Are you sitting on the couch … looking at your spouse … wondering where the excitement went? Rebecca Sauer, licensed counselor at Catholic Charities, gives these top six ways to start reconnecting with your spouse.
6 Practicle Ways to Make Your Marriage Better
1. A Little Hand Holding
During the first days of your romance, it is likely that you held hands a lot. As couples grow older together, this practice often gets dropped. Try putting hand holding back into your relationship. Try it walking into the grocery store or even walking to the kitchen. “Holding hands literally supports one another and gives you a physical connection,” said Sauer.
2. Silence the Critic
When you spend a lifetime with someone, it is easy to see their faults. Take a time out. Make an inventory of what you’ve said to your partner in the last week—if it’s heavy on the negative and critical, start focusing on your partner’s positive qualities. “Choose to focus on your partners strengths,” said Sauer. “Especially when you find it difficult to remember that person you fell in love with.”
3. Weekly Date Nights
Having a wedding is no reason to stop dating. Dating helps to keep the romance alive. From something daring and new to taking a walk—create an opportunity to spend meaningful time with your partner. And make sure to block out any interference, Sauer said, “Schedule quality time alone without children, television or phones to avoid distraction.”
4. Respect and Admiration
In a romantic relationship “many people think that love is the most important thing—but it is not, respect is the most important,” said Sauer. “You must be willing to show respect to your partner and earn your partners respect.” She suggests giving kudos to your partner when it’s due— when you are in public and when you two are alone. Acknowledging your partner’s expertise, insights, trustworthiness and other qualities help your partner to feel known and loved—and help to remind you what a great person you married.
5. Try Apologizing
We all make mistakes. It’s crucial that we learn to apologize and mean it. We must also learn to forgive and not hold grudges. “You cannot drag up the past when you have a disagreement,” said Sauer. “When you forgive, you must let it go.” Take an inventory of any unfinished or unaddressed disputes between you and your partner—and then work toward peace and forgiveness.
6. A Spiritual Experience
“Research shows that couples who are of the same religion—and practice it together—have a higher chance of a long-term successful marriage,” said Sauer. Sauer explains that this doesn’t just mean praying or attending worship services together, but also finding a deep connection through shared meaningful experiences.
All marriages go through difficult times. If you are struggling with navigating a connection to your spouse, please call 602-749-4405 to make an appointment with a Catholic Charities counselor. Our low rates are based on your ability to pay. Offices are located throughout the Valley with appointments available on evenings and Saturdays. Spanish speaking counselors are also available.