Settling into a happy married life requires a mix of honesty and compromise. You are still two individuals, but together you are stronger than the sum of your individual parts. And long may that remain so. Here are some tips to help you along:
Now that you are married, you don’t have to change who you are and how you behave just because you have the title of ‘husband’ or ‘wife’. A wife should not have to accept the old-fashioned subservient role in her relationship with her husband. Nor should he expect this. Be who you always were as that’s what led to your lifelong commitment to each other.
Relationships go through times of difficulties and conflict in the normal course of events. Marriage isn’t all roses and ‘happily ever after’. Try not to take yourself too seriously when you have a disagreement. You will have days when you feel bored or feel your needs are not being met, but these are just feelings and marriage isn’t all about feelings. You’ve made a commitment to each other, you’re a team. And this requires teamwork. You cannot rely on your partner to create your happiness.
Respect each other
Respect your partner’s strengths and weaknesses. It’s likely that your own strengths compensate for the others weaknesses. This is what makes you a good couple. Support them in challenging times and applaud their strengths. You can each learn from the other. It is particularly important to respect each other in public. Don’t take each other for granted. Say thank you for help given, whether that be doing the dishes or helping you with a work assignment. When help is requested, do the best you can to help. Don’t leave your partner to make all the decisions, take some of the responsibility yourself.
Show your care for your partner each day. Each day ask yourself “What can I do today to make their life happier?”. Leave the bathroom clean after you use it; put the cap back on the toothpaste, make a hot cup of coffee when they wake up; have dinner ready when they’ve been working late.
Always kiss before you leave for work and before going to sleep at night.
Remember important dates
Remember birthdays, anniversaries and other celebration dates. Buy a gift that you know your spouse would like (eternityrose.com.au has some great offers). In conversations with you or friends, when out shopping, at other people’s celebratory events your spouse will have dropped hints (not always intentionally) about the things they like. It’s best to steer clear of household items that you would buy anyway. Gifts should be personal to suit your spouses personality, style and wishes. Give gifts at any time you want to show your love and admiration or to say thank you for their support through a challenging time.
Spend time together
We all have busy lives, but each day sit down together to talk, cuddle and share time together. Even if it’s only for ten minutes before you go to bed. Turn off the smartphone, TV or other distraction and just be with each other. Go on a walk together. This is good exercise, is relaxing and is an ideal environment to be open and honest and able to talk about everything.
At least once a month, have a special evening out either alone or with friends. Go for a movie or a meal out. Take turns making the choices, but consider your partner’s wishes. If she’s vegetarian, and you want to go to the steak house, check first that they have a vegetarian dish option. Look your best and be your best and bring the romance home with you! Go dancing and if you can’t dance, take a lesson together and strut your stuff on the dance floor later.
Do things separately
Allow your partner to follow their own interests independently. This will give each of you time to miss each other, watch each other develop and learn more about yourselves as individuals and as a couple. If you share an interest then together you can join a choir, an art class or whatever the interest is.