“Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.”
William Shakspeare, Sonnet 116 (1-4)
Ideally, all couples marry for love. Time after time, the bubble of subtle emotions bursts under the pressure of everyday life, the unrealistic expectations, and the unfulfilled promises. Weathering marriage storms is plain sailing for some couples and for others, shipwrecks beyond repair.
To withstand the volatile winds of love, any couple can follow some surprisingly simple tips for making their marriage work. That way, the relationship maintenance becomes much easier, although we need to keep in mind that every romance is unique in its own right and both people involved, unlike anyone else in the universe.
1. The Power of Touch
Communication between two human beings does not always require verbalization to convey a message. Our body language, posture, and other forms of non-verbal communication are just as powerful and may hugely contribute to marriage satisfaction if done the correct way. With minimal effort, you can suddenly recognize a rekindled spark in your spouse’s eyes after an unexpected hug, a gentle stroke on their cheek, or a bedtime kiss on the forehead.
Indeed, these small tactile gestures are the least we can do, and they can spark a fantastic response. This is particularly important in times of distress and emotional pain, which is when your partner needs you the most. In fact, a study published by Scientific Reports in 2017 suggests that “the use of touch may improve the quality of non-verbal physiological communication between partners, especially when one of them feels pain, enabling the toucher to better project his empathy to [their] partner and consequently have an analgesic effect.” (Goldstein et al. 2017)
2. Splitting up the Work
Dividing the chores, housework, and other mundane tasks have been shown to have a great impact on relationships. The antagonistic feelings which stem from one party always performing the tasks, regardless of other duties, may lead to frustration and constant negativity. This is especially true if it’s an ongoing situation. Divvying up the day-to-day duties between the partners isn’t always the easiest task, though. This is why the couple has to communicate problems about household chores and find a viable solution to share the load. Sometimes it’s best to write down a schedule or else agree on the day when the husband could do the vacuuming while the wife runs errands, irons, and vice versa.
The practicalities of running the household should be divided equally as much as possible; even more so, if both partners are overwhelmed with work commitments. Look at the chores as shared responsibilities instead of one person just helping out the other because these tasks are not inherently male or female.
3. Talk about the Old Days
The history of any couple’s love is an infinite source of memories but often neglected in the flurry of married life. A great many marriage counselors, therapists, and psychologists stress the importance of positive reminiscence in close relationships. For one, “during the reminiscence of an event that produced laughter and mirth between individuals, not only should couples relive that emotional experience and reap its emotional and relationship benefits, but communicating the episode should also involve “rehearsal and elaboration, both of which seem likely to prolong and enhance the experience by increasing its salience and accessibility in memory.” (Bazzini et al. 2007)
Recalling the positive memories evokes laughter and boosts mood. As you may guess, couples who laugh a lot tend to have a more positive outlook on life. Then, they display more affection and intimacy, which may further strengthen their relationship.
4. Nurture the Adventure
Couples who travel together stay together. This is not just some run-of-the-mill adage, but it’s actually proven to work. First of all, two people who set a mutual goal are more likely to work toward it and maybe even put in a little extra effort. This is especially true for those couples who have fallen into the same old routine and need something to spark off the motivation and inspiration to invest more time into their relationship. Secondly, traveling together teaches people how to overcome challenges they potentially face while on vacation, and they can easily transfer those skills and lessons into everyday life. We all know how we get into all sorts of good and bad situations on holiday. Not only does this teach us patience and cooperation, but it also reinforces a problem-solving mindset in the time of a crisis.
This doesn’t mean you have to break the bank, spend family savings, or go in the red for the sake of a vacation. Sometimes, it’s enough to simply change the environment and visit a nearby city or a holiday resort in the vicinity.
5. Acts of Kindness
Small tokens of appreciation keep the marital binds stronger. Make your partner a cup of tea without being asked, leave a love note before you go to work, say how proud you are of your children, give your partner a compliment without any particular reason, and share your plans for a better future, no matter how unrealistic they might seem at the given moment.
It’s not the grand gestures that actually matter. On the contrary, it’s the small things that make a huge difference. They serve as a constant reminder that the relationship hasn’t gone sour while boosting the mutual morale and enthusiasm to endure any obstacle.
The love game indeed seems easy once we look at things from a different perspective. The immense capacity to restore trust and companionships hides in these simple tips and adds yet another level of intimacy some us may already know, and some never discovered before.