It’s amazing how much time we spend keeping our property and prized possessions shipshape. If we don’t, cars begin to rattle, roofs start to leak, and furnaces, well, they’re likely to break down in the middle of winter. Yet, of all of the things we need to maintain, we often spend the least amount of time tending to thing that needs it the most—our marriage.
Think about the time you spend maintaining your marriage. When was the last time you had a romantic dinner together…without the kids? How often do you hug or kiss…spontaneously? When was the last time you really talked…without the TV blaring in the background?
A marriage is like a garden. At first its soil is rich and fertile. It can go for a long time without attention, and it will still yield fruit. But neglect if for too long; forget to water, weed and nurture your plot, and it will wither and die.
Lets face it, we take each other for granted. After the honeymoon is over, we often get lost in our busy day-to-day lives. We overlook how important our spouse is to us. While we are pursuing family and career, we put our marriage on cruise control. We forget that none of us like to be forgotten.
Close relationships need lots of time and attention in order to thrive and grow. The following are seven helpful tips that I often share with couples who are trying to fine tune their marriage:
- Don’t forget that listening is part of communicating.
- Be affectionate. Holding hands and hugs are not just for newlyweds. A spontaneous hug or squeeze goes a long ways.
- Flowers and cards are not just for saying you’re sorry, give them when they’re not expected
- Connect every night, even if it is just for few minutes. Shut off the TV, put down your phone, leave the dishes, and talk about feelings, events, and thoughts.
- Ask yourself “What can I do today to express my love to my spouse?”
- Set aside one night, at least every other week to spend together alone.
- Every day, ask yourself “Have I put time, energy and attention into my marriage?” Make the answer “yes!”
The list can go on and on, ranging from simple things to more creative ways to keeping a marriage going. I’d love to hear your ideas of how you keep your marriage fine tuned.