Couples often complain about losing the passion in their relationship after years of marriage. That is because they started taking each other for granted, and no longer go out of their way to do things that they used to do together. Spending quality time together is important to keep your bond secure. When so much of life together becomes all about finances, jobs, childcare, etc., spending quality time together becomes even more crucial.
4 TIPS TO MAKE QUALITY TIME IN YOUR MARRIAGE
- Be selfless, not selfish. It is easy to make selfish choices when your time is limited. By intentionally choosing to be selfless, you create quality time with your spouse by showing them how much you care.
- Study your spouse. You can always something new to discover about your spouse, no matter how many years you have been married. Make it a habit to study them and see what makes them happy.
- Make it a priority to get involved in your spouse’s interests. You know that hobby your spouse enjoys that you could care less about? Make it a point to take an interest in your spouse’s hobbies, even if they don’t interest you Not only will this create an even deeper bond between you and your spouse, but it will build more trust and intimacy as you took the time to take a new interest in them and what they love.
- Set firm boundaries on your time. You are busy during the day, but it is essential to eliminate those things that can steal your time away from you. For some people that could be social media for others, it may be watching television or talking on the phone. Whatever your “time stealer” is, set very firm boundaries to be sure that it is not robbing the quality time that is meant to be spent with your spouse.
It’s important to understand that just because you are married doesn’t mean you don’t need to continue scheduling time to spend together.
What does honor look like in a couple’s daily life? It means waking up in the morning and deciding that our mate is the most valuable person on earth to us. It is deciding that we will look after our mate's needs before we worry about ours. Honoring our mate on a daily level is all about priority.
These four elements are what make honor possible for a couple. They are the driving force to a healthier, more exciting marriage.
- Treat Your Spouse With Care
I collect antiques and have learned that they require cautious and tender handling because of how precious and valuable they are. In a similar way, we are to treat our spouse tenderly. Tender in the way that we speak to them. Tender in the way that we look after them. Tender in the way that we speak about them to others. When we do so, we are showing honor to the one we value the most.
- Value their unique qualities
It can be easy to get frustrated with what our spouse doesn’t do well. In fact, we can create a running list in our mind of the things that we wish they would do better.
Instead, make the concerted effort to focus on what they do well. Tell them the good things that you see. Reaffirm to them what you believe they can do and accomplish. Recognize the things that they can do better than you.
- Look to their interests
In a dishonoring marriage, spouses look to their own interests. They’re fighting for control. They are maneuvering to have the best for themselves. We should honor one another above ourselves. That means having an attitude that seeks the best first for our spouse. A simple question to ask yourself is, “Am I looking out for myself in this situation, or am I considering what’s best for my spouse?”
- Make an Active Commitment to Your Marriage
To honor means to assign a value to something.
When I don’t make time to spend with my husband or I don’t participate in conversations or listen to him, in essence, I’m expressing to my husband that his needs are not important to me and that whatever I’m doing instead is more important than him.
There is an emotional connection that occurs when couples like, admire and respect each other. They talk to each other. They laugh together. When they speak to others about their partner they tend to brag about how great they are. Some couples stop talking, laughing and admiring each other and the emotional bond becomes frayed.
Though difficult, it is possible to restore respect. If you once cared for the person or held them in high regard, it is possible to return to this state if you choose to.
- Regaining respect is a choice
You have to want to regain the respect you once had for your partner. You might prefer to justify your reactions rather than to be the one who rises above the anger. To make the shift, you first have to consciously and genuinely choose to find your way back to respect. The angrier you are, the harder this will be.
- Understand what respect is and is not
To respect is to understand that the other person is not you, not an extension of you, not a reflection of you, not your toy, not your pet, not your product. In a relationship of respect, your task is to understand the other person as a unique individual and learn how to mesh your needs with his or hers and help that person achieve what he or she wants to achieve. Your task is not to control the other person or try to change him or her in a direction that you desire but he or she does not.
- Respect each other’s efforts.
The biggest way to show respect is to support and appreciate each other’s efforts. Compliment and thank your partner. We all like to be praised for the efforts and gifts we bring to the relationship, even if it is our role. This restores respect because being noticed and valued is important.
