Building and maintaining a healthy marriage takes time and effort. With the day-to-day
pressures of work, children and chores it can be easy to neglect to nurture your
relationship and to take your mate for granted. This guide is designed to remind you about the importance of fostering a healthy relationship. It offers basic tips to help you build a successful marriage every day.
Finally, if you are having difficulty with your marriage or relationship, seek help. There
are many resources available to help you including, therapists, clergy members, marriage
workshops, and support groups. Additionally, you may have access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through your employer. EAPs typically provide confidential counseling services and referrals to other emotional health resources in your area. Ask your Human Resources representative to find out if your employer offers this benefit.
- Learn to communicate effectively. Communication is perhaps the most
important key to a strong, healthy relationship. Effective communication requires
you to be an active listener—listening without judgment and focusing on what
your partner is saying—as well as expressing your own feelings in a positive,
- Make time for each other. Part of being able to communicate effectively is
making time for meaningful conversations in a setting free of distractions. For
example, turn off the television in the evening to make it possible to have a real
conversation or order a pizza and catch up during a quiet night at home.
- Fight fair. Don’t expect to agree on everything. An important part of resolving
conflicts is being respectful of your partner’s feelings, even when you are arguing.
Let your partner know you value what he or she is saying, even if you don't agree.
Try to avoid criticizing, ridiculing, dismissing or rejecting your partner or what he
or she is saying. If you’re feeling frustrated and feel as if your anger is taking
over, take a time out from the conversation and agree to resume it at a specific
time later. Note--If you ever feel as if you may physically hurt your partner, walk
away and seek help immediately.
- Make a commitment to your relationship. Make your relationship with your
partner a priority in your life. A relationship is a work in progress. It needs
attention and effort to grow. No matter how busy you are, make time to spend
quality time together, even if you have to schedule out specific time slots on your
calendars. Celebrate each other’s accomplishments together and support each
other during harder times.
- Express appreciation. Saying thank you can go a long way toward making your
partner feel special and appreciated. Even though you may feel that your partner
knows you care, it doesn’t hurt to say thanks—even for every day things like
cooking dinner, putting the kids to bed, or taking out the trash.
- Maintain a sense of humor. Laugh often with your mate and be willing to laugh
at yourself. Maintaining a sense of humor can relieve stress and tension, and help
you get through a difficult time together.
- Learn to compromise. Compromise is important in any relationship, but it’s
especially important in a marriage. If you disagree on an issue, discuss the
problem calmly, allow each person to explain his or her point of view, and look
for ways to meet each other in the middle.
- Practice forgiveness. There may be times when your partner makes a mistake or
says or does something hurtful—whether intentionally or unintentionally. While
it’s okay to be angry, it’s also important to then let go of the anger and move on.
If you constantly bring up past hurts, it’s difficult to have a mutually loving
- Keep romance alive. Relationships are often romantic in the beginning, but as
time passes and couples become distracted by other things—work, children, bills,
the house—they often take each other for granted. Make your partner feel special
by doing something romantic, no matter how small. For example, make breakfast
in bed for your partner, make a date for a special night out, take a walk on the
beach, or have a picnic.
- Take time for yourself. It’s normal for couples to have different hobbies,
interests and friends. While it’s important to spend quality time with each other,
it’s equally important to spend time alone or with friends. For example, plan a
girls’ or guys’ night out, take a kickboxing class or join a book club. By making
time for yourselves, you’ll appreciate each other more.
This publication is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide any
user with specific authority, advice or recommendations.
Copyright © 2004 LifeCare ® , Inc. All rights reserved.