
It is a good thing to, from time to time, remember where you have come from as a couple, to know where you are now, and to decide together what you want your marriage to achieve in the long run. It can help you to improve your relationship with your spouse because you will know where you fall short, and arm you with the knowledge you need to make the requisite changes to make the marriage work.
Plan this stock taking into your year’s program:
- At the beginning of every year, sit together at a table, preferably in your bedroom. Express your idea of how you can make the marriage better, resolve conflicts better, manage finances better ,treat your spouse better, improve your romantic and sex life etc., and let your spouse do the same.
- Discuss the ideas for clarification. For example, if your spouse is worried that you are a spendthrift, discuss concrete ways you can help him or her to curb their habit. This allows more attention to each individual idea, which will reassure both of you that your ideas are part of your frame of reference as a couple.
- Then one of you can write each idea on a piece of paper, until all are recorded.
- Then, take time to vote on the priority of the ideas; decide as a couple as to which idea is top priority. Write it at the top. Write the other ideas in order of their importance to you as a couple, to the least important at the bottom.
- Why should you go through this exercise? By voting to set priorities, you increase the chances of developing true couple decisions. You will both feel part of the decision making, and feel more obliged to try to make the decisions work.
- Let the list be a sort of contract between you, which you should seal with a passionate night of lovemaking that night.
- Later, have those ideas engraved on a wooden plaque, and place it in an advantageous place in your bedroom where you will see it every day. Every day, read it to remind yourself of the decisions you took. It will help you to keep the relationship going in the right direction.
Plan Romantic Learning Tours
Life can feel so frustrating at times when you are doing something and that thing is not going well. Even if it is going well, you sometimes get to a point where you feel stuck. It makes you feel so lonely, and sometimes you tend to forget that other people are also going through the same thing, and others have gone through what you are going through now.
There are great examples of people who have made a success of their marriage in your community, your church, or even in your workplace. Be humble enough to approach a few of such couples. Try and get a number of them, about four or five different couples, to make time to get together with you and your spouse. Plan it as a tour—meet with them at different times over a period of time, let’s say over the space of one month. This will help you to get different perspectives on how to improve your relationship from the different couples. This is one of the ways to improve your relationship with your spouse.
Meet with them, and ask questions as to how they have managed to stay together, how they manage to resolve conflicts, and how they manage to keep the love in the marriage.
There is an advantage to having such personal meetings. Such person-to-person contact is better than listening to the testimony of people on television or radio because of the personal touch involved here. Seeing and feeling the successful couples in your presence will help you to pay closer attention to what they say, and to remember the lessons you learn. It will also help you to have certain kinds of specific questions peculiar to your marriage, some of which you might not feel too comfortable asking in public, answered.
Such romantic learning tours can show you how methods other couples are using can lead to a better relationship for both of you. They will inspire and motivate you to want to improve your relationship. Seeing people who are succeeding in their marriage, learning new methods of making your marriage work, and talking to those who are using them often, will convince you as a married couple of the value of those methods so that you will also want to use them.
Plan for these tours
You must plan such tours into your year’s program. Every year, during the Christmas holidays:
- Sit down as a couple and set aside some days in the next year on which you will go for these tours.
- It must become a part of your life as a couple, a continuous thing.
- Write down exactly what you want to learn each year. State these objectives before you go on the tours, to guide the kind of questions you will ask the couples.
Have Festival Days
Festivals are part of African culture. During these festivals, chiefs, the rulers in towns and villages, summon all the people to durbars, in order to foster unity among the people. There is drumming, dancing, and a renewing of their purpose to develop their communities. The people eat together, and play games such as draught, ludu, and soccer.
You might consider having festival days in your home to improve the relationship between you and your spouse. Set aside some Saturdays for this purpose. Cook a meal and eat it together slowly as you converse, in your garden. Get some African drums and African wear. Drum and dance and have fun around the house. Make it a fun day. Get a soccer ball, and kick it between yourselves.
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This experience of something new will re-energize your relationship, breaking the monotony you are used to. It will help you draw closer as a couple, and help strengthen your marriage bond.
Develop Agape Love
Eros, the romantic love of a man for a woman, or vice versa, comes naturally to everyone. But in addition to that kind of love, you must also develop agape love too, if you want the marriage to work. Agape is not a feeling of the heart; it is a determination of the mind, whereby you decide to have this unconquerable goodwill towards your spouse, even if he or she hurts and injures you.
When you make up your mind that you will not take to heart the insults, ridicule, and irritations that your spouse will throw your way, it ensures peace in the home. If you continue showing agape love, you will help to maintain the harmony in the relationship, and your love for each other will mature and grow.
Showing agape love does not come easy, though. You have to pray to God to give you a loving and forgiving heart.
Don't Hide Your Emotions
Some people find it difficult to express their emotions. They choose to suppress their feelings, and restrict themselves from showing physical signs of affection, such as kissing in public, holding hands in public, and telling their spouse that they love them in front of other people.
Feel comfortable to show to others that you love your spouse. Express your feelings of love to your spouse without reservation in front of others. It will make him or her feel good and highly esteemed, and make your spouse happy as a consequence.
Also, some people are afraid to confront their spouse and discuss issues when they are hurt. They prefer to keep silent, but to brood.
If your spouse hurts you, you need to express yourself, instead of sweeping it under the carpet. Suppressing the emotion and brooding will only make you bitter, which will make you feel antagonistic towards your spouse, and this will erode trust between you and your spouse, and weaken the harmony in the relationship.
Remember the Dead
Improve your relationship with your spouse by remembering those who have passed on. Plan intentional visits to the cemetery in your town. Go together as a couple. Plan this into your monthly schedules. Go there, and think about the people who are dead, and reflect on the end of man.
This exercise with help you to value the fact that you are alive even more, and make you have a greater appreciation of the time you are privileged to have with your spouse, which is likely to motivate you to do your best to make your spouse happy, knowing that someday, which may be sooner or later, you will be parted by death.
The exercise will give you a deeper appreciation of the time you have together as a couple, and make you see each moment you have with your spouse as being precious, with the result that you will want to make each moment, and each day, a precious one for your spouse.
If you do not have the time to go to the cemetery, set aside days on which you can sit together, and remind yourself of friends and family members who the icy hands of death has snatched from you. Let the memory of those people remind you that you are strangers and pilgrims on this Earth, and let it motivate you to resolve conflicts peacefully so that you will both have peace of mind to enjoy the relationship.
If you want to improve your relationship with your spouse, you must first look within, and then take the actions outlined above. If you do these things, in addition to taking trust seriously, you will not fall out of marriage, and your marriage will work.
Improve Your Relationship with Your Spouse
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2017 Isaac Yaw Asiedu Nunoofio
Isaac Yaw Asiedu Nunoofio (author) from Ghana on December 06, 2018:
Opinions will always differ, won't they? Anyway, thanks for the comment.
PaulLupa on December 01, 2018:
Great article. Some of this advice hits me as very difficult to impossible. So much easier to ignore the problems and just live with them.
Shafiq on October 21, 2018:
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