Maintenance is a part of living well. When we maintain the things we care about, they last longer and perform optimally. Ideally, you maintain your overall health (including personal hygiene), your home, vehicles, career, and relationships. They all need some TLC, so they continue to feel rewarding and purposeful. Learn more about the six ways to maintain your marriage, and enhance your love!
Here are some of the most effective, tried and true, scientific ways to maintain and enhance your marriage.
#1 Eye Contact
A mutual gaze between lovers can cause a spark of arousal as well as foster connection and intimacy. It won’t be productive if you’re wound up, agitated or anxious. Try to focus on exchanging at least one loving glance a day.
#2 Daily Communication
Couples who make time to sit down together and talk without interruption for 15 minutes a day have much more staying power. The key to making this one work is to include eye contact and to be firm about zero interruptions. Be sure to make this a stress-reducing convo, not an argument you’ve been waiting to have. This is a reliable way to prioritize your partner and your marriage, and it pays in dividends.
Leading marriage expert John Gottman advocates for a daily six-second kiss. The kiss doesn’t need to lead to sex. But a sensual and meaningful kiss that lingers on the lips can create all sorts of fireworks in a marriage.
#4 Expressing Gratitude
We all do necessary things for our families (laundry, landscaping, dog walking). But it feels so good to be recognized for it. The more genuine gratitude you express to your partner, the more valued they feel. It’s mood-boosting and tends to reduce tension and resentment. For a bonus, write it in a note and leave it for your spouse. This pro tip is a heart melter.
Fighting happens, and unfortunately, we tend to be cruelest to those closest to us. What you do or don’t do to repair the damage is a direct correlate to the health of your marriage. A willingness and ability to make a genuine apology acknowledging just what you did to hurt your partner is fundamental. This type of apology demonstrates you get it. And if it’s half-assed, it could do even more damage rather than repair. Check out my video on apologies here.
#6 Date Night
Don’t forget to have fun together! So often I see couples who are bogged down in responsibility (typically parents) and have stopped taking the time to play with each other. Get out and get creative. Going on dates is activity based intimacy, and it’s important.
If both you and your partner have been doing these things but with no tangible improvement, it’s time to consider there is more going on below the surface. It is very common for me to encounter deep-rooted issues with one or more partner that are contributing to the challenges in the marriage. If that feels true for you, it’s time to get some relationship expert help!