Bridgette W. Gottwald, LPC, NCC

No matter how long you have been in the game – twenty years or just getting ready to tie the knot, there is always something that can be done to improve upon relationships within your life, especially the marital one. These strategies are backed by science and will likely re-kindle romance, generate happiness and satisfaction, while also making partners feel more connected.

Life throws us curve balls, and we all know that marriage isn’t easy. When times get tough, the worst thing you can do is to disconnect from one another, withdrawal or ignore the problem. When this happens, lean in and focus on how you can make things better not only for yourself, but for your partner’s sake as well.

1. Find something you both like to do together

Engaging in something that can be mutually beneficial to both partners, such as taking on a home improvement project, cooking a meal together, taking a walk, or going out on a date can strengthen relationships in many different ways. The activity isn’t about winding up with a product (such as a meal or a renovated room), rather, it is focused upon connection and bonding with your spouse. Doing things like this enables people to step away from their lives and focus on nothing else but each other and that yields powerful results.

2. Make an effort to get better sleep

Depriving yourself from sleep impairs cognitive functioning, which makes it “harder to be creative, stay focused on work, complete tasks on time and generally keep a high level of performance.” A recent scientific study (from the University of California) proved that couples with less sleep reportedly argued more with their significant other.

3. Drop the smartphone before laying down in bed

I know I’m not the only one who is guilty of being exhausted, yet lying in bed next to my partner as we both silently stare at and scroll on our smartphones. What a good way to disconnect, right? Although entertaining, after doing this I usually find it to be a waste of time and I feel less refreshed than before. Engaging in an electronic device has become the routine in this day and age and it is time for us to unplug and pay more attention to what this does to us. This can also be harmful to your partner and feel like rejection, indicating that what you’re doing on your smartphone is more important than your partner.

4. Seek out and befriend other couples

As human beings who are wired for connection, it’s only natural for us to want to seek out others that “share similar values, interests and goals to our own.” Not surprisingly, fostering these friendships can actually “boost your marriage.” When married couples connect and share a friendship, it enables them to “benefit emotionally from support, comfort and excitement stemming from these group relationships.”

5. Getting feedback

Just as you would do in business, you can have your performance within the marriage assessed by your partner or loved ones. Although these honest conversations may be difficult, people within such a close relationship can help one another grow and improve – in fact, many people may find this to be one of the goals of the relationship. If you aren’t satisfied, it’s likely that your partner isn’t either. Getting honest feedback about your marriage from others that you trust, could give you a new perspective and open your eyes to new possibilities within your relationships. This evaluation could help you to think about what you’re doing and why, as well as what’s working and not working.

Now close your computer or put down your smartphone, and go find a way to connect to others!

Reference:

Schwantes, M. (2019, September 14). Married Couples: Studies Have Found These Five Habits May Instantly Improve Your Relationships. Retrieved from: https://www.symmetrycounseling.com/therapy-chicago/being-distracted-in-a-digital-world/