It’s no secret that marriage takes hard work, and consistency is key. Over the years most couples have found themselves dealing with various challenges and one way to overcome this is by couples therapy Melbourne therapists and professionals in other cities provide.
However, the question remains, is keeping your marriage afloat enough? Or should you aim for thriving rather than surviving? In this article, we’ll share some tips from experts on marriage counseling Melbourne locals often apply, and ways you can protect your marriage against divorce.
Prioritise Your Marriage
One of the most important things in a marriage is to prioritise the relationship and especially your spouse.
Once you enter marriage, the initial mind shift from ‘I’ to ‘we’ can be challenging. You suddenly need to consider the interests and needs of another person, and you can’t always go your own way as you did in the past. You’ve become part of a two-member team.
Some cultures don’t cope well with ‘we’, and losing the independence of taking care of yourself only can be scary at first. But that’s even more reason to prioritise your marriage and learn to be vulnerable towards each other.
Here are different ways you can prioritise your marriage:
- Schedule regular date nights.
- Make sex dates a ritual.
- Learn each other’s love languages.
- Have “no phone” nights
Practice Positive Communication
Communication is key. Ask any married couple and they’ll most probably tell you one of the biggest reasons for conflict is due to a lack of communication or negative communication.
Have you ever felt like you’d much rather not hear from your spouse at all rather than have them speak to you negatively?
Positive communication is just as important as open communication. For example, how you say something matters more than what you’re saying. You can tell your spouse they’re annoying you without hurting their feelings if you say it in the right way. Or when said in the wrong way or tone, you may leave them feeling disrespected.
Some practical tips:
- Always refrain from raising your voice at your spouse during an argument.
- When you feel things are becoming heated, take some time out until you’re both calm enough to continue the conversation.
- Even the simplest of conversations can turn into an argument with the right (wrong) tone, so listen to how you reply to your partner.
Tip: You may be right, but you’re wrong at the top of your voice.
Create Couple Rituals
One of the top challenges in marriage is having in-laws and relatives. It’s important that other people in your life know their position when it comes to your marriage, and that your spouse is a priority. For this reason and others, it’s strongly recommended to give yourself some time to exclude the outside world.
That doesn’t mean you should cut off your parents or not maintain friendships, but interference from other parties should not be tolerated during that time. Having a morning coffee before work, a chat before going to bed, or praying together are practical ways to implement this.
Check-in With Your Partner Daily
Think about how you check in with your colleagues daily, and how it helps run a business like a well-oiled machine. Well, imagine what it can do for your marriage!
Checking in with your partner at least once a day can do wonders for your relationship and help with communication. Just a simple text to let them know you’re thinking of them and to see how their day is going will go a long way in maintaining closeness and understanding for each other.
It’s like a regular telephone conversation, but with an agenda. And probably much more fun than listening to Angela from the accounts department!
Here are some tips to start your daily check-in:
- Start by appreciating something about each other.
- Add some new information about your day.
- Ask your spouse about something that has bothered you.
- End on a positive note and with something hopeful that can create excitement, like an upcoming movie.
Decide If It’s Good for Your Relationship
Apart from positive communication and regular check-ins, stay in tune with your partner to make sure you’re both steering your relationship in the same direction.
This will help you align what is good for your marriage and what’s not, and catch red flags early on. If you find yourself having to make difficult decisions, discuss it with your partner and ask yourself if it’s good for your marriage. Whether it’s about activities that take you away from each other or a big spend that will impact your budget, rather discuss it and determine how it will affect you.
Be Your Partner’s Biggest Cheerleader
Encouraging your partner is one of the most important things you can do for your marriage. You need to have each other’s best interests at heart and show support for each other’s dreams and goals.
Here are three basic strategies to help you encourage your partner:
- Look for the positive things in your spouse and their goals.
- Develop and maintain a sense of humour.
- Give honest praise and describe what you appreciate about your spouse.
After reading this article you probably identify helpful tips to keep your marriage thriving and to protect yourself against divorce. However, seeking help from a professional is no shame, so don’t feel discouraged when you find yourself booking counselling sessions. It will help you stay connected and grow stronger as a couple, (even when you aren’t experiencing marital problems).
A marriage is like a house, you don’t sell the house when you have a blown light bulb—you fix it.