Marriage is a journey and along the way, you will have to make repairs. Before you spend money on courses, retreats, and counselors, start with these three basics of a sound marriage. Instead of investing your money, these tips require you to invest your intention and time.
Be on time. I know that I have a tendency to run late when it comes to my personal life. I’m on time for work and all other business-related events…kinda. But when you consistently have to have your spouse wait for you to get ready, meet you at on time, it shows that you don’t value their time, which over the course of a marriage, can be a silent killer and build mountains of resentment. So, if you know that punctuality is not your strong suit, take the initiative to plan ahead of time to ensure that you meet your time engagements.
Say what you mean to say. Spouse? Yes! Mindreader? No. Absolutely not. Depending on your family backgrounds and conflict resolution styles, you may have been taught that being polite is more important than authenticity and by extension, vulnerability in marriage.
I had to find this out the hard way.
Growing up, I learned that conflict surfaced uncomfortable feelings and should be avoided at any costs. When I brought this mindset into my marriage, it became difficult to be transparent about things that I didn’t like or things that I wanted to change. But here’s the thing about avoidance— it never goes away. What you are running away from always finds its way back to you. For the sake of your marriage, make an effort, to be honest about how you feel. Even if you have to write it on a post-it or practice in front of a mirror before you speak to your spouse, do it. Also, know that it will be uncomfortable at the beginning but the benefits will outweigh the initial discomfort.
Keep your word. One of the easiest ways to deepen intimacy in your marriage is to underpromise and overdeliver. Simply this means if you say you are going to do something, then make every effort to do it. And if you can’t keep your promise, be sure to own up to it. People marry for a host of reasons—one of which is to know that someone always has their back. If you want to have an immediate improvement in your marriage and an increased level of respect and appreciation from your spouse, then be deliberate about how you use your words when making promises.
Frugal Feministas- What are other ways to improve your marriage that don’t cost a thing?