- Listen with compassion
We all need someone to hear us vent and express our feelings from time to time. Listening to your partner when they're speaking is one of the most essential signs of respect within a relationship. Be there for each other if one of you is having a difficult or tough time. Listen without trying to fix the problem.
Listen with the intention to recall what you once appreciated about your partner, to feel his or her goodness and love, and to reconnect with the relationship you once had. Remember the person is doing the best he or she can, working through humanity’s struggles just like you.
- Respect each other’s opinion, viewpoints and feelings
Decisions that affect you will often affect each other. The first step on respecting your partner’s opinion is to ask for it. When you involve your partner you are demonstrating respect and honoring their value.
Disagreements are normal and healthy in a marriage. Vicious personal attacks at your spouse’s character or personality are not! You can disagree without belittling or hurting someone. Everyone has a right to their own feelings and viewpoint and all feelings are valid. For respect to be present you need to validate each other’s feelings and point of view, even if you do not agree.
Start treating your spouse how you would like to be treated and respect will return to your marriage.
Wanting to win, to be right, is natural; it makes us feel strong and safe and gratified. It's also disastrous for a relationship. Consider the following argument:
Alice says, "You're always working. You don't spend enough time at home. I feel like a work widow."
Rodney says, "Nothing is ever good enough for you," he said angrily. "I'm always working because you're always spending so much money."
Alice says, "At least I'm at home with the family, not married to my job. I might as well be single. In fact, I am."
Rodney says, “Well at least I’m not a selfish shrew, bankrupting the family.”
Personal attacks on the other person. Accusations and name calling. The issue is not being defined and discussed and no resolution is being looked for.
When the goal is winning instead of understanding, partners are more likely to ignore, or trample, each other's feelings. That launches a spiral of escalating resentment and hostility leading to alienation—a troubling distance from each other that can become unbridgeable when communication breaks down completely.
Be more interested in understanding your spouse than in winning.
Winning makes some people feel—for a moment—safe and triumphant, and these short-term gains fool them into thinking that they've chosen the right tactic. But, paradoxically, going for the win is the course of action least likely to get them what they really want.
How can you understand your partner vs. win the argument?
- Physically distance yourself from your partner. An argument is a time of heightened emotions. Because it can be difficult to think clearly, physically distancing yourself can help your emotions to settle. However, never leave without giving an explanation or without agreeing to resume the discussion at some later time.
- Begin your communication with the mind set of listening and understanding one another. As you attempt to clarify the conflict, repeat, using your own words, your mate's position. Actively listen and understand what your mate is saying. In turn, this slows down the process and allows each person to feel heard and understood.
- Create a “win-win” solution. This doesn't necessarily mean compromising. Sometimes compromising creates a quick-fix solution where no one is pleased with the outcome. Furthermore, important issues may be overlooked. Instead, in a "win-win" situation, needs are met on both sides. Win-win solutions can be created in a variety of different ways. Techniques like "brainstorming" and "pros vs. cons" lists work great.
- The resolution process isn't complete until you've made sure that forgiveness has taken place. This step is so crucial because emotional injury can occur when resentment or anger continues after the conflict has ended. Although feelings may be hurt once the argument has finished, it's important not to let the sun go down on your anger. Try to identify your own contribution to the problem and seek forgiveness from your mate.
All couples argue or fight at some point in their relationship. It’s not whether you fight or not that is important, It is how you fight that ultimately determines the fate of your marriage.
When you fight unfairly with your spouse you are, maybe unintentionally, sending them negative signals that can be way more harmful and hurtful than whatever it is you are arguing about.
When you fight in a way that deeply hurts your spouse their behavior will change. They may do whatever it takes to avoid a fight and become closed off. Telling you less about how they feel for fear of a fight and letting more problems build, furthering resentment. It is an endless cycle that makes the relationship more difficult to repair. Ultimately, this can end in feeling distant, alone, and possibly lead to divorce.
So how do you fight fairly?
