Marriage: How to Strengthen and Deepen Your Bond
As the saying goes, families begin because two people fall in love. Therefore, family wellness first begins with a healthy and happy relationship, but how do you give your marriage a spring clean? While some couples believe they need to go on a romantic getaway to rekindle that flame, there are actually small, simple secrets to helping you bond with your partner, and boosting your wellbeing in the process.
1. Send him love texts: Wellness writer Holly Corbett, co-creator of LostGirlsWorld.com, notes, ‘When we focus on something, we tend to see it show up more often. So try sending him a text every day this month that acknowledges something you appreciate about him, such as “I love that you get me peanut M&Ms when I have PMS.”’ This certainly worked for Orna Walters, who co-founded Creating Love on Purpose, a relationship coaching service, with her husband, Matthew. ‘My husband did a text appreciation month for me after he forgot to get me a Valentine’s Day card one year, and I was surprised that he found something new to write every single day,’ Walters recalls. ‘It made me feel so cherished.’
2. Hang Up Old Pictures: According to Corbett, ‘Research confirms that experiences rather than things increase your happiness levels, and recounting shared moments in your relationship can also boost marital satisfaction. Gather pictures of your favourite times together — such as the camping trip you took sans kids or his surprise 35th birthday party — and place your new collection somewhere he will see it as a happy reminder.’
3. Look at the Glass as Half-Full: It’s more fun to be around positive people, especially if you’re married to that person. Brian G. Ogolsky, PhD, assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, recently co-authored a study in which, of the most important strategies for overall relationship satisfaction, positivity landed at the top of the list. ‘Our research shows that there are concrete, small moves you can do in your daily life to make your partner like being around you more, and feel more committed to the relationship,’ he says. ‘In terms of relationships, positivity really means those little fun, romantic gestures.’
4. Open Up More: You have to create space for openness if you want your relationship to deepen and thrive. Dr. Ogolsky points out, ‘We give as much as we get in terms of disclosure. The more open you are, the more likely your partner is to open up. It leads to deeper conversations and connection.’ After work, carve out time to greet your partner with a glass of wine and see what you end up chatting about.
5. Do Chores as a Team: While the most efficient way to clean up the house may be to divide and conquer, doing household chores together can provide a huge boost to your relationship. This is because you’re spending more time together, and can see each other working on this home that you both care about. In fact, Dr. Ogolsky’s research found that taking part in shared tasks was another top-five relationship booster. He explains, ‘It doesn’t mean that you have to vacuum the floor together, but simultaneously doing the chores that keep your household functioning, such as washing the dishes while he fixes the stove, reminds you both that you are working together as a team.’
6. Create a Relationship Bucket List: Dreaming and making plans together strengthens your bond, as it reinforces the idea that you’ll be together forever. Dr. Ogolsky comments, ‘You’re effectively boosting commitment by creating a shared future with your partner.’ So whether you want to travel around South America or own your own business one day, start dreaming!
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