If you’re like most people who have been married for a while, you’d like to know how to improve your marriage. Time and routine have a way of making us lose sight of the important things in life, and take those things for granted. If your marriage seems to be getting stale or going off in unplanned directions, you need to stop and take time to assess the situation. A marriage can be the source of happiness and contentment, or the opposite, but it always needs attention and effort to keep it healthy and strong. Here’s what you need to do if you really want to learn how to improve your marriage -what I call the 5 Cs.
This is the big one, and because it sounds so easy, it tends to get glossed over. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve probably heard it a thousand times that if you want to learn how to improve your marriage, the key is communication. This doesn’t mean that you have to tell your spouse everything (see honesty below), but it does mean that regular talking about all kinds of normal, ordinary topics should be the norm – not the exception. Most of the tips you’ll see here are related in some way to communication, so keep it in mind.
A marriage is a partnership, and you should always think of it that way. If you had a business with a partner and he or she wasn’t pulling his or her weight, you would have to talk about it (communicate) and try to work out a process to make things more equal – think about how to apply this idea in practicing how to improve your marriage. In this modern age there’s no reason for either spouse to be doing more than a fair share of housework, yard-work, shopping, child care, and so on. Working out a schedule or at least agreeing on a plan to take care of these everyday tasks is very important. Resentments can simmer for a long time about small things, and then turn in to something more serious.
Give and take is the name of the game in this area. If you are serious about learning how to improve your marriage, you’ll work very hard on compromising. The first step in doing this is – guess what – communicating with your spouse. If you have a need or want something that you’re not getting, you have to talk about it. Then you need to be willing to meet your spouse halfway, sometimes more or less, but always somewhere in the middle.
if you love your spouse, caring should be second nature – and if it isn’t, there’s no excuse for not adding it to your list on how to improve your marriage. Unfortunately, it’s easy to start forgetting how important it is to care about being honest and trustworthy, being concerned about your partner’s comfort, and being considerate in general. Honesty too often is thought of as some sort of emptying out of your contents, a tell-all mode of life. It’s better to think of it as an agreement not to keep secrets from each other, not to do anything that you wouldn’t want your spouse to know about, and to make sure that he or she is kept informed, just like you’d inform a business partner. If you are considerate, you are always caring about your spouse’s comfort, health, and mental well-being, and trying your best not to do anything that would indicate that you don’t care.
You took some very important vows on your wedding day, and you should try to remind yourself each day of your life that you have made a promise to your spouse. The commitment that a marriage needs to stay healthy has to be worked on constantly. If you are committed, you will of course be faithful, but you will also communicate effectively, learn to compromise, cooperate in all things, show that you care, and reaffirm your promises to your spouse whenever you can. If you are committed to working on how to improve your marriage, you’ll be way ahead of the game.