Today, fewer people choose to marry, and more people are ending marriages through divorce than ever before. This is an indication that marriage takes some skill and effort. For those of you who are married or planning to marry, knowing how to succeed at marriage is important. Here are some simple tips that can help you make your marriage stronger.
Firstly, give your spouse attention in everyday conversation. Work on really listening to your spouse during daily activities. In a world in which multitasking has become the norm, it will take effort to give undivided attention to your spouse when he or she is speaking. Seek not only to listen well, but also to take an active interest in your spouse’s ideas. This conveys your admiration and respect in a very visible way and will increase the link between the two of you.
Secondly, remember that words can be damaging. The way you communicate criticism can make the difference between open communication and defensiveness. Words that attack can cause hurt feelings and weaken the connection between partners. Good communicators avoid personal assaults, name calling, and showing a resentful attitude. Additionally, when making constructive criticism, focus on asking for change rather than demanding it. Spouses who can discuss important issues in a positive manner build trust while those who engage in verbal aggression erode it.
Furthermore, words that are thoughtful can only improve a marriage. Try to compliment your spouse on a regular basis. This has two positive effects. The most obvious effect is that your spouse will feel appreciated, loved, and admired. But, an unexpected bonus is that you will be reminding yourself of the excellent qualities that drew you to your partner in the first place. You will have a positive eye toward your partner rather than a focus on deficiencies.
Also, remember to engage in compassionate touch to increase the positive bond between you and your spouse. Research indicates that touch increases levels of oxytocin, a bonding hormone, in the body. An increase in this hormone results in more cooperativeness between partners (Morhenn, et al. 2012). While sexual touch increases this good-guy hormone, other forms of positive touch, such as massage and hand holding, have the same effect. Couples who touch frequently have a closer link to each other.
By and large, marriage improvement occurs through small everyday interactions. So, you can do much to make your marriage flourish. Pay attention to your spouse and his or her ideas. Use words wisely, by avoiding verbal attacks and complimenting freely. Also, use loving touch to build a stronger bond with your spouse. Good marriages are worth it and still do exist in this present-day.
Morhenn, V., Beavin, L.F., Zak, P.J. (2012). Massage Increases Oxytocin and Reduces Adrenocorticotropin Hormone in Humans. Alternative Therapies18(6), 11-18.
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