Sure, marriage is hard work. But these 8 little actions can make a huge difference in your relationship.
Marry the person you love and that love will last the entire length of your life. This sounds much easier than it actually is, because staying in love has its own set of challenges.
Author of the book The Two-Minute Marriage Project: Simple Secrets for Staying in Love, relationship guru and mother-of-four, Heidi Poelman, has some great suggestions on how to strengthen your relationship so it can go the distance.
The book is based on the nudge theory, which says that if you make small adjustments in the right way, they could lead to big results. These simple suggestions could help save a troubledmarriage, and the best part is that none of them take longer than two minutes:
1. Have a positive view toward certain actions.
As the years pass, couples have a tendency to forget the reasons why they picked each other in the first place and start focusing on the things that annoy them.
Research shows that the longer you’re married, the more likely you are to give a negative reason rather than positive ones to everyday actions and this can have serious consequences. The more positive the explanations about a spouse‘s behaviors, the more likely a couple will stay together.
Instead of thinking that your husband leaves dirty dishes in the sink because he’s lazy, think that he’s doing so well at work and his job, that he’s too busy to wash them before he leaves for work. Make a conscious effort to look for the positive — however small — in everyday actions.
One in five married couples go without kissing for as long as a week at a time, usually because they’re just too busy. Try to kiss your partner once a day for at least a week—and that means a deep, intimate kiss, not just a peck on the cheek.
Arizona State University researchers found that couples who were instructed to kiss this way reported less stress and more relationship satisfaction, as well as a decrease in bad cholesterol levels.
3. Celebrate victories, no matter how small.
Researchers from UCLA and University of Rochester studied four different ways that spouses typically respond to good news: openly and excitedly, supportively and quiet, no response, and actively discouraging.
People with discouraging or unresponsive spouses reported lower measures of happiness in their marriages, and surprisingly, people with quietly supportive spouses also had lower measures of marital happiness.
Next time there’s good news, celebrate it properly with a special meal or expressing how great your spouse and his or her achievements are.
4. Express gratitude.
We all want to be recognized for our efforts and we all want to be praised. Expressing gratitude and admiration, and acknowledging what you like about what your husband/wifedoes show him or her that you don’t take them for granted.
It can be helpful to keep a gratitude journal where you and your spouse both write down something that you’re grateful the other person did that day. Couples who keep up this mutual appreciation were less likely to breakup.
5. Be excited when you’re reunited.
When you’ve been apart from your mate, be excited when you see them again. If partners seem genuinely happy to see each other, that helps to reaffirm the bond between them.
6. Use “we” statements.
Describing your marriage as a team rather than two separate individuals creates an united front and is a great psychological trick to bring you together.
7. Do the little things.
People say it’s the little things that cause a marriage to fall apart, but it’s also the little things that keep a marriage together. Do the little things that take no time and very little effort, but still show your spouse that you’re thinking about them and that you want them to be happy.
8. Show your other half that they’re a priority.
Be present and listen when your other half is talking and don’t multi-task. Don’t put them off if they need to communicate.
It’s not difficult to show your spouse that you care and that your relationship is important to you. With these eight simple and not-very time consuming actions, your marriage will be as solid as a rock.
Photo—Harsha K R/Flickr
Originally appeared at YourTango.
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