Healthy relationship or healthy marriage takes tremendous work and effort, yet it is possible and rewarding. Just like physical exercise that helps your body to become healthy, there are things you can do to build a healthy and successful marriage.
The following are five tips and actions you can embrace to strengthen your marriage:
- Know yourself – Self exploration and self knowledge is the most important factor in any growth and change. Learning about yourself will better equip you to grow as an individual and a partner. It will give you the foundation to stand your ground, know your boundaries and act in an assertive way toward your environment and particularly toward your partner. If you don’t know yourself, how you can learn about your partner. In addition, relationship, in itself, is a great challenge yet opportunity to know yourself, and grow while changing your habits to develop healthier way to interact with one another.
- Spend time together – Married partners can grow their partnership and intimacy by developing shared fun activities. It is recommended to create some rituals like going to a church, synagogue or mosque, having dinners together o even spending time in nature or intimate conversation. It might also be scheduling date nights or/and weekend activities. Relationship requires both quality and quantity time and it would be up to you to be proactive and find this time and use it in a balanced way while having additional responsibilities and desires. A common interest may be seeing new places together, playing cards, exercising, watching movies etc. The goal is to have something outside of your family that you both enjoy.
- Respect each other – Respect is paramount to healthy relationship as it portrays the acceptance of individual differences, preferences and perspective. Once you respect your partner, you are less judgmental and become less critical, creating positive energy. Seek to understand more than to be understood. If a couple fails to respect each other they tend to slip into negativity, criticism and distance.
- Enhance communication skills – The ability to talk and listen to each other is one key to a healthy marriage. You should never assume your partner knows what you are thinking or feeling. Tell your spouse what is going on—and as a spouse, know when to simply listen. Learning to really hear your partner is a skill that may require practice. There are many resources available like books, marriage education workshops and online courses. All of these options can help couples learn how to communicate more effectively.
- Build Intimacy – Developing intimacy is getting to know your partner deepest needs and desire, while respecting it and helping and support your partner in achieving them. Intimacy brings high level commitment, enjoyment and closeness. Unfortunately, many couples are not resilient enough to go through the challenges they face, preventing them from experiencing deep rewarding intimacy. Deep intimacy will manifest itself in any area of your relationship, including emotionally and sexually,
John Gray said “The wedding is the fun part. Then you need to work to keep your marriage healthy.” It is up to you to make it work. Yet, the investment is worthwhile.
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