If a flower isn’t watered it eventually dies….Right?
The answer to the above question isn’t rocket science. Think about it. We nurture our children, we nurture our jobs in order to keep them, we nurture our parents when they need us, we even nurture our friendships etc. etc. The list goes on and on. However, when it comes to our most important relationship, the one we share with our life partners, we tend to take for granted that it will always be okay. We tell ourselves that we will make time for him/her tomorrow. Well, more often than not, tomorrow becomes the next day and the next day becomes next week and so on. When your relationship becomes stale, you are flabbergasted and cant figure out why it is sinking.
A relationship as sacred as that in which we share with our spouse absolutely needs to be nurtured. Your marriage nor your feelings have to fall into the trap of complacency. In fact, being aware of some of the bad habits that you might be displaying can keep you from going down that path. Some of those habits might include:
- Focusing only on the negative aspects and not the positive.
- Not paying attention to your spouse.
- Using language that doesn’t reflect your togetherness (i.e., the way you talk about the good and bad times).
Granted, there are a lot of stress factors going on in these days and times in our lives which can lead us to focus more on whats negative in our personal relationships but for every negative, you should be able to find 5 positives about your spouse that will remind you of why you chose to spend your life with that person. In the words of Kela Price, “marriage is hard, remarriage is even harder.” Keeping your marriage alive and healthy will be a test to your strength as a couple but is essential. As I discussed above, the arch nemesis of marriage is complacency. We cannot just think that just because we have made a commitment to one another that we don’t have to work hard at it to keep it alive. Only you and your spouse can ensure that your relationship will stay exciting. Only you and your spouse can make sure that your marriage stays afloat and only you and your spouse can nurture your love.
The number one necessity in succeeding at nurturing your marriage is romance. No matter how secure you think you are in your relationship, if you are not romancing your partner, your marriage is not secure. The following are some tips to help you along the way:
- Talk, Talk, Talk! Maintaining open communication is your lifeline. Communication is key to building a solid bond and allows you to discuss your feelings, concerns, hopes and desires. You won’t know your spouse if you don’t communicate.
- Show Your Interest. If you don’t like sports, fake it till you make it! If football season is crucial to your husband, do your best to show interest with him. If you just cant stomach watching a whole game, buy him a couple tickets to enjoy with a friend! If your wife loves the nail salon and you hate it, surprise her with a gift card from her local place. These “little things” mean a lot.
- No Bickering. Pick your battles. Ask yourself, is this really worth it? If it is something that really bothers you, then obviously you need to talk about it with your spouse. However, if it is just something that you want to nit pick about, pick your battles because their could be a war over the horizon.
- Appreciation. Everyone needs to know that they matter. Every human being desires to be appreciated. Men and women alike. Let your spouse know how much they mean to you.
- Quality Time. Take time to have quality, alone time with your partner. Cut the lights out, light the candles after the kids have gone to bed, turn the music on and slow dance! Take a long walk in the park and don’t discuss any problems, only focus on your spouse. Institute a regular date night. Once per week would be ideal but at least twice a month. Get away for the weekend alone. Renewing your energy with your spouse is key to keeping it alive and fresh.
- Recreate Your First Date. Remember that anxious feeling you had when you first met? Get that feeling back again and go to the same place you were on your first date! It works wonders.
- Leave Eachother Love Notes. Text messages are great for leaving quick notes, but a good old-fashioned handwritten note is even better. Lay it on your wife’s pillowcase or in her car, she wont be able to wait to see you that night.
- Get Steamy in your Sex Life. Need I say more? Be creative, try new things. Spice it up! Use your imagination!
- Say “I Love You” Often. Those simple three words are like music to your spouses ears! Say them often.
TMF Readers, remember, its usually the smallest tokens of affection that lead to happiness in your marriage. It doesn’t take any money to tune into you and your partners feelings and needs. I know when my needs are not being met, I get irritable and cranky with myself and the people I love. Our marital ships become unstable when we are not “tuning in, paying attention and nurturing” marriages. Don’t let your ship sink! Nurture your vessel.
Peace & Blessings,