- Establish a “time out” word that lets your partner know that you need some time out to cool down because you re bout to lose control. Maintaining control of your emotions during an argument is critical to successful resolution of your issues. You need to learn to recognize when you are bout to lose control and call for a time out before thinks escalate.
- Don’t interrupt your partner. When you interrupt your partner while they are talking, you are not listening to understand the issue and their feelings. Instead you are listening just long enough to think of a response. By interrupting, you are taking control of the conversation and signaling to your partner that you are not interested in what they have to say.
- Don’t get off track by bringing up the past. Most people feel the need to be “right” and, when irritated or in a marital fight, they bring in details of a partner’s past slights or transgressions.
- Attack the issue, not each other. Don’t belittle your spouse by name calling, hurling insults or bringing them low with attacks on their personal character. This is not constructive and won’t fix the problem. Talk about the issue, not the person.
- Take responsibility. If you are to blame for the issue or problem, take responsibility for hurting your partner and apologize. This restores your bond with your partner and lets them know how important your marriage is to you.
Those couples that practice fair fighting tend to argue and fight less in their marriage and generally stay together. The bond grows stronger and a more loving relationship is established.
Psychological research tells us that women are more likely to be nags than men. It is possible for husbands to nag, and wives to resent them for nagging. But women are more likely to nag, experts say, largely because they are conditioned to feel more responsible for managing home and family life.
Have you ever thought about what nagging is?
Nagging is finding fault with someone and criticizing them. It could be nitpicking every little thing your spouse does, like how he folds the laundry or how he eats soup. Often times nagging takes the form of commanding or demanding that your spouse do things and repeating it over and over again until they do it. In addition to words, nagging can include non-verbal body language such as eye rolls folded arms and angry stances.
Why Nagging Doesn't Work
- Even though your gripes may be valid, nagging makes your spouse resentful.
- Nagging makes your spouse defensive.
- Nagging puts you in the parent role and your spouse in the child role. This isn't healthy for your marriage relationship.
- Nagging is disrespectful.
- Nagging is often perceived as criticism, so your spouse may tune out making what you are saying ineffective.
- When your spouse is being nagged, he/she probably feels attacked personally.
- Nagging can make your spouse feel inadequate.
Three Ways to End Nagging
- Gratitude. Instead of worrying that your spouse did not do something they way you expected, thank them for what they did do. Chances are they will be more likely to want to do things when you ask them to.
- Ask Lovingly. Instead of telling our spouse to do something 5 times in the same encounter, we need to kindly ask him/her for what we need. Then, we ask him/her for an approximate time frame that he/she thinks he/she can complete the task–if our spouse says he/she can do it at all. And, then we wait. This shows our spouse that we trust him other to follow through on the task.
- Sit down with your spouse and tell them how you feel and what you need.
One person, no matter how much you love and trust them, can never meet all your expectations and needs. People will not change for you — and more importantly, you should not ask them to. Love, unconditional or otherwise, should never require supplication or submission, no matter how compelling the reason.
Nagging can make you lose track of who you are: two people who love each other and struggle with an ineffective communication habit. Think about changing your habit before you dream about changing your partner.
It was only about a hundred years ago that people married for a specific purpose such as to fulfill a financial arrangement, political alliance, social expectation or to procreate. I was not about emotion. However, in this century, marriage is based on passion, happiness, and fulfillment. Despite the change, many married couples are currently living sexually unfulfilling lives, In a recent survey conducted regarding couple’s sex lives, 46% of the couples surveyed stated that their sex life had flatlined.
Many modern couples see their sex life crowded out by the relentless demands of children, work pressures, not enough time alone -- and just not enough time. Allowing your physical relationship to fall to the bottom of a frantic "to-do list," experts say, can lead to dissatisfaction, loneliness, separation, and even divorce.
Sex is a powerful tie that binds and a pleasurable act for both partners. It should be an intimate connection to your partner that makes you feel alive and valued. It defines their relationship physically, emotionally and spiritually.
What can you do to get that spark back?
Focus your communication on what you want in bed
Many couples find it difficult to talk to each other about sensitive topics, so years go by with both of them skirting around issues until something breaks and the bitterness spills out.
