10 Simple Steps for a Healthy Marriage

The relationship with our significant other can be the best and the worst thing in our lives (sometimes both at the same time!). To help foster a healthy, loving, supportive and fulfilling marriage with your partner, consider the following steps.

1) Forgiveness

When someone you care about does something that feels hurtful, you give them the opportunity to work through it and offer them forgiveness. Everyone messes up once in a while. Everyone has a bad day. People in healthy marriages don’t dwell on their partner’s mistakes and let resentment fester in their hearts — they move on. If someone hurts you, and they are truly sorry, offer them forgiveness.

2) Gratitude

Gratitude is important in all aspects of life, but in marriage, it is essential. Be grateful for everything your partner brings to the table. When our expectations of the ones we love become out of line with what they have to offer, our relationships suffer.

Be grateful for your partner’s different strengths and different preferences. Focus on the strengths and celebrate the wonderful things that your lover has to offer. This life is too short to focus on someone’s shortcomings. Be thankful for the good things.

3) Quality Time

Our time on this earth is limited, so fill your days with the people who bring  the most joy and happiness. Take time to get to know your partner deeply — ask questions, support them in their time of need, and build them up when they are down. 

Show your love and commitment by spending quality time with your partner.

4) Friendship

Take an interest in your partner’s hobbies and passions. Although auto-mechanics, technology, or WWII may not be of interest to you, if these things fascinate your husband or wife, take the time to hear what they have to say about them. Check out a band or a sporting event that appeals to a your partner as a gesture of love and support. Show friendship by making an effort to ‘hang out.’

5) Honesty

Honesty requires bravery because it takes people way out of their comfort zone. Speak your truth. Own it. Call people out on their shit. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. 

Be honest without being hurtful. If you can tell someone how you feel, from the bottom of your heart, and with complete sincerity you are fostering a solid relationship and a damn good sense of self.

6) Integrity

Stand up for yourself. Establish your boundaries, and don’t be afraid to be clear about them. Making yourself small for someone else is not a healthy way to exist. Find a respectful way to express your point of view. 

Don’t keep that shit bottled up! If you have something important that you need to say to someone you care about, then say it.

7) Communication

Tell the people you love everything. If you are upset with someone, tell them, talk about it, and move on. Spend your time loving, rather than dwelling. Communicate with the people you love because it is important to show support for each other and share things that are meaningful to us.

Putting up a wall and closing yourself off is incredibly isolating and lonely. Tear down those walls and let people in. Share and allow yourself to be vulnerable. Your marriage will be so much stronger when you share all of yourself

8) Patience

Most people come into a marriage with a suitcase full of issues, and find their partner still ready to offer unconditional love. There is no doubt that being loving, supportive, and patient when people are at their lowest, is one of the best ways to show someone they matter. Through thick or thin.

9) Physical closeness

I don’t just mean sex (although I also mean sex) but go out of your way to hug your partner as often as possible. Human touch is something we all crave. Holding hands, massage, whatever works for you, but maintaining physical contact is a very important part of what keeps marriages strong.

10) Love Yourself

Loving yourself is the most important step — in order to have a healthy marriage, you must first have a healthy sense of self-love. When you become insecure and unsure of yourself, you become anxious about your relationship. Work hard at feeling good about yourself. Develop confidence in your individuality to foster a stronger connection between you and your partner.

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