Diamonds, flowers, exotic vacations and great sex sure do make a marriage, but it is actually the little things that matter the most. Marriage is a work of maintenance, and small steps here and there yield happier results in the end. These little works of love and care go a long way to make your marriage strong over time, against the crests and the troughs that a marriage brings. If you wish to make your marriage last forever, then here are 23 little things you need to start adopting into your marriage.
23 Little things you should do to make your marriage strong and last forever
Little things often make a huge difference. A few years into any relationship, and the initial excitement starts to fade – and then there is this permanence of marriage, making it even more susceptible to become boring. Keep working on your marriage everyday to build a strong foundation.
- Try to be a good friend: “It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” Those are not my words but those of German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche. A lot of arguments stop seeming relevant when you start fighting as friends but then forgiving each other too, as friends
- Give it up for listening: You may or may not be a good talker, but practise the art of listening. Your partner might talk about daily affairs or some frivolous gossip, but make sure you have their attention. It makes them appreciate you because you value their speech
- Having real conversations: There cannot be any other simple and little thing to improve your marriage relationship, slowly yet steadily. Conversations don’t mean about the mundane, but more like huddled inside a blanket on a wintry evening and asking questions that connect two souls. Real conversations go a long way in making your marriage work
- Saying thank you: She makes excellent tea that scares away your headache. He always makes sure to help you with washing the dishes. Though they may seem like a routine affair, they also spell care and love out loud. Never take these acts for granted. Saying thank you to your partner shows that you appreciate their efforts
- Plan little surprises: Once the old Romeo-Juliet fever gets down after marriage, spouses stop making efforts to make their partners happy with little surprises. It might be the brightest and biggest rose for her or simply his favourite meal in the lunchbox – it shows you’re willing to put that extra effort to make your marriage better
- Don’t stop dating: What happened to your old romance? It’s true that after marriage, responsibilities, work, kids – all start eating up your romantic mood. But you can’t give in. It is essential that you take a break from everything else and spend some couple time together
- Overlook annoying habits: Whether it’s the wet towel on the bed, or the pile of clothes taking all the space on the bed – try to overlook these small things. Air your concerns at times, but resist the urge to make it a habit. Accept a person as he or she is, and the fact that you cannot change a few things
- Kiss goodbye before going to work: A good morning kiss definitely starts your day on a positive note. German physicians and psychologists found that men who kissed their spouses goodbye before heading off for work each morning live an average of five years longer and earn 20 to 30 per cent more money than other men
- Doing one couple activity together: In order to build a successful marriage it is essential you work as a team. Doing at least one activity together goes a long way in making your marriage work. You can either cook a meal together or do some fitness exercise, depending on your shared interests
- Give each other personal space: Do not forget that you are free individuals who have their own lifestyle habits, friends’ circle and hobbies. Give your partner his/her own space to live. This brings a sense of respect for each other and keeps the marriage relationship healthy
- Show that you care: She is sneezing and you materialise her favourite cup of coffee in her favourite mug. He is struggling to meet deadlines at work and returns home late, but you still wait on him for dinner. Sometimes, showing that you actually care makes your marriage a lot better
- Spending time with your in-laws: In India, marriages make families come together and they carry considerable weight in the marital equation. In order to make a marriage last, it is essential that you spend some quality time with your in-laws as well
- Sending love messages from work: Nothing can be cuter and more adorable than sending little love messages when you partner is least expecting it. A ‘miss you’ text, or ‘you looked great today’ can boost anyone’s mood
- Be physically intimate: A hug, a gentle and passionate kiss, holding of hands, cuddling together – these little acts of physical touch keep the intimacy in marriage alive. And sex – make it better as you tune into each other’s needs and expectations
- Sleep together – literally: Every night, make it a point that you both go to the bed together. If you cannot give up your late night shows or give Internet surfing hours a break every day, do it at least a few nights off. Hitting the bed together, ruffling hair and sharing a laugh or two is the perfect way to end a day
- Laughing together: Sharing laughter could be the most vital and healthy thing in keeping your marriage alive. Find some old embarrassing moments or watch your favourite romantic comedies
- Keep the passion alive in bedroom: Never let the sex drop. Period
- Boosting each other’s self-esteem: In marriage, you are each other’s bedrock. A little motivation and encouragement from you can boost your partner’s self-esteem. And you have no idea how deeply and passionately they come to love and admire you
- Watching your words: Words cut deeper than swords, we all know that. Always be kind in your speech and avoid using hurtful abusive words, if you really wish to make your marriage last
- Practicing honesty on a daily basis: No marriage is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. What matters more is your approach towards those mistakes that will determine the course your marriage will take for better or worse. Instead of practising the habit of lying, make it a practice to tell the truth, even when you’re afraid and ashamed
- Those thoughtful sweet-nothings: Leave a note on the refrigerator when you are late. Bring her favourite flowers without an occasion. Give your spouse a day off from household chores. Sneak in a dirty message in the wallet. Small gestures, big impact
- Dress to impress: Bring a breath of fresh air into your marriage relationship by dressing up only for your spouse. And when they ask ‘what’s special?, wink and say, ‘You’
- Cherish the silence: Couples who have been in successful marriage claim that is a big sign of compatibility. You not only grow mature to deal with the bickering but also learn to cherish the long breaths of silence, when you sit next to each other saying nothing
Now that you have kept in mind these 23 little things, never, ever, make the mistake of considering these things as ‘little’. They go a long way in making a big difference in your marriage.
Related reading: 5 things a happy couple does that others don’t
Why is it important to work on your marriage?
Marriage continues to be one of the most important social institutions of India, most sacred ceremony and most looked-forward-to event in every individual’s life. But are marriages that simple and a happy affair? We doubt it. In the present scenario, not only are youth taking their time in choosing a marriage partner and settling down, but also making their marriage last forever has become a lingering concern
Perhaps the core reason why too many couples these days are disillusioned with marriage and easily stray is because of a shift in their values, ideologies and outlook towards life. In the case of our forefathers, in order to make a marriage work, it required an ocean full of love, patience and compassion. Mending a broken marriage was more important than immediately resorting to a divorce
Our forefathers believed in the values of strength, empowerment, affection, motivation, honesty and trust associated with the belief system of marriage. But we, the so-called modern youth, are far away from our roots and are therefore struggling to make our marriages successful
No one said that spending your entire life with one person, getting to know them and their family and making a marriage work would be easy. But no one said that it was a Herculean task either
If you wish to make the most of your marriage and make it better with each passing day like a fine bottle of wine, then you better start typing that little love message to your spouse right now.