Communicate well with your partner is essential. Think about what has aroused you in the past or about the things you wish your husband would do when the two of you are under the covers. Do you hear yourself thinking, "I wish he'd touch my neck or breasts?" If so, fill him in the next time you are getting snuggly. Don’t be too embarrassed to speak up about what you don’t like. Faking it encourages your partner to keep doing it wrong and cheats you out of being satisfied. Try saying “ I like it when you gently massage and kiss my breasts instead of squeezing them.”
- Sit and talk through your feelings about sex to prevent him/her from feeling rejected or hurt and to gain support.
- Have conversations that discuss what each partner would like from their sex life.
- What one thing, if it were eliminated from your sex life, would improve your sex life?.
Reinstate Daily Touching
Remember when, early in your relationship, just brushing your partner’s hand could send an electrifying spark through you. As the years go by, physical contact can become less and less or more routine. Make it a point to sneak up and hug your partner, hold hands while watching TV, rub your partner’s shoulders after a hard day, etc. Kiss your partner before heading out the door for the day.
As you starting reaching out to each other more, the connection will re-establish, and you will feel more loved and more inclined toward intimacy.
Create the right setting
An excellent sexual approach made appropriately and in a healthy environment has the best prospect of succeeding. Spruce up your room and reduce the clutter so you are not distracted and can focus on other things. Try dressing a little sexy. Put scented or perfumed candles in the room as your sense of smell plays an important part when it comes to sexual arousal. A warm bedroom -- with soft lights, if possible and low music -- makes for a good and healthy sexual environment.
Try something new
Rather than doing the same old things between the sheets, try something a little different and unique. Try new sexual positions or merely change the order of your routine. If you find that you are always too tired for sex before going to sleep, start having sex in the morning.
More foreplay during sex will stimulate orgasms.
Either in a warm bath, using soap or oil, or in a warm bed using lotion to make your hands glide smoothly, massage each others' bodies all over.
People have different attitudes towards sex toys and games, but most are sure to find a few sex aids with which they are comfortable. Aphrodisiacs -- asparagus, oysters, champagne, and chocolates -- may help get you in the mood.
In serious long term relationship, sexual intimacy thrives on the overall connection of the couple. So get busy addressing the issues that are damaging your connection and consciously build positive experiences with each other, and you will boost your sex drive.
Space issues plague just about every couple at one time or another. For many, it's an ongoing source of contention. Perhaps you spend too much time together or the amount of physical affection lavished on you by your partner makes you uncomfortable. Regardless of the details of the dispute, the same question is at the core of most of these conflicts: Where does the "us" end and the "I" begin? Experts agree that couples need to find a balance between togetherness and individuality.
How do you know if you are smothering your spouse?
- You expect your partner to spend all of their time with you. You should spend quality time with your partner but when you isolate them from family and friends, there’s a problem. A healthy marriage includes spending time with people that matter to you both such as friends and family. There needs to be a balance.
- You require excessive physical contact with your spouse. Every marriage requires physical closeness, but if you are constantly draping yourself all over your partner, it is a sign that you may be insecure. If your partner begins to pull away physically, it doesn’t mean they don’t love you. They may just need some breathing room.
- You call your spouse frequently during the day to see what they are doing or check their phone to see whom they have been talking to. This is an obsessive, controlling behavior that tells your partner that you do not trust them.
There's a fine line between being affectionate and being needy. Neediness actually pushes people away. Neediness smothers your partner. Smothering is driven by insecurity and selfishness. Loving is driven by confidence and generosity.
How can you eliminate smothering behavior?
Develop friendships outside of the marriage with people you have some common interests with. This will give you an outlet for conversation and help build self-esteem.
Participate in a variety of activities. This will make you both well rounded, and give you more to talk about.
Be open and honest with your partner. Communicate your needs in a cool, calm manner. Reassure your partner that you are not rejecting them but you need time to do things for yourself. Be specific about your needs and goals.
When you do spend time together, give your partner the undivided attention they crave.
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