- Gender and Relationships»
Creating Intimacy in Your Marriage
It's true. We do not live in the 1950's any longer. That time has come and gone, when women stayed home with the children and men were the sole breadwinners. Oh, and guess what else? No one is the ultimate authority on marriage. Now, having said that, there are many 'experts' and counselors and whoever else that claim to know everything there is to know about romance, intimacy, marriage, what-to-do-when-your-spouse-is-untrue...I could go on and on. Point being, while the issues involving marriage are more than just difficult (and that's putting it nicely), there are a few things that it seems some couples just aren't getting.
So, I'm not claiming to be one of those experts; but from the information I've read and gathered over time, there are some incredibly important tips I'd like to pass on if you'd like to transform your marriage.
The Big "DUH"
It's one of those bits of advice that everyone gives, and for some reason, we all tend to ignore. And yet, it's vital to the success of marriage: COMMUNICATION.
Ok, I admit it. I've lashed out at my husband over small, petty stuff. We all have. But many, many times, it's not even what's said that matters...it's how you say it. There's a way to tell your spouse how you feel, or what they might have done to upset you, but it certainly isn't going to help if you scream it! If you stand there and yell, why would he want to listen to you? They can hear you just fine. Didn't we tune our parents out (sometimes) when they got angry? Same thing.
Communicate honestly and respectfully. It's important to nip things in the bud before it becomes a huge problem.
Don't Underestimate the Power of R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Your spouse is your best friend...right? I mean, that's the person you're going to see every day 'til death do you part. So, how would you treat your best friend? Respectfully. You want it? You have to give it. It's as simple as that.
It's a great way to keep things spicy. We all get into a routine and a fixed schedule and don't allow much flexibility, either because of a job, kids' and their activities...the list could go on. But it's not so much as 'Hey, let's drop everything we're doing and go to *blank* for the weekend'. It's more just keeping mindful of how you spend time together. It can get pretty tiring doing the same thing all the time, so be open-minded. Suggest a new hobby, try something different in the bedroom, you get the idea.
Speak Each Others' Love Language
When I first heard about the book, I thought it actually sounded a little flaky. But, curiosity got the best of me. Honestly, it is one of the most helpful books I've ever read. And guess what? It dramatically aided in my marriage. I was amazed how much I misinterpreted my husband's actions, as well as how much we were miscommunicating, simply because we didn't know how to please each other. But now that we do...wow. Talk about best friends with benefits! And that might sound a little gross (and personal), but again, this is the person you spend the majority of your time with, wouldn't you want to spend it happily, rather than constantly at each other's throats? Trust me...read the book!
It's Not Always Going to be Easy
Everyone who was ever (or currently is) married will tell you this. But it's not always going to be hard, either. It's those times when you have to make the most of it, as well as try to have as many moments like that as possible.
And true, it does take two to tango. So if necessary, seek counseling...it's what they're there for!
There are so many other things you can do to keep your passion alive, but these were just an obvious few that I believe are constantly overlooked and under-used. But most importantly: don't forget the reasons you said "I do". Remain friends. Find ways to escape the stresses and create some fun and true enjoyment. The next few decades together can be the best of your lives.