It can be easy to have a fun and romantic courtship period, but you may worry that your marriage won’t last once the initial spark has died down. However, if you want to live a happy married life, then you have to work on keeping the romance alive and on continuing to grow—both with your partner and as an individual. Though it’s not always easy, you can make your marriage thrive if you and your partner are willing to put in the effort.
- Respect your spouse. If you want to have a healthy marriage, then you have to make your spouse feel like your equal and take his feelings into account whenever you’re making a decision or just going about your day. If you treat your spouse like his opinions don’t really matter or like you always have the final say, then you’re bound to have an imbalance in your marriage. Make sure that you give your spouse’s views the same seriousness that you give your own and that you take the time to listen to your spouse and make him feel like you care.
- Work to keep your relationship in the present. If you care about your spouse and want to have a healthy and productive relationship, then you should avoid getting hung up on past mistakes you both made or keep reminding your spouse of his failures; instead, work on reinforcing positive behavior, enjoying your present time together, and thinking of all you have to look forward to.
- Take the time to listen. Listening is one of the best ways to be considerate toward your spouse. Don’t just zone out when your spouse is talking about his day or wait for him to finish talking so you can say what you want to say; make an effort to really hear him out and to care about what he’s telling you. When you’re having a real conversation, put away your phone, make eye contact, and be considerate enough to really listen. Ask your spouse questions to show that you really do care; you don’t want him to feel like he’s boring you.
- Give priority to your spouse. Though you don’t need to make your life revolve completely around your spouse, you have to remember that when you and your spouse decided to get married, you wanted to be a priority in each other’s lives. You should make sure to honor that decision and to make all of your big decisions with your spouse in mind, making sure that you try to do what’s best for you as well as for the person you are married to.
- Maintain strong communication. If you want your marriage to be a happy one, then communication is key. You and your partner should be able to talk graciously to each other about your thoughts—especially about things for the two of you to agree upon or do together. Doing this daily helps foster communication between partners and to keep your marriage healthy and strong.
- Don’t break marital confidences or use them as a weapon during an argument. If your partner trusted you with something very private and important, then you shouldn’t undermine that trust by reporting it to someone else just because you didn’t really think about it. Be considerate of the fact that your partner trusted you with important information and make sure to honor that trust.
- Be attuned to your partner’s moods. If you sense that something is wrong with your partner, take time to embrace him and ask what the matter is—maybe that’s the time he or she needs your attention the most. Don’t ignore that opportunity. If your partner isn’t ready to talk, then you don’t have to push it and make things worse, but you should show that you’ll be there when he/she is ready and willing to open up.