10 Ways to Grow Your Marriage

By Charlotte A. Michie, MS, MSW, LCSW

Relationships are like gardens; they can be thriving with lots of flowers, or overrun with weeds. Marriages, like gardens, need tending for them to prosper.
Ten ways to cultivate your intimate relationship are:

  1. Be open to change. Change is something that can not be avoided. Learn to embrace it by focusing on “what is” rather than on “what should be”.
  2. Learn to listen. Real listening is based on intention. If your intention is on getting your needs met, then you are not doing real listening but pseudo listening.
  3. Be open to new ways of being together. Consider doing different activities as a couple as a way to add zest to your relationship.
  4. Take care of yourself. The ability to love another person is based on how well you care for your self.
  5. Be grateful, each day, for one thing about your companion. Accent the positive rather than the negative. Your relationship will thrive.
  6. Be generous. Difficulties arise when the focus is exclusively on what is wrong in the relationship. Remember your spouse, like you, is doing their best.
  7. Ask for support. Your spouse is not a mind reader. Let your spouse know how you want to be supported.
  8. Risk being vulnerable. Be willing to let your spouse know how you feel rather than pretend or avoid your feelings.
  9. Make time for each other. Scheduling time together, on a weekly basis, will alleviate stress in your marriage.
  10. Learn to respond to each other rather than react. Reacting is an impulsive act. While it may provide immediate relief, it will often have long-term negative consequences.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

kate May 8, 2009 at 4:48 pm

Wow, these are great tips!
Short but just enough to inform couples that they or we should not act like a child.. an immature person. Listening and knowing how to respond is very important in a relationship.
If your marriage is at risk, then maybe now is the right time to change. You can save your marriage by starting to yourself. And I also agree that, if you have problem, or if you think there’s a problem in your relationship.. then speak out. Your problem will be solved when you talk about it, and if you will help each other.

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