With 2016 on the horizon, you’ve no doubt started thinking about all those little things you’d like to change or improve in the coming year. And while people often dedicate resolutions to health, fitness and giving up those annoying habits, New Year’s is a great time to assess your marriage and determine what changes you can make to strengthen it in the year to come. Here are our top marriage-related resolutions for 2016:
As with any relationship, marriages are frequently accented with arguments, resentment and even some pain and suffering. This year, resolve to forgive your partner when he or she asks for forgiveness; holding onto grudges and resentment can really undermine your relationship. As you let things goes, you’ll experience much more joy in your relationship.
Spend More Time Together
You were once inseparable. But as life gets busy, it’s easy to spend more time away from each other than you spend together! If work commitments or your social calendar are taking you away from your spouse, resolve to spend a little more time together in the New Year. If that means scheduling a special date night once a week or finding a new job altogether, you and your marriage will be better for it!
Find Common Interests
Part of spending more time together means finding activities you enjoy doing together. This can be tough, but is so important. Think back on what initially attracted you to your spouse; if you met doing a particular activity – like cycling or playing in an orchestra – try to spend more time on that activity. If you don’t have many common interests, think of something you’re both interested in trying and go for it!
Always Say “I Love You”
Life is busy and rushing out the door every day while calling a “goodbye” to your spouse is sometimes the best you can do. But make a point this year to say “I love you” on a daily basis. Sure, your spouse probably knows you love him or her, but actually saying the words can really help strengthen your bond.
Show Your Appreciation
It’s easy to take someone you love for granted. If your spouse does something wonderful or helpful, acknowledge it and show your appreciation. When someone feels appreciated, it’s easier to harbor resentment or become saddened by the relationship. Make a point to always show your appreciation – it can be as easy as a heartfelt “thank you.”
Flirt, Flirt, Flirt
If it’s been a while since you’ve flirted with your spouse, 2016 is the year to do it! Send a spicy email to your spouse at work or flirt via text when you’re busy. Keeping the romance alive with a little flirtation is critical to your marriage. Your spouse will love to feel “flirted with” again.
Resolve Some Issues
If there are conflicts in your relationship that keep nagging at you, resolve to make 2016 the year you take care of them. If an issue is serious enough, you may need to seek professional help in order to resolve them, but if you care about your marriage and spouse, that commitment is worth it.
When things get tough, resolve to open your mouth more! Keeping your feelings – whether good or bad – inside won’t help you feel closer to your spouse, and won’t allow him or her to help you through the issue. Resolve this year to communicate your feelings in a constructive, genuine way.
Put Your Spouse First
It’s easy to feel like you’re not a priority to someone, and when it’s your spouse, that feeling can be particularly painful. If you’ve been putting other things ahead of your relationship – like your job, your friends or even a hobby or interest – resolve to put your spouse at the top of your priority list this year. He or she will feel the difference, and likely put you first too!
Your turn! How are you resolving to have a better marriage